Head Coach, Cornell Women's Varsity
Ariana Klinkov was named the Head Coach of Women's Fencing in September 2019. Klinkov joins the Big Red after four successful seasons as the head fencing coach at Wellesley College.
In her first season at the helm, Klinkov led the Big Red to a season for the record books, highlighted by a program best 24-10 record, the fist time the women's fencing program has eclipsed 20 victories in a season. Klinkov aided the Big Red to a 14-13 win over No. 1-ranked Princeton at the Northwestern Duals, marking the programs first win over Princeton since Feb. 8, 1992. Under Klinkov's watch, Cornell placed three fencers on the All-Ivy squads, marking the first time Cornell produced multiple All-Ivy fencers since 2016. It was the fourth time a Big Red team had done it in the history of the program. Cornell qualified three fencers for the 2020 NCAA Championships following their performances at the NCAA Northeast Regional.
Klinkov possesses a wealth of experience in building programs, guiding her Wellesley program from an 11-10 record in 2015-16 to a 23-5 mark in 2018-19. Under her tutelage, the Blue won its first New England Intercollegiate Fencing Conference championship in 2018-19 and qualified 10 student-athletes for the NCAA Division III Northeast Regionals. In four seasons, Klinkov led Wellesley to a 70-38 overall record with 33 NCAA Regional qualifiers.
Prior to her time at Wellesley, Klinkov coached at Tufts University, where she directed the program for five seasons. Additionally, Klinkov served as a coach at Phillips Academy in Andover, Mass. While there she mentored 2008 NCAA men's sabre national champion, Jeff Spear, as well as 2007 NCAA women's sabre national champion and former Big Red head coach, Daria Schneider, at her club, Prise De Fer Fencing.
Klinkov's coaching experience is magnified by her work as a member of the Fencing Officials Commission, where she was the first female referee to officiate a world championship gold medal match in sabre and the first female three-weapon referee in the world.
Assistant Coach, Cornell Women's Varsity
Competitive fencing runs deep in Coach Jennings’ blood. She is the daughter of former Cornell head fencing coach and 1968 Australian Olympian, Graeme Jennings.
Susan Jennings has had successful fencing and coaching careers. She trained at the National Women’s Foil Training Center in Rochester NY with Olympic and US National Women’s Foil coach, Buckie Leach. During this time she was continually ranked in the top three nationally in her age groups and top 10 in the Senior US National rankings/point standings. She fenced for Columbia University and at The New York Fencers Club with Simon and Irene Gershon, during which time she represented the US on numerous National, Pan-Am, World University and World Teams.
Jennings began her coaching career at The New York Fencers Club under Olympic and U.S. National Men’s Foil Coach Simon Gershon. She moved on to develop the competitive youth program at Fencing Academy of Nevada, where she was mentored by multiple-time foil Olympic and NCAA Coach Yves Auriol. In 2011, she returned to the Rochester Fencing Club where she trained a diverse group of youth, cadet, junior and veteran fencers. Jennings has coached multiple nationally ranked fencers, and many of her students have been recruited to Division 1 teams.
Community service has always been an integral part of Jennings' life. Since childhood she has been engaged in numerous community outreach programs including delivering food and tutoring the underserved, teaching fencing and life skills to youth at the Boys & Girls Club, and serving as an Advisory Board Member for The Open Door Mission Women’s and Children’s Center. Susan is currently actively engaged in Community Outreach in Ithaca, and is spearheading opportunities for Cornell Athletes to do the same.
Susan Jennings was named Assistant Coach to the Women’s Varsity team in 2019, where she contributed to the team’s most successful winning record.