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Crystal Qian and Ark Ma Take Y14 National Championships in Columbus

07/05/2019, 5:45pm CDT
By Kristen Henneman

Crystal Qian won her first national championship Thursday in Y14 women's foil.


Ark Ma

(Columbus, Ohio) – Crystal Qian (Cupertino, Calif.) and Ark Ma (Houston, Texas) each won their first Y14 national championship as six individual and two team golds were awarded on Thursday.

Also the first gold for both on the North American Cup circuit, Qian started the women’s foil event perfect in pools at 6-0 to take the fifth seed and a bye into the table of 128.

Qian held her first three opponents to single digits, besting Mikayla Chusid (Franklin Lakes, N.J.), 15-9; Anna Rebecca Ferretti (New York, N.Y.), 15-6; and Neta Korol (Campbell, Calif.), 15-8.

After a 15-10 victory over Sophia Shen (Lexington, Mass.), Qian guaranteed a medal by edging out Ariadna Tucker Alarcon (Fairfax, Va.), 15-13.

A place in the final would require come-from-behind from Qian. Down 8-1 and 14-11, Qian scored four straight touches to outtouch Alexandra Jing (West Roxbury, Mass.), 15-14.

With the gold medal final also going down to the wire and going into overtime tied at eight, Qian jumped quickly jumped of her line to clinch the winning touch over Juliana Hung (San Francisco, Calif.), 9-8.

“It’s amazing. I didn’t know I’d be able to win the national championship,” Qian said. “[In the final], I just went for it. I just took a risk and it paid off.”

Hung earned the silver while Jing and Katherine Apelian (Boonton, N.J.) claimed bronze.

In the Y14 men’s épée competition, Ma took the top step of the podium with Kent Iyoki (Lucas, Texas) taking silver and Henry Lawson (New York, N.Y.) and Juni Kim (Demarest, N.J.) securing bronze.

Ma also went 6-0 in pools to take the four seed and a bye to the table of 256, where he controlled his bout against Zakariya Ilyas (Ashburn, Va.), 15-5.

He then cruised past Jackson Hart (St. Louis, Mo.), 15-2, before two 15-8 victories over Ivan Goriunov (Boca Raton, Fla.) and Ayush Shah (Dublin, Ohio). Ma advanced to the semis with a 15-7 win against Sterling Gray (Houston, Texas) and a 15-10 victory over Alexander Lee (Las Vegas, Nev.)

Ma’s closest bout of the day came in the semifinals where he outtouched Lawson, 15-14.

“Definitely my semifinal,” said Ma of his hardest bout of the day. “I was up 14-13. It dropped to 14-14 and then that’s just a nailbiter.”

Gold for gold, Ma jumped out to an 8-2 lead over Iyoki and went on to win, 15-8.

“I was just listening to my coach,” Ma said. “I stayed disciplined and didn’t do any stupid things I didn’t need to be doing.”

Fifteen-year-old Hiran Jayasekara (Los Gatos, Calif.) won the Division II men’s foil event, his first gold on the North American Cup circuit.

Following a 15-4 win in the table of 256, Jayasekara posted a 15-11 victory over Braeden Miller (Missoula, Mont.) and a 15-9 win against Leonardo Song (Decatur, Ga.)

To reach the 16, Jayasekara overcame Rafferty Pegram (Towson, Md.), 15-14. A 15-12 victory over Lucas Bolton (Washington, Pa.) gave Jayasekara a place in the quarter-finals, where he secured a medal with a quick 15-7 victory over Dylan Song (Irving, Texas).

In the semifinals, Jayasekara edged out Leo Lombardi (Berkeley, Calif.), 15-12, and took gold with a close 15-14 victory over Nicholas Saccoccio (Lynbrook, N.Y.)

Sanjay Kasi (New City, N.Y.) also took bronze.

The Division II women’s saber event saw Emily Valadez (Port Jefferson, N.Y.) earn gold while Samantha Marsee (Sacramento, Calif.) claimed silver and Maya Desai (Dallas, Texas) and Rachel Buhay (Castle Rock, Colo.) won bronze.

