Fencing national championships begin Friday in Richmond
The best fencers in the nation will go for gold in Richmond, Va. at the Division I / Wheelchair National Championships and April North American Cup from April 20-23.
Competition will be held daily from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. at the Great Richmond Convention Center. Each day’s action will feature a finals block with medal matches for Division I individual events and gold medal finals for select Wheelchair events.
The Division I National Championships will include both individual and team competitions in all three weapons and will serve as the final qualifying tournament for the 2018 Senior World Championships, to be held in Wuxi, China from July 19-27.
Division I fencers will have the opportunity to earn national ranking points in Richmond with the top four athletes on the USA Fencing National Team Point Standings in each weapon at the conclusion of the Division I Nationals qualifying for individual positions at Senior Worlds.
Athletes scheduled to compete include the following members of the 2016 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Teams:
- Mariel Zagunis (Beaverton, Ore. / Div I Women’s Saber), two-time Olympic Champion and five-time Senior World Champion
- Daryl Homer (Bronx, N.Y. / Div I Men’s Saber), 2016 Olympic silver medalist and 2015 Senior World silver medalist
- Monica Aksamit (Matawan, N.J. / Div I Women’s Saber), 2016 Olympic team bronze medalist
- Nzingha Prescod (Brooklyn, N.Y. / Div I Women’s Foil), two-time Olympian and two-time Senior World medalist
- Kat Holmes (Washington, D.C. / Div I Women’s Epee), 2016 Olympian
- Jason Pryor (South Euclid, Ohio / Div I Men’s Epee), 2016 Olympian
- Joey Brinson (Florence, Miss. / Wheelchair Men’s Foil and Saber), two-time Paralympian
- Lauryn DeLuca (Parma, Ohio / Wheelchair Women’s Epee and Foil), 2016 Paralympian
Nearly 1,900 fencers will compete in Richmond throughout the four-day event with more than 130 fencers hailing from Virginia, including Mechanicsville native Stefani Deschner – a 2016 Cadet World medalist who recently won the NCAA Team Fencing Championship title with Notre Dame last month.
In addition to the National Championship events, the April North American Cup will include events for Division II, Division III and Veteran fencers.
Veteran events will be held for the 40-49, 50-59, 60-69 and +70 age categories as well as the Veteran Open event for athletes in any Veteran age category. For the second time this season, +80 exhibition events also will be held at the NAC.
The veteran age group events will be the second of three opportunities this season for athletes age 50 and older to qualify for the 2018 Veteran World Championship Team.