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Junior and Cadet World Championships Begin on Saturday in Poland

03/31/2019, 5:15am CDT
By Nicole Jomantas

2018 Junior World Champions May Tieu, Lauren Scruggs, Delphine DeVore and Sylvie Binder are returning to defend their team gold in Torun. Photo Credit: Augusto Bizzi

(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – In 2018, Team USA won the Junior and Cadet World Championships medal count for the first time in history, claiming 14 podium finishes, including three gold medals.

This week, Team USA will travel to Torun, Poland to build on its past success with 40 fencers aiming for the podium, including 21 returning members of the 2018 team.

Competition begins on April 6 and concludes on April 14

Competition Schedule

Saber Foil Epee
Jr: April 6 Jr; April 9 Jr: April 12
Cdt: April 7 Cdt: April 10 Cdt: April 13
Jr Tm; April 8 Jr Tm; April 11 Jr Tm; April 14

Check out your squad-by-squad look at Team USA:

Junior Women’s Foil
All four members of the team that won gold at the 2018 Junior World Championships will fence in Torun. The No. 2-ranked team in the world has won gold at three of its four events this season and is seeking both individual and team podium finishes in this year as the athletes follow in the footsteps of a tradition that includes individual and team podium finishes for the last eight years. Team anchor Sylvie Binder (Armonk N.Y.) enters as the No. 3-ranked junior fencer in the world and will be coming off a gold medal win at the NCAA Championships last weekend. The 2016 Cadet World Champion missed the individual podium last year with a fifth place finish, but has been a constant fixture on the Junior World Cup podium this season, winning three straight gold medals in the last three events and taking bronze in her first tournament of the season. Ranked No. 7 in the world, Lauren Scruggs (Ozone Park, N.Y.) won bronze in her debut at the Junior Worlds as a 15 year old in 2018 and earned her first Junior World Cup medal in January with a silver behind Binder. May Tieu (Belle Mead, N.J.) comes in as the No. 8 seed in her first full junior season after winning silver at the 2018 Cadet Worlds and bronze at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games. Tieu won silver behind Binder at the Sofia Junior World Cup in December and has earned three top-64 finishes on the senior circuit this season. Delphine DeVore (Westport, Conn.) won bronze at the 2018 Cadet Worlds and is now ranked 12th as a junior after a season that has included bronze medal finishes at the Zagreb and Sofia Junior World Cups. DeVore also has established herself on the senior circuit, placing in the top-64 three times this season.

Junior Men’s Foil
The U.S. men also enter the 2019 Junior Worlds with a full slate of returning medalists, including reigning individual Junior World Champion Nick Itkin (Los Angeles, Calif.), 2018 Cadet World Champion Kenji Bravo (San Francisco, Calif.), 2018 Cadet World silver medalist Marcello Olivares (Cooper City, Fla.) and 2016 Cadet World Champion Geoffrey Tourette (Cupertino, Calif.) Itkin, Tourette and Bravo all fenced on the 2018 team that won bronze with Itkin and Tourette leading the squad to gold at the 2017 Junior Worlds – a title they would like to return to the United States in their final year of junior eligibility. The squad enters this year’s event with a fifth seed, however, and will need to fight its way back into medal contention as a team. Individually, Itkin enters the event looking to defend his title on the heels of an outstanding senior season in which the Notre Dame sophomore won his first Senior World Cup medal with bronze in Bonn, Germany last fall en route to securing a position on the 2019 Senior World Team and winning his second straight NCAA title. With Itkin as the No. 10 seed after focusing on the senior circuit this year, it is Bravo who holds the highest world ranking at No. 5 with two Junior World Cup silver medals and a Junior Pan American title to his credit. Olivares also medaled at the Junior Pan Ams, taking bronze. A sophomore at Harvard who won bronze at NCAAs, Tourette only competed on the Junior World Cup circuit twice this year, but took bronze in Aix-En-Provence, France in January.

