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USA Fencing Honors 2018-19 All-Academic Team

08/02/2019, 6:00pm CDT
By Nicole Jomantas

Scholarship winners: Alex Kim (Absolute Fencing Gear), Liana Keesing (Absolute Fencing Gear), Sophia Boles (Connor Porter Memorial), Ari Elin (Connor Porter Memorial), Jonathan Huang (Absolute Fencing Gear) and Maria Theodore (Absolute Fencing Gear).

(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – USA Fencing is pleased to recognize nearly 800 student-athletes for their outstanding achievements in the classroom as members of the 2018-19 USA Fencing All-Academic Team.

Athletes with a Grade Point Average of 3.5 or higher were eligible for consideration for All-Academic Team with First Team honors being awarded to those with a GPA of 3.85 or high. Second Team athletes were recognized as those with a GPA of 3.7 – 3.84 and Honorable Mention Team athletes with a GPA of 3.5 – 3.69.

A total of 677 athletes were named to the First Team with 87 on the Second Team and 31 qualifying for the third team with athletes recognized during a ceremony at the USA Fencing National Championships and July Challenge in Columbus.

The All-Academic Team includes 281 epee, 275 foil and 199 saber fencers with 40 athletes indicating that they fence multiple weapons.

Orlando Science High School placed the most athletes on the All-Academic Team with 12, including eight on the First Team and two each on the Second and Honorable Mention Teams. Harvard-Westlake in Los Angeles qualified nine athletes, including seven First Team fencers with Chatham High School in New Jersey qualifying seven with five on the First Team roster.

Among USA Fencing Clubs, Golden Gate Fencing Center in San Francisco qualified 22 athletes for the All-Academic Team, followed by Orlando Fencing Academy with 20 and Los Angeles International Fencing Center with 14.

Seven members of the 2019 Junior and Cadet World Team received All-Academic honors, including:


  • Mikaela Avakian (Arcadia, Calif. / West Coast Fencing Academy / LaSalle High School / First Team)
  • Lola Constantino (Warren, N.J. / Medeo Fencing Club / Watchung Hills Regional High School / First Team)
  • Jonas Hansen (Cambridge, Mass. / Olympia Fencing Center / Cambridge Rindge & Latin School / First Team)
  • Luke Linder (Chandler, Ariz. / Phoenix Fencing Academy / Hamilton High School & Chandler On-line Academy / First Team)
  • Amanda Pirkowski (Longwood, Fla. / Orlando Fencing Academy / Orlando Science High School / First Team)
  • Maia Weintraub (Philadelphia, Pa. / Fencers Club / Friends Select School / First Team)
  • Chloe Gouhin (Blacklick, Ohio / Nellya Fencers / The Columbus Academy / Honorable Mention Team)

Six student-athletes were honored with scholarships during the ceremony in Columbus. Alex Kim (Vienna, Va. / Penta Olympic Fencing Club), a home-schooled rising senior, and Liana Keesing (McLean, Va. / Virginia Academy of Fencing), an incoming freshman at Stanford, were awarded $4,000 scholarships from Absolute Fencing Gear®. Two student-athletes also were awarded with scholarships of $1,000 each from Absolute: rising senior Jonathan Huang (Collierville, Tenn. / Memphis University School Fencing Club / Memphis University School) and incoming Harvard freshman Maria Theodore (Quincy, Mass.)

The Connor Porter Memorial Scholarship was awarded to two young fencers in rising sophomore Sophia Boles (Burnsville, Minn. / Twin Cities Fencing Club / Eagle Ridge Academy) and 12-year-old Ari Etin (Cary, N.C. / Mid-South Fencers Club). The Connor Porter Memorial Scholarship was created through the generosity of the Porter family in 2013 following the passing of Connor who passed away in 2012 in a plane crash with his father, Pat, and another friend shortly after winning bronze at the Division III National Championships that year.   

This year’s All-Academic Team members included 21 fencers who earned First-Team honors for all four years of high school and will be attending the following prestigious universities in the fall:

University of California, San Diego
Alexandra Brondum (Anaheim, Calif. / Anaheim Hills Fencers Club / Canyon High School)
Mohini Iyer (Highlands Ranch, Colo. / Fencing Academy of Denver / Arapahoe High School)
Anthony Wong (Anaheim, Calif. / Anaheim Hills Fencers Club / Canyon High)

Brandeis University
Maggie Shealy (Chapel Hill, N.C. / North Carolina Fencing Development Program / East Chapel Hill High School)
Samantha Shortall (Norwell, Mass. / Olympia Fencing Center / Norwell High School)

Harvard University
Jonas Hansen (Cambridge, Mass. / Olympia Fencing Center / Cambridge Rindge and Latin School)
Maria Theodore (Quincy, Mass. / Boston Fencing Club / Thayer Academy)

Duke University
Daniel Campbell (Oakton, Va. / Fencing Sports Academy / Bishop O’Connell High School)
Anneke Zegers (Fair Oaks, Calif. / Premier Fencing Academy / St. Francis High School)

Stevens Institute of Technology
Leigha Capra (Fairfield, N.J. / Masters Fencing / West Essex Regional High School)
Dylan Woodward (Chapel Hill, N.C. / Mid-South Fencers Club / Voyager Academy)

Yale University
Sydney Hirsch (Woodbridge, Conn. / Tim Morehouse Fencing Club / Hopkins School)
Maxwell Yee (Palos Verdes Estates, Calif. / Los Angeles International Fencing Center / Palos Verdes High School)

Brown University
Anisha Kasi (New City, N.Y. / Gutkovskiy Fencing Academy / Clarkston High School North)

Cornell University
Madeleine Nishimura (Walnut Creek, Calif. / West Berkeley Fencing Club / Northgate High School)

New York University
Miles Field (Bronx, N.Y / Brooklyn Bridge Fencing Club / The Bronx High School of Science)

Samford University
Samuel Harris (Windermere, Fla. / Winter Garden Fencing Academy / The First Academy)

Stanford University
Liana Keesing (McLean, Va. / Virginia Academy of Fencing / Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology)

University of Chicago
Olivia Varughese (Delray Beach, Fla. / Masters Fencing Club / Pine Crest School)

Vassar College
Jack Plumer (Bel Air, Md. / Maryland Fencing Club / John Carroll School)

Wellesley College
Brooke Dodrill (Boca Raton, Fla. / Alle Fencing / North Broward Preparatory School)

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