On Friday, April 1, Southern Utah University’s Student Programming Board hosted the Medieval Tournament—a community-wide event centered around the Middle Ages.
The event held many activities for the Cedar City community. Many visitors dressed in medieval and fantasy attire. Games included inflatable and bounce house contests and archery. Free refreshments of pizza and drinks were also provided.
The highlight of the evening was a showcase by the Salt Lake City Crusaders, a professional armored combat team. They performed a variety of different competitions, from team fights to one-on-one duels, using a variety of medieval weapons while the audience cheered them on. Throughout the performance, audience members learned about the history, techniques and rules of armored combat.
This showcase was particularly notable because one of the crusaders was SUU student Eliza Barton who had been competing professionally on this team for nearly nine months.
“I have always been really into reading and fantasy since I was a kid,” Barton said. “My brothers and I grew up fighting each other with pool noodle weapons. I’ve simply graduated!”
Barton was introduced to the Crusaders at an activity similar to the SUU Medieval Tournament and shortly afterwards joined at a new fighter orientation.
“I got to get in armor for the first time and I just absolutely fell in love with it since then!” she said.
There are only two professional fighters from southern Utah including Barton. She was excited to share her unique talent with the community and to encourage others to join the team as well.
“I’ve been ecstatic for this event for months now,” Barton said. “Ever since it got on the schedule, I could hardly wait.”
After the performance, Barton and her fellow Crusaders met and mingled with the audience members, answering questions, taking photos and even letting them hold their weapons.
“This event was very different from events we’ve had in the past,” said Megan Dean, a STIL member who helped plan the event. “I think that everyone who attended this event had a very unique experience. Overall, I think this event was a success because the students who were there had a lot of fun and they showed a lot of passion for the subject!”
Article and photos by: Andrea Rodgers