A number of the country’s best fencers, as well as some of its’ most promising up-and-comers, have competed at the January North American Cup, held in Charlotte, North Carolina between January 4-7.
With the World Cup and Grand Prix season about to ramp up again, and with Tokyo Olympic qualification on the line at the season’s end, a number of big-name athletes weren’t wasting the opportunity to build momentum early in the year.
Among the biggest names competing were veteran NYC foilist Miles Chamley-Watson, the 2013 individual World Champion in Budapest, who took out his Division 1 final against Axel Kiefer from Kentucky, 15-7, having also narrowly beaten the 2018 World Junior Champion, Nick Itkin in their semifinal, 15-14.
Itkin had an incredible end to what was already an amazing 2018 when he defeated the reigning World champion, Alessio Foconi, and the reigning Olympic Champion, Daniele Garozzo – both Italian – on his way to his first senior World Cup medal, a bronze, at the Bonn event in November.
A clearly fired-up Chamley-Watson took to his Instagram account @fencer to celebrate the perfect start to his year:
‘I GOT SO MUCH LOVE AND PASSION FOR THIS SPORT,’ he wrote. ‘IT FELT SO GOOD TO WIN GOLD YESTERDAY. GREAT MATCH AND HAT OFF TO NICK AS WELL. I PUT EVERYTHING INTO THIS SPORT. NO MATTER HOW BIG THE STAGE IS I WILL ALWAYS GO HARDER THAN ANYONE ELSE WIN OR LOSE.’
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I GOT SO MUCH LOVE AND PASSION FOR THIS SPORT. IT FELT SO GOOD TO WIN GOLD YESTERDAY. GREAT MATCH AND HAT OFF TO NICK AS WELL. 🥇🥇🏆🏆 I PUT EVERYTHING I HAVE AND SO MUCH MORE INTO THIS SPORT. NO MATTER HOW BIG THE STAGE IS I WILL ALWAYS GO HARDER THAN ANYONE ELSE WIN OR LOSE. THIS SPORT CHANGED MY LIFE. I WILL PUT THIS SPORT ON THE MAP FOR EVERYONE COMING UP. I GOT US!! I LOVE COMPETING AND COMPETITION MORE THAN ANYTHING. #CreateaLegacyNotAMoment 🤺🤺🤺🤺🤺🤺🤺
In the men’s saber competition, won by Peter Souders from Boston Fencing Club, Daryl Homer, the Rio silver medalist and winner of the last two national championships, would have been disappointed with his ousting by Mexico’s Filip Dolegiewicz in their table of 32 contest by a margin of 15-13.
Similarly, two-time national champ, veteran Jeff Spear could not progress any further himself, beaten by Mitchell Saron from the Bergen Fencing Club, 15-5 at the same stage.
In the women’s foil, it was a definite case of youth rising to the top, with 15-year-old 2018 Junior World Championship bronze medalist, Lauren Scruggs recording one of the best results of her young career, defeating her teammate Sylvie Binder in the Div 1 final 15-11 on Monday after having won the junior title on Saturday.
Tying for third were two other young prospects, May Tieu and Maia Weintraub, both of whom are still competing amongst the junior ranks internationally, and both of whom took on much more experienced competitors to earn their first NAC medals.
A full list of all the Division 1 results in Charlotte are listed below. In total tere were a massive 16 categories of competition at the January NAC, including Cadet, Junior, three youth categories, Wheelchair, Veteran and Senior categories. For a full list of all results you can visit the USA Fencing website here.
2019 January NAC Division 1 Results
Women’s Division 1 Epee
1. Isis Washington – Peter Westbrook Foundation / Top Fencing Club (Metro NYC)
2. Anna Van Brummen – Alliance / TigerZ Fencing Academy (Gulf Coast)
3. Emily Vermuele – Olympia Fencing Center (New England)
3. Victoria Mo – New York Athletic Club (Orange Coast)
Women’s Division 1 Foil
1. Lauren Scruggs – Peter Westbrook Foundation / Top Fencing Club (Metro NYC)
2. Sylvie Binder – New York Athletic Club / Fencing Academy of Winchester (Westchester-Rockland)
3. May Tieu – Premier Fencing Club (New Jersey)
3. Maia Weintraub – Fencers Club Inc./ Fencing Academy of Philadelphia (Philadelphia)
Women’s Division 1 Sabre
1. Edith Johnson – Nellya Fencers (Georgia)
2. Sada Baby – Nellya Fencers (Georgia)
3. Aleksandra Shelton – Oregon Fencing Alliance (Oregon)
3. Anne-Elizabeth Stone – Bergen Fencing Club / Princeton University NCAA (New Jersey)
Men’s Division 1 Epee
1. Justin Yoo – LA International Fencing (Southern California)
2. Alen Hadzic – Fencers ClubInc. / Lilov Fencing Academy (Gulf Coast)
3. Lewis Weiss – Alliance Fencing Academy (Gulf Coast)
3. Cedric Mecke – New York Athletic Club (Metro NYC)
Men’s Division 1 Foil
1. Miles Chamley-Watson – Fencer’s Club (Metro NYC)
2. Axel Kiefer – Bluegrass Fencer’s Club (Kentucky)
3. Adam Mathieu – Fencer’s Club Inc. (Metro NYC)
3. Nick Itkin – LA International Fencing / University of Notre Dame NCAA (Southern California)
Men’s Division 1 Sabre
1. Peter Souders – Boston Fencing Club / DC Fencers Club (Capitol)
2. Andrew Mackiewicz – Penn State University Fencing Club / Zeta Fencing (New England)
3. Khalil Thompson – Peter Westbrook Foundation / Fencers Club Inc. (Georgia)
3. Kamar Skette – Nellya Fencers (Georgia)