"I am everybody's grandma here," said Dobloug, who took up fencing 25 years ago.
The event, held at UMBC's Retriever Activities Center, was staged with up to 16 simultaneous bouts. U.S. Fencing Association officials say that ROC competitions can provide participants a path to U.S. National meets and beyond.
UMBC's fencing club also took part. Fencer Brian Carroll, a junior from Bowie, said the event featured one of the most competitive fields he's ever seen.
"It's a great experience just to see this many people here fencing," said Carroll, who took up the sport as a freshman. "A lot of people don't even know we have a fencing team because it's not as much a spectator sport."
Dobloug, who is originally from Norway, said she began fencing when she moved to the United States. Initially she took classes at a YMCA, but she quickly became good enough to compete on a national — and then international — level.
She is a member of the D.C. Fencers Club of Silver Spring, which captured the U.S. National Fencing Championships women's epee title in 1992 and 2000.
After a hiatus from the sport, Dobloug returned to compete on the international level at the World Veterans Fencing Championships, for fencers age 50 and over, winning a title in 2005.
"I started to compete and it was fun but very challenging because I started later. Now the kids start when they're 8 years old," Dobloug said. "I started in the fall of my life."
In events such as the Charm City Classic, where competitors are not grouped by age, Dobloug said she has competed against fencers as young as 14.
"They move a little faster, and today fencing is much more active — you have to have a really good fitness level to be a good competitor," Dobloug said. "I keep working and I still take lessons because it's very good for you. Hopefully it will keep the aging a little bit more at bay."
Other competitors included Valerie Asher, 51, of Bethesda, who learned to fence at Yale University in 1979. She took a break from the sport but resumed it 11 years ago. Also a member of the Silver Spring fencing club, Asher said the Baltimore-Washington area had a large fencing contingent.
"We have very charismatic coaches who generate a lot of enthusiasm, and we have an international population that gets the local people involved," Asher said.
The Charm City Classic featured the three fencing divisions, which are denoted by the fencing weapon used: the epee (a weapon used for targeting the entire body), the sabre (whose target area is from the waist up) and the foil (whose target area is the torso).
The event held men's epee, men's sabre and women's foil on Saturday. Men's foil, women's epee and women's sabre were held Sunday.
USFA officials said there were 275 registered fencers in its state division.
This weekend marks the second consecutive year that the Charm City Classic has been held at UMBC. After being around for nearly a quarter-century, the sport continues to grow locally — last year's event drew about 180 fencers.
Said Charles Greene, USFA Mid-Atlantic section chairman: "I hope this event will provide a venue for people to fence and qualify for the national championships. That will set in motion a pathway for people to go on to the world championships and the Olympics and other types of things. This is a first step for them."