Curiosity has led Solon’s Maggie Snider to national success.
At 9-years-old, Snider convinced her parents to let her pursue fencing. They found the Iowa City Fencing Center in Iowa City, where the now senior at Solon High School continues to train.
Snider trains between eight and 10 hours a week. She has to balance her training schedule with school work, which at times can be a difficult task to accomplish.
“(Solon High School) is super supportive and has helped me stay caught up while training and traveling,” Snider said.
Snider won a national title in Minneapolis in 2016. She competed in the adults division and was the youngest in the field at 16.
“I was surprise in myself and the experience felt surreal,” Snider said.
She learned a lot in the experience and it was eye-opening to her.
“Maybe I can hang with the heavy hitters,” Snider said about what she learned during that experience.
The national title propelled Snider into making the American team for the Pan American Junior Championship. The event is equivalent to a junior world tournament.
The selection process was prestigious with only four other girls selected. The others selected were Sofia Komar (New Jersey), Karolina Nixon (California), Lake Sheffield (New York), and Greta Candreva (New York).
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“I’m excited about the fencing and to represent USA while also meeting other (fencers) from different countries,” Snider said.
In the beginning, Snider’s goal wasn’t to make the Pan American team. It was to attend a Division I school.
Snider accomplished that goal. She will be attending Northwestern University in the fall, competing on the NCAA varsity epee squad. She took interest in Northwestern when she was 12 and attended at tournament there. She fell in love with the school and talked to the coach. The coach told Snider she was too young and would talk to her later.
“Signing to Northwestern has been my biggest accomplishment in fencing so far,” Snider said.
Snider kept up on her dream to attend Northwestern and signed a Letter of Intent there last November.
“I’m still scratching the surface,” Snider said.
Snider, a two-time national champion and 15-time national medalist, credits her success to Coach Roberto Sobalvarro, the 2012 Olympic teams coach; parents Tad and Grace Snider; and Jan Ream and Ron Herman, who have all supported her throughout her fencing career.
She competed on Tuesday in San Jose, Costa Rica, at the Pan American Junior Fencing Championship, finishing ninth in the individual competition. She went 5-0 in the prelims before falling to a woman ranked 23rd in the world. She also was added to the team event on Friday and will compete for the top-ranked American team.