Junior Women’s Saber
Team USA returns two members of the team that won silver at the 2018 Junior Worlds, including anchor Tori Johnson (Peachtree City, Ga.) and 2018 Senior World team member Chloe Fox-Gitomer (Portland, Ore.) Team USA comes in with a No. 5 Junior World Ranking after a bronze medal finish at its last Junior World Cup appearance in Segovia, Spain in January and a silver medal at the Junior Pan Ams in February. Princeton freshman Fox-Gitomer finished fifth at the 2018 Junior Worlds and moved up to No. 9 in the world after a silver medal finish at the Junior Pan Ams. Johnson narrowly missed the podium twice this season, posting a pair of Junior World Cup top-eight finishes in Plovdiv and Sochi. Ryan Jenkins (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.) is competing on her first Junior World Team after fencing on the cadet team in 2018. Jenkins secured her berth on Team USA with a bronze medal at the Junior Pan Ams after top-eight finishes at the Plovdiv and Warsaw Junior World Cups as well as the Junior Pan Ams where she secured her berth on Team USA. Columbia freshman Nora Burke (New York City, N.Y.) will be fencing at her first Junior World Championships after a season in which she earned a top-32 result at the Orleans Senior World Cup in November.

Junior Men’s Saber
Mitchell Saron (Ridgewood, N.J.)
, Kamar Skeete (Duluth, Ga.) and Erwin Cai (Marietta, Ga.) are all returning members of the team that won bronze at the 2018 Junior Worlds with 2017 Cadet World silver medalist Christopher Walker (Atlanta, Ga.) fencing on his first Junior team. As a team, the squad returns as a third seed after a fourth-place finish in Dourdan and gold at the Junior Pan Ams.  Saron holds the No. 3 Junior World Ranking after Junior World Cup silvers in Dourdan and Phoenix and another silver at the Junior Pan Ams. Skeete sits seventh in the world having defeated Saron to earn the Junior Pan Am title to follow his bronze in Sochi. Walker ranks 10th, finishing with bronze in Phoenix and a top eight in Sochi. Cai, a Harvard junior and 2016 Cadet World silver medalist, picked up a top eight in Dormagen.

Junior Women’s Epee
The U.S. Women’s Epee Team seeks a return to the medal stand after four straight podium finishes on the circuit this season, including golds at the Junior Pan Ams and San Juan Junior World Cup as well as silver in Bratislava and bronze in Dijon. Sixteen-year-old Greta Candreva (Katonah, N.Y.) is ranked No. 5 in the Junior World Rankings as she prepares to compete on her third Junior and fourth Cadet World Team this year. Candreva won her first individual Junior Pan Am title in March after taking silver at the San Juan Junior World Cup in November. The gold medalist in San Juan was Candreva’s teammate, Columbia freshman Karolina Nixon (Los Angeles, Calif.) who won bronze after a loss to Candreva in the semis at the Junior Pan Ams and will enter her first Junior Worlds ranked No. 12 in the world. Emily Vermeule (Cambridge, Mass.) won silver at the 2018 Cadet Worlds and comes into her first Junior Worlds with a bronze medal at the Luxemburg Junior World Cup in December to her credit. Lola Constantino (Warren, N.J.) won bronze at her first ever Junior World Cup in San Juan to qualify for her first Junior World Team.

Junior Men’s Epee
A heartbreaking early round loss at the 2018 Junior Worlds kept Team USA off the podium, but team members Jonathan Piskovatskov (Houston, Texas) and Stephen Ewart (Lancaster, Calif.) returned to this year’s squad and have led Team USA to three podium finishes this season, including the squad’s first ever Junior World Cup team title in Belgrade as well as silver in Riga and gold at the Junior Pan Ams. Ewart, a Notre Dame freshman, also earned a career first this season with an individual gold in Riga. Columbia freshman Cedric Mecke (New York City, N.Y.) qualified for his first Junior World Team after a ninth-place finish at the Bale Junior World Cup. Harvard freshman Adrien Thein-Sandler (Topanga, Calif.) earned a top-eight at the Belgrade Junior World Cup and will fence in the individual event after having won bronze at the 2016 Cadet Worlds. A member of the 2018 and 2019 Cadet World Teams, Isaac Herbst will fence in the team event only in Torun.

