By Keith Russell

NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – For Grace Hao and Thomas Manley, meeting up at the Fencing Institute of Texas is nothing new.

They’ve been members/students for years.

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But never did they think they’d be meeting up under these circumstances.

Grace, from Coppell, is a freshman at the University of Pennsylvania.

Thomas, from Farmers Branch, is a junior at the New Jersey Institute of Technology.

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This year both qualifies for the NCAA Fencing Championship in March in Detroit.

Because of Covid-19, the rest of their season along with the opportunity to call themselves a national champion have been pushed to the side.

Fencing with Grace Hao and Thomas Manley (CBS 11).

Both admit this time has tested their patience but at the same time made them appreciative for their health.

Both are hoping other young people, on the fence about whether it’s worth having some of their dreams put on hold, realize it’s a temporary inconvenience to keep as many people safe as possible.

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Hao says this time has “brought everyone closer” and Manley advises everyone to continue to check on people you know and “ask them if they’re doing alright.”