After a 15-12 victory over Isabel Lim (Irvine, Calif.) in the 64, Valadez cruised past Zoe Shay-Tannnas (Roslindale, Mass.), 15-5, and Sara Pettit (Iowa City, Iowa), 15-6.

With two 15-9 victories over Natalie Mataiev (Chestnut Hill, Mass.) and Buhay, Valadez earned the chance to fence for gold and took advantage, winning her first national championship, 15-11.

Samir Travers (Newton, Mass.), another first-time title winner, took gold in the Division II men’s saber competition. Sanjeet Brar (Plano, Texas) secured the silver while Jeremy Giles (South Orange, N.J.) and Drewv Desai (Dallas, Texas) won bronze.

Travers dominated the early rounds, blazing past Chris Williams (Katy, Texas), 15-8, before giving up just two points against Dylan Boyle (Libertyville, Ill.) and Alexander Greene (Chatham, N.J.), 15-2.

With a 15-6 victory over Amir Chambers (Upper Marlboro, Md.), Travers reached the quarter-finals. There he overcame Logan Wesler (Portland, Ore.), 15-12, and then defeated Desai by the same score to earn a place in the gold medal final.

Travers held Brar to single digits at 15-9 to take the top step of the podium.

Competing at her sixth National Championships, 14-year-old Mallika Ketkar (Sammamish, Wash.) won the Division III women’s épée event.

Ketkar securd a place in the 16 with a 15-4 victory over Kira Shertz (Beaverton, Ore.); a 15-8 win against Amanda Brown (Middleburg Heights, Ohio); and a 15-9 win over Sarah Pardo (Watertown, Mass.)

In the table of 16, Ketkar needed a clutch effort and came through, outtouching Claire Norconk (Williamburg, Mich.), 15-14.

One win from a medal, Ketkar bested Devon Belsley (Chicago, Ill.), 15-9, and moved into the final with a 14-11 victory over Lauren McCutchen (San Antonio, Texas).

In the final, Ketkar won in extra time, edging out Katie Lin (Basking Ridge, N.J.), 11-10.

Maia Taylor-Casamayor (Pittsford, N.Y.) won the second bronze.

Thursday also marked the final day of the veteran events with golds given out in the team women’s saber and team men’s foil events.

Victorious Secret, composed of Kate Sierra (North Richland Hills, Texas), Laura Johnson (Silver Spring, Md.), Clare Deming (Garwood, N.J.) and Leigh Altman (Keller, Texas), won gold, defeating Moms I’d Like to Fence in the quarters, 45-22, and All That and a Bag of Fun in the semis, 45-24.

In the final, Victorious Secret fenced The Cut Lasses, which included Julie Seal (Eagle Mountain, Utah), Frauke Berman (New York, N.Y.), Natalia Oblonsky (New York, N.Y.) and Barbara Shinn-Cunningham (Pittsburgh, Pa.), and won, 45-41.

Jill Feldman (Oakton, Va.), Jayne Jerkins (Washington, D.C.) and Eva Thornton (Fredericksburg, Va.) of DC Destroyers secured bronze, overcoming All That and a Bag of Fun, 45-40, in the bronze medal match.

In the veteran team men’s foil competition, Wildlife Fencing won the gold while Fencers Club took bronze and FAT Dragons 2 secured bronze.

Wildlife fencing, represented by John Kissingford (Ouray, Colo.), Peter Habala (Chicago, Ill.), Matt Cameron (Culver, Ind.) and Kwangsuk Chung (Tacoma, Wash.), dominated its quarter-final match with a 45-18 effort over Rain City/Brooklyn.

In the semifinals, Wildlife Fencing overcame FAT Dragons 2, 45-28, and the team went on to take gold, 45-33, over Fencers Club.