Cadet Women’s Foil
Team USA holds an 11-year streak of placing fencers on the podium in this event. After winning bronze as a junior in 2018, Lauren Scruggs finished eighth in the cadet event the following day is seeking a medal in her final year of cadet eligibility. Scruggs fenced primarily junior and senior events this season, however, and has not faced many of the cadet competitors. Fifteen-year-old Zander Rhodes (South Orange, N.J.) won the first Cadet European Cup of the season and earned three top eights as a cadet before becoming one of just two U.S. women to finish in the top 32 at the Absolute Fencing Gear® FIE Grand Prix Anaheim earlier this month. Sixteen-year-old Maia Weintraub (Philadelphia, Pa.) also had success on multiple levels this season, winning gold at the Moedling Cadet European Cup and placing in the top-32 on the senior circuit in Katowice, Poland.

Cadet Men’s Foil
Team USA features three first-time fencers on the squad who each earned medals on the Cadet European Cup circuit this season. Fifteen year old James Chen (New York City, N.Y.) and 17-year-old James Liao (Basking Ridge, N.J.) are ranked No. 4 and No. 8 in the Cadet European Cup standings respectively with Chen winning gold in Rome and silver in Moedling and Liao winning silver in Bratislava and bronze in Moedling. The team’s youngest fencer in any weapon, 14-year-old Chase Emmer (Morristown, N.J.) also medaled in Rome where he won bronze.

Cadet Women’s Saber
Sixteen-year-old Mikaela Avakian (Arcadia, Calif.) had her best competitive season yet, winning gold and bronze on the Cadet European Cup circuit in Moedling and Eislingen and earning her first Junior Olympic title to qualify for her first Cadet World team. The only returning member of the 2018 squad, 15-year-old Honor Johnson (Bethesda, Md.) earned top-eight results as a cadet in Sofia and Eislingen and as a junior in Sochi. Sixteen-year-old Chloe Gouhin (Blacklick, Ohio) won bronze at the October North American Cup and silver at the July Challenge to qualify for her first U.S. team.

Cadet Men’s Saber
Despite being a squad with three first-time team members, all three members of the team have won medals on the Cadet European Cup circuit. Sixteen-year-old Luke Linder (Chandler, Ariz.) narrowly missed the 2018 Cadet World Team and is now ranked No. 4 in the Cadet European Cup Standings after ending his international season with gold in Eislingen where he led Team USA to a 1-2-3 result with 16-year-old Nickoloz Lortkipanidze (Mount Kisco, N.Y.) earning silver and 17-year-old Donghwan Park (Sacramento, Calif.) taking his second bronze of the season on the circuit.

Cadet Women’s Epee
In her final year of cadet eligibility, Greta Candreva will be aiming for her first medal at the Cadet World Championships after first qualifying for the team as a 13 year old in 2016. Focusing primarily on junior events this season, Candreva did enter two Cadet European Cups, taking gold in Klagenfurt. First-time team members 15-year-old Jessica Lin (Basking Ridge, N.J.) and 16-year-old Amanda Pirkowski (Longwood, Fla.) have had success on the Cadet European Cup circuit as well with Lin winning bronzes in Heidenheim and Bratsilava. Pirkowski earned top-eight finishes at both tournaments.

Cadet Men’s Epee
As a returning Cadet World Team member, 17-year-old Isaac Herbst has fenced just two tournaments on the Cadet European Cup circuit this year, but advanced to the finals of both, winning gold in Klagenfurt and silver in Bonn where he placed second behind 16-year-old Nicholas Lawson (New York City, N.Y.) who qualified for his first Cadet World Team this year. Fifteen-year-old Skyler Liverant (Brooklyn, N.Y.) also qualified for his first World Team, posting a top-eight in Bonn among his best results this season.

Team Cadre

Chief of Mission
Sada Jacobson Bâby (Atlanta, Ga.)

Epee Team Captain
Jimmy Moody (Colorado Springs, Colo.)

