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Division I and Wheelchair National Championships Come to Baltimore this Weekend

04/20/2017, 12:00pm CDT
By Nicole Jomantas

Rio Olympic silver medalist Daryl Homer will compete for both individual and team titles at the Division I National Championships.

(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – National titles will be on the line in Baltimore as the best fencers in the United States compete in the final event of the season at the USA Fencing Division I and Wheelchair National Championships from April 21-24.

The four-day event will feature Olympic and Paralympic Team members fencing for gold at the Baltimore Convention Center, 1 W. Pratt St., Baltimore, Md. Competition runs from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. daily. All events are free and open to the public.

The tournament includes both individual titles for Division I and Wheelchair events as well as Division I Team gold medals.

Ten Olympians and five Paralympians are scheduled to compete, including medalists from the 2016 Rio and 2012 London Olympic Games:

  • Daryl Homer (Bronx, N.Y. / Division I Men’s Saber), 2016 Olympic individual silver medalist
  • Ibtihaj Muhammad (Maplewood, N.J. / Division I Women’s Saber), 2016 Olympic team bronze medalist
  • Monica Aksamit (Matawan, N.J. / Division I Women’s Saber), 2016 Olympic team bronze medalist
  • Courtney Hurley (San Antonio, Texas / Division I Women’s Epee), 2012 Olympic team bronze medalist
  • Kelley Hurley (San Antonio, Texas / Division I Women’s Epee), 2012 Olympic team bronze medalist
  • Susie Scanlan (New York City, N.Y. / Division I Women’s Epee), 2012 Olympic team bronze medalist
  • Nzingha Prescod (Brooklyn, N.Y. / Division I Women’s Foil), two-time Olympian
  • Kat Holmes (Washington, D.C. / Division I Women’s Epee), 2016 Olympian
  • Jason Pryor (South Euclid, Ohio / Division I Men’s Epee), 2016 Olympian
  • Jeff Spear (Wynantskill, N.Y. / Division I Men’s Saber), 2012 Olympian   
  • Joey Brinson (Florence, Miss. / Wheelchair Men’s Foil and Saber), 2012 and 2016 Paralympian
  • Lauryn DeLuca (Parma, Ohio / Wheelchair Women’s Epee and Foil), 2016 Paralympian
  • Gerard Moreno (Los Angeles, Calif. / Wheelchair Men’s Foil and Saber), Four-time Paralympian
  • Andrea DeMello (New York City, N.Y. / Wheelchair Women’s Epee and Saber), Four-time Paralympian (2008 for Team USA, Three-time Paralympian for Brazil)
  • Curtis Lovejoy (College Park, Ga. / Wheelchair Men’s Epee and Foil), Five-time Paralympian (2000 Fencing Paralympian, Five-time Swimming Paralympian)

The Division I women’s epee field is expected to be one of the deepest of the tournament as the event not only includes three Olympic medalists, but marks the first return to competition for London team medalist Susie Scanlan (New York City, N.Y.) since Scanlan took the runner-up position at the 2013 NCAA Championships behind Courtney Hurley.

In addition to titles being awarded in Baltimore, the Division I Nationals also will serve as the final qualifying event for the 2017 Senior World Championships.

The men’s epee and men’s saber teams each have closely contested races for positions on Team USA.

The first two positions on the men’s epee team have been secured by first-time team members Adam Rodney (New York City, N.Y.) and Cooper Schumacher (Parsippany, N.J.) Rio Olympian Jason Pryor (South Euclid, Ohio) holds the third position in the rankings, but a broken leg sustained on the World Cup circuit in February put the former No. 1 out of competition for the Grand Prix of the selection period in March. Alex Tsinis (Little Neck, N.Y.) is currently ranked fourth and the two-time individual Division National Champion is seeking to earn enough points to qualify for his second Senior World Team. A 2011 Junior World Team member, James Kaull (New York City, N.Y. / Washington, D.C.) won gold at the January North American Cup and is within striking distance of Tsinis after a pair of top-64 results on the World Cup circuit. Former Senior World Team Champion Ben Bratton (New York City, N.Y.) earned his first top-eight finish at a Grand Prix in Budapest last month to climb from No. 39 to No. 6 in the National Team Point Standings after a year-long sabbatical from international competition.

A trio of Olympians have guaranteed their positions on the men’s saber squad with Rio teammates Daryl Homer (Bronx, N.Y.) and Eli Dershwitz (Sherborn, Mass.) remaining in the No. 1 and No. 2 positions in the standings. London Olympian Jeff Spear (Wynantskill, N.Y.) is the two-time reigning National Champion, but will be fencing in just his fourth tournament of the season as the No. 3 men’s saber fencer in the nation. Three former Junior World Team members are in contention for the final position on the team with their results in Baltimore determining who qualifies for Team USA. Ben Natanzon (Manalapan, N.J.) placed eighth at his second Junior World Championships last week and is ranked fourth in the senior team standings. A 2014 Junior World team bronze medalist, Geoffrey Loss (Laguna Beach, Calif.) sits in fifth after a top-32 result at the Cancun Grand Prix in December. Evan Prochniak (Hudson, N.H.) won bronze with Homer in the team event at the 2010 Junior World Championships and needs a podium finish to potentially earn his first Senior World Team berth.

