Teen Aims to Take a Stab at Olympics

Most people dont know we have a fencing team in panhandle...but one of the best fencers in the nation calls Amarillo home.

Newschannel 10's Jake Riddell has the story.

The list of Juleah Nusz' interests looks just like a lot of other 14-year-old girls... she's into video games...surfing the net... and hanging out with her friends.

But there's something unique about Juleah. The Amarillo native is one of the top, teenage fencers in the United States.

The first thing we're gonna hear is we have fencing in Amarillo. At Amarillo College, fencing is a pretty big deal. And Juleah is one of the top athletes in the Badgers' program.
"Juleah Nusz started a few years ago in our children's program. We noticed in a few weeks she had a natural talent for fencing. We've been cultivating that for a couple years now."

Because of all that effort, Juleah holds the number-one ranking in the country among 14-year-old girls in her discipline. No one would have guessed she had such a gift when she first picked up a sword back on her eleventh birthday. "I thought, I don't really know what fencing is, but I like playing with swords. When I got here immediately my coach noticed I had a talent for it."

And now Juleah is hoping to take her talent on to the Olympic Games. Her coach, Chuck Slaughter thinks she can make it. "She has it in her. Most of the oOlympic fencers are 18 to 25. She's got four more years to prepare for that. I think she's got it in her to do it."

And Juleah's mother says she has always been geared for competition. "From the beginning, Juleah has been very driven. She was the kid in school who had to get the 100. She never accepted second place. Board games in our house are very tough to play because we have such competitive kids."

Juleah loves the thrill of victory...and hopes more people will understand why she's loves fencing so much. "There's a lot of people who know about fencing, but they're too scared to join. They're afraid they're gonna get stabbed."

Go toe-to-toe with Juleah... And you won't get stabbed... But you probably won't win either. 

Amarillo College is hosting the Junior Olympic Qualifying Ttournament Saturday and Sunday.. Bouts start at 8:30.. At Russell Hall.