Foil and Saber Team Captain
Daria Schneider (Ithaca, N.Y.)

Team Managers
Kaitlyn Litten (Colorado Springs, Colo.)
Jennifer Yamin (Montebello, N.Y.)

Sports Medicine
Jeremy Summers (Mount Sinai, N.Y.)
Kristin Wimp (St. Augustine, Fla.)

Armorers
Elizabeth Morey (Chapel Hill, N.C.)
Matthew Porter (Lower Lake, Calif.)

Men’s Epee Coach
Sergey Danilov (New York City, N.Y.)

Women’s Epee Coach
Andrey Geva (Houston, Texas)

Director of Epee
Sebastien Dos Santos (St. Genes De Lombaud, FRA)

Men’s Foil Coach
Greg Massialas (San Francisco, Calif.)

Women’s Foil Coach
Sean McClain (Ozone Park, N.Y.)

Men’s Saber Coach
Terrence Lasker (Atlanta, Ga.)

Women’s Saber Coach
Ed Korfanty (Portland, Ore.)

Junior World Team

Junior World Ranking, First Name, Last Name, Hometown

Junior Men’s Epee
11. Jonathan Piskovatskov (Houston, Texas)
30. Stephen Ewart (Lancaster, Calif.)
50. Cedric Mecke (New York City, N.Y.)
Individual Only: 88. Adrien Thein-Sandler (Topanga, Calif.)
Team Only: 39. Isaac Herbst (Houston, Texas)

Junior Women’s Epee
5. Greta Candreva (Katonah, N.Y.)
12. Karolina Nixon (Los Angeles, Calif.)
40. Emily Vermeule (Cambridge, Mass.)
45. Lola Constantino (Warren, N.J.)

Junior Men’s Foil
5. Kenji Bravo (San Francisco, Calif.)
10. Nick Itkin (Los Angeles, Calif.)
14. Marcello Olivares (Cooper City, Fla.)
22. Geoffrey Tourette (Cupertino, Calif.)

Junior Women’s Foil
3. Sylvie Binder (Armonk, N.Y.)
7. Lauren Scruggs (Ozone Park, N.Y.)
8. May Tieu (Belle Meade, N.J.)
12. Delphine DeVore (Westport, Conn.)

Junior Men’s Saber
4. Mitchell Saron (Ridgewood, N.J.)
7. Kamar Skeete (Duluth, Ga.)
10. Christopher Walker (Atlanta, Ga.)
27. Erwin Cai (Marietta, Ga.)

Junior Women’s Saber
9. Chloe Fox-Gitomer (Portland, Ore.)
15. Ryan Jenkins (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.)
25. Tori Johnson (Peachtree City, Ga.)
92. Nora Burke (New York City, N.Y.)

Cadet World Team

Cadet European Cup Ranking, First Name, Last Name, Hometown

Cadet Men’s Epee
8. Isaac Herbst (Houston, Texas)
23. Nicholas Lawson (New York City, N.Y.)
64. Skyler Liverant (Brooklyn, N.Y.)

Cadet Women’s Epee
12. Jessica Lin (Basking Ridge, N.J.)
20. Greta Candreva (Katonah, N.Y.)
28. Amanda Pirkowski (Longwood, Fla.)

Cadet Men’s Foil
4. James Chen (New York City, N.Y.)
8. James Liao (Basking Ridge, N.J.)
21. Chase Emmer (Morristown, N.J.)

Cadet Women’s Foil
4. Zander Rhodes (South Orange, N.J.)
17. Maia Weintraub (Philadelphia, Pa.)
62. Lauren Scruggs (Ozone Park, N.Y.)

Cadet Men’s Saber
6. Luke Linder (Chandler, Ariz.)
7. Donghwan Park (Sacramento, Calif.)
12. Nickoloz Lortkipanidze (Mount Kisco, N.Y.)

Cadet Women’s Saber
5. Mikaela Avakian (Arcadia, Calif.)
18. Honor Johnson (Bethesda, Md.)
45. Chloe Gouhin (Blacklick, Ohio)

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