By Daniel Woolfolk

Swordfighting isn't a sport that's generally associated with the Upper West Side, at least not since the gritty days of West Side Story. But one Upper West Sider has shown quite a knack for it, so much so that she could be representing the United States in fencing at the 2012 Olympics in London.

Becoming Columbia University Student Athlete of the Month is quite an honor. It is also a feat Nicole Ross, a fencer and Upper West Side native, has earned twice in 2010.

In March, she became the National Collegiate Athletic Association fencing champion in the foil, her competition weapon. Last year, at the 2009 Junior World Fencing Championships in Belfast, Ross helped the United States team's first world win in her event, women's foil fencing. "It was super exciting and gratifying for me," said Ross, who will be fencing at the New York World Cup of Fencing June 18-20.

Ross graduated from Columbia Grammar and Preparatory School on West 93rd Street.

Originally ran on the West Side Independent at

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