For Fencers Club, Roustam Pimoutkine (Brooklyn, N.Y.), Marek Wyszynski (Forest Hills, N.Y.), Philippe Bennett (New York, N.Y.) and Frets Olivares (New York, N.Y.) won silver while Jamie Douraghy (Los Angeles, Calif.), Ed Kaihatsu (Skokie, Ill.), Oliver Foellmer (Santa Monica, Calif.) and Jerry LeBlanc (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) claimed gold for FAT Dragons 2 with a 45-29 victory in the bronze medal match.

Click here for complete results.

Top eight results are as follows:

Y14 Women’s Foil National Championships
1. Crystal Qian (Cupertino, Calif.)
2. Juliana Hung (San Francisco, Calif.)
3. Katherine Apelian (Boonton, N.J.)
3. Alexandra Jing (West Roxbury, Mass.)
5. Charlotte Koenig (New York, N.Y.)
6. Ariadna Tucker Alarcon (Fairfax, Va.)
7. Skylar Knight (Palo Alto, Calif.)
8. Emily Jing (West Roxbury, Mass.)

Y14 Men’s Épée National Championships
1. Ark Ma (Houston, Texas)
2. Kent Iyoki (Lucas, Texas)
3. Henry Lawson (New York, N.Y.)
3. Juni Kim (Demarest, N.J.)
5. Skyler Liverant (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
6. Julian McGaw (Portland, Ore.)
7. Alexander Lee (Las Vegas, Nev.)
8. Brayden Gyure (Frisco, Texas)

Division III Men’s Saber National Championships
1. Samir Travers (Newton, Mass.)
2. Sanjeet Brar (Plano, Texas)
3. Jeremy Giles (South Orange, N.J.)
3. Drewv Desai (Dallas, Texas)
5. Colin Mahoney (Holliston, Mass.)
6. Logan Wesler (Portland, Ore.)
7. Arnav Raja (Yorba Linda, Calif.)
8. David Liu (Lake Forest, Calif.)

Division II Men’s Foil National Championships
1. Hiran Jayasekara (Los Gatos, Calif.)
2. Nicholas Saccoccio (Lynbrook, N.Y.)
3. Sanjay Kasi (New City, N.Y.)
3. Leo Lombardi (Berkeley, Calif.)
5. Dylan Song (Irving, Texas)
6. Connor Mao (Fresno, Calif.)
7. Benito Hergert (Branchburg, N.J.)
8. Bryce McClain (West New York, N.Y.)

Division II Women’s Saber National Championships
1. Emily Valadez (Port Jefferson, N.Y.)
2. Samantha Marsee (Sacramento, Calif.)
3. Maya Desai (Dallas, Texas)
3. Rachel Buhay (Castle Rock, Colo.)
5. Alexia Newell (E Brunswick, N.J.)
6. Isabella Zielinski (Prospect Heights, Ill.)
7. Marinella Ferrari-Bridgers (Bronx, N.Y.)
8. Natalie Mataiev (Chestnut Hill, Mass.)

Division III Women’s Épée National Championships
1. Mallika Ketkar (Sammamish, Wash.)
2. Katie Lin (Basking Ridge, N.J.)
3. Lauren McCutchen (San Antonio, Texas)
3. Maia Taylor-Casamayor (Pittsford, N.Y.)
5. Devon Belsley (Chicago, Ill.)
6. Isabella Parte (Sudbury, Mass.)
7. Anna Huh (Leonia, N.J.)
8. Zsofia Hauk (Houston, Texas)

Veteran Team Women’s Saber July Challenge
1. Victorious Secret
2. The Cut Lasses
3. DC Destroyers
4. All That and a Bag of Fun
5. Broadswords
6. Nasty Women
7. Swordid Ladies
8. Moms I’d Like to Fence

Veteran Team Men’s Foil July Challenge
1. Wildlife Fencing
2. Fencers Club
3. FAT Dragons 2
4. Sunshine Lions
5. Denver Fencing Center
6. Renaissance Fencing
7. Cobra Kai (Seattle)
8. Rain City/Brooklyn

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