The Wingate Award is presented to top senior athletes in their respective sport. Fariha Hussain, a four year member of the fencing team, was honored as the city’s top female fencer. Her achievement marks the fourth Townsend Harris female fencer to win the award in the past five years.
After being nominated by English teacher and fencing coach Katherine Yan, a panel of PSAL officials selected Fariha for the award. She was honored at a ceremony held at the Brooklyn Marriot Hotel on Monday, June 10 joined by Ms. Yan, Assistant Coach Debra Michelwitz, and Athletic Director Keith Hanson. The Wingate Award was presented to Fariha by PSAL Fencing Commissioner and former U.S. Olympian Ivan Lee.
As the anchor of the épée squad, Fariha helped lead the team to a second place finish this year at the citywide playoffs, an achievement she ranks as her favorite fencing memory at THHS.
Fariha said that “winning the Wingate award is a huge honor.” When she came to THHS as a freshman she had never fenced before and since then she has been “so dedicated to the sport from that point. Even when I had collaterals, and loads of homework, I still fenced.”
This dedication has translated into her performance on the strip. She has landed among the top ten in wins for the past three years, including having the most wins of all PSAL épée fencers for the past two years. In addition, she has placed second in touches for the past three years.
She has also medaled in countless individual tournaments, taking a gold and bronze at the Invitational the past two years respectively and a bronze at last year’s season opener.
Ms. Yan praised Fariha as “not only a decorated fencer but also an effective leader for the team. As she served as our fearless anchor for three years and our captain for two, Fariha coached her teammates and motivated them to fence at the highest caliber. She truly is an inspiration for our team and will continue to be even after she graduates.”
Leaving THHS, Fariha is sure she will be continuing to fence at the collegiate level next fall when she attends CCNY. She says that “college fencing is at a whole different level because you can be fencing people from across the nation.”
Faria plans to continue practicing and refining her skills and so she is “confident about doing well in college fencing. I still will be fencing at Fencers’ [Club] and I plan on fencing in bigger competitions.”