When the fencing season fully gets underway this October, James Bourtis may need to have his passport in order.
Bourtis, a Penfield resident who is a rising sophomore at Allendale Columbia, said he plans to apply to USA Fencing for positions in competitions in Germany, France, Hungary and Italy. He has competed overseas once before, in Paris.
The Rochester Fencing Club member is No. 22 in the USA Fencing Cadet, or 17-under men’s foil point standings. Bourtis, 15, finished tied for third place in the Youth-14 men’s foil division at the USA Fencing National Championships in San Jose, California.
Bourtis called his performance on Independence Day his best. A total of 247 competed in his division.
“It was kind of interesting,” he said. “The event I did before may have been my worst performance. I went hoping to place in the top 32. I didn’t even come close to it.
“The Y-14 was my last event. I didn’t think about points. I just wanted to fence.”
Bourtis joined the Rochester Fencing Club when he was 8 years old. He finished 13th in the 17-under or Cadet men’s foil at the Junior Olympic Fencing Championship hosted by Richmond, Virginia in February.
“People don’t realize that you get trained by Olympians here,’ ” said Eftihia Bourtis, James’ mother.