Strath Haven HS alumnus in the Olympics!
WSSD and Delaware County are incredibly proud of Jake Hoyle '12 as he competes in fencing in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games! The story of his rise to the top is one of legend. As he said himself in an interview with USA Fencing (Road to Tokyo: 21 Questions With Jake Hoyle), his entry into the sport is one of chance. There are very few middle school physical education programs that feature fencing - let alone that are taught by a highly accomplished fencing athlete and coach. At Strath Haven Middle School, Pixie Roane has brought her passion for and knowledge of fencing to the WSSD community, creating an entry point into the sport for many students over the years. Several of her athletes have achieved great success, but Jake has taken it to a whole new level!
"I got started at a club at my middle school, Strath Haven Middle School, and I was coached by Pixie Roane. I grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia and they had a club in the middle school there and they taught fencing in gym class. You go to normal gym class, you run the pacer test, play basketball, you go outside, you play baseball, softball and then you fenced at Strath Haven. So we only did it for a few days, but it was enough that me and a couple friends were interested and then we joined the after-school club and Pixie was just so enthusiastic about the sport and made it really, really, really fun. Her club after school was what I looked forward to every day while I was in class. We were down in the cafeteria and set up the reels and the strips in between the cafeteria tables and it was just so much fun. I’ve kept in touch with a lot of the people that I fenced with back then. It was a really great experience. I would’ve never gotten started if it weren’t for Pixie."
Fencing took Jake all the way to the Columbia University's men's team where a knock on the coach's door brought him to a walk-on spot on the team. From that humble start, Jake went on to win an incredible two national titles in epee in 2015 and 2016, helping his team to win the national title those years as well.
Heading into Olympic competition, Jake is ranked #1 in epee in the United States and 12th in the world. He is one of nine Columbia University athletes competing in this summer's games. Check out this video interview about his Olympic preparation in times of COVID (click on the photo to go to the Facebook link).
Jake's parents Suzy and Charlie and the rest of his family are incredibly proud of him and how he achieved this great accomplishment despite the difficulties navigating qualification and training during a pandemic!
We hope you tune in to watch the competition. Here is the latest schedule information:
Men’s Individual Epee Competition
July 23rd at 8 p.m. EST (July 24 at 9 a.m. Tokyo time)
* Men’s Saber Individual
* Women’s Epee Individual
* Men’s Epee Individual (Jake will beging fencing in the round of 32.)
* Women’s Foil Individual
Men’s team Epee Team Competition
July 29th at 9 p.m. EST (July 30 at 10 a.m. Tokyo time)
* Men’s Epee Team
We will update here and share on our WSSD social media accounts when competition is going to take place as well.