On Wednesday, November 8, 2017, Ava Navarro ’18 signed a National Letter of Intent (NLI) to join Duke University’s fencing team. Her parents, grandparents, friends, and coaches joined in the celebration at the Fitness and Athletics Center.
Ava started fencing when she was nine years old, and has been competing in both regional and national events ever since. She is also nationally ranked in the Junior (U20) age group, and has represented the US in international competitions as well.
She currently trains at clubs in both Princeton and NYC, and is coached by Princeton’s Head Coach Zoltan Dudas, and US Men’s National Team Coach Kornel Udvarhelyi. In addition, she also works with George School Performance and Wellness trainers on a weekly basis in the Hayden Family Fitness Center on campus.
Ava came to George School as a junior transfer student in the boarding program, and currently serves as a senior prefect in West Main. Although George School does not currently have a fencing team, Ava is thankful for the support she has received from the community about her fencing career and academic future.
“As a potential athletic recruit the whole college process began a lot earlier for me. I started touring colleges and meeting with coaches as a sophomore. We visited a lot of schools at first and then narrowed things down to just a few where I felt the best fit—not just with the fencing program but also the academics and everything else,” said Ava. “David Weisbord and the whole college counseling department have been so helpful and supportive throughout.”
Ava is thrilled to continue her fencing career by joining the Duke fencing team next fall. “It was a tough decision, but ultimately I felt like Duke would offer me more of the classic college experience that I’ve pictured in my head for the past few years. The campus and architecture are gorgeous, the academics are top notch, and the fencing program is strong.”
Nancy Bernardini, girls’ athletic director, is excited for Ava to continue her fencing career at Duke. “We are so proud of Ava and her success as a stellar student-athlete at George School! We wish her all the best as she continues her academic and fencing career at Duke! Go, George School Cougars!”