More than 20 athletes from throughout the Baltimore and Washington, D.C. metropolitan areas will be fencing in the Division I events, including:

  • Kat Holmes (Washington, D.C. / Women’s Epee), 2016 Olympian and 2015 Pan American Games Champion
  • Amanda Sirico (Bowie, Md. / Women’s Epee), two-time Junior World team medalist
  • Rebecca Chimahusky (Wheaton, Md. / Women’s Epee), 2016 Division IA National Champion
  • Peter Souders (Silver Spring, Md. / Men’s Saber), two-time Senior World Team member
  • James Kaull (New York City, N.Y. / Washington, D.C. / Men’s Epee), 2011 Junior World Team member
  • Dennis Kraft (Arlington, Va. / Men’s Epee), 2015 Oslo Men’s Satellite Tournament Champion

Five of the six 2016 Division I National Champions will be back to defend their titles in Baltimore, including:

  • Margaret Lu (Greenwich, Conn.), five-time Division I Women’s Foil National Champion
  • Jeff Spear (Wynantskill, N.Y.), two-time Division I Men’s Saber National Champion
  • Kamali Thompson (Teaneck, N.J.), 2016 Division I Women’s Saber National Champion  
  • Thomas Dudey (Bellaire, Texas), 2016 Division I Men’s Foil National Champion
  • Francesca Bassa (Houston, Texas), 2016 Division I Women’s Epee National Champion

In addition to the Division I and Wheelchair National Championships, the April North American Cup also will be contested in Baltimore with fencers from around the world competing in the following events: Division II, Division III, Veteran Age Group (40-49, 50-59, 60-69, +70, Open) and Veteran Team.

For more information, or to request a media credential, please contact Nicole Jomantas, USA Fencing Director of Communications, at 719.761.7909 (cell) or N.Jomantas@usfencing.org.

The complete competition schedule is as follows (All times are estimated start times, events run through completion):

Friday, April 21

Saturday, April 22

Sunday, April 23

Monday, April 24

8 a.m.
Div I Men’s Saber
Div I Women’s Epee
Div III Women’s Epee
Vet Open Men’s Foil
Vet 40-49 Women’s Foil
Vet 60-69 Women’s Foil
Vet +70 Women’s Foil
Vet Open Women’s Saber
 

8 a.m.
Div I Women’s Foil
Div I Women’s Team Epee
Div II Men’s Saber
Vet Open Men’s Epee
Vet 40-49 Men’s Foil
Vet 50-59 Men’s Foil
Vet Team Women’s Foil

 

8 a.m.
Div I Men’s Epee
Div I Women’s Saber
Div II Men’s Foil
Vet 60-69 Women’s Epee
Vet +70 Women’s Epee
Vet Team Women’s Saber
 

8 a.m.
Div I Men’s Foil
Div I Men’s Team Epee
Div II Women’s Foil
Div II Women’s Saber

9 a.m.
Wheelchair Men’s Epee

9 a.m.
Div I Men’s Team Saber
Wheelchair Men’s Foil
 

9 a.m.
Wheelchair Men’s Saber

Noon
Div II Men’s Epee
Vet Team Men’s Foil

11 a.m.

Wheelchair Women’s Epee
Vet 50-59 Women’s Foil
 

10 a.m.
Vet +70 Men’s Foil

 

 

10 a.m.
Vet Team Men’s Epee

1 p.m.
Vet Open Men’s Saber

1 p.m.
Vet 40-49 Men’s Epee
Vet 50-59 Men’s Epee
Vet 60-69 Men’s Epee
Vet +70 Men’s Epee

 

11 a.m.
Vet Women’s Team Epee
Wheelchair Women’s Foil

10:30 a.m.
Vet 60-69 Men’s Saber
Vet +70 Men’s Saber

 

2 p.m.
Division III Men’s Saber

 

Noon
Vet 60-69 Men’s Foil

 

11 a.m.
Wheelchair Women’s Saber
 

 

 

2 p.m.
Div II Women’s Epee
Div III Women’s Foil
Vet Men’s Team Saber

 

12:30 p.m.
Division III Women’s Saber

 

 

3:30 p.m.
Vet 40-49 Women’s Saber
Vet 50-59 Women’s Saber
Vet 60-69 Women’s Saber
Vet +70 Women’s Foil

1 p.m.
Vet 40-49 Women’s Epee
Vet 50-59 Women’s Epee

 

 

 

 

2 p.m.
Div I Men’s Team Foil
Div III Men’s Epee
Vet Open Women’s Foil
 

 

 

 

3:30 p.m.
Vet 40-49 Men’s Saber
Vet 50-59 Men’s Saber

 


 

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