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Day 2 Recap: Division I and Parafencing National Championships & April NAC

04/22/2022, 8:00pm CDT
By Bryan Wendell

Rhythm was the operative word on the second day of the Division I/Parafencing National Championships and April North American Cup in Charlotte, N.C.

Nick Itkin (right) scores a touch in the finals of Division I men's foil. Photo by Serge Timacheff

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — You know that old sports cliché about taking each game or tournament one at a time?

For Nick Itkin (LA International Fencing/Notre Dame), it’s actually true. And it means he wasn’t even aware, until someone told him, that he had won four of the past five Division I national championships in men’s foil.

Itkin has been nearly unbeatable in Division I men’s foil, bringing home national titles in 2022, 2021, 2018 and 2017. (Adam Mathieu won in 2019, and the event was not contested in 2020.)

“I mean, I just treat every tournament individually — I don't look too much in the past,” he says. “But yeah, that's a huge honor. I didn't even realize that. That's awesome.”

After soaring through pools undefeated — out-touching his opponents 30 to 5, Itkin continued his hot streak through the direct elimination rounds. He gave up seven or fewer touches to each of his six DE opponents.

“I just found my timing,” Itkin says. “I've had a pretty rough season so far. So today, I just focused on trying to get my rhythm back, and I just felt really good from the start.”

Rhythm was the operative word on the second day of the Division I/Parafencing National Championships and April North American Cup in Charlotte, N.C.  

For Victoria Isaacson (The Phoenix Center/Rogue Fencing Academy), the 2022 national championship in parafencing women’s foil is a good starting point for what they hope will be a successful World Cup circuit as they build momentum toward the 2024 Paralympics.

“I kind of missed my shot to qualify for Tokyo because I didn't make it to enough tournaments,” says Isaacson, who uses they/them pronouns. “So this is like a whole new year starting into Paris. I started off really strong post COVID, and I've had three consecutive golds for foil in the past three [North American Cups]. So it’s setting the tone for the World Cup circuit.”

While the gold medals feel great, Isaacson tries to keep their eyes on both the physical and mental side of fencing.

“Winning is not the center of fencing for me,” they say. “I want to learn from every experience. If I lose, that's fine, too. I just want to take that moment and learn, like — how can I better myself in that moment?”

For fencers, giving time toward your mental health means trying to “find your own balancing act and do things that make you happy — but also do what you have to do,” Isaacson says. “Make timelines and stick to them.”

At age 17, Zoe Kim (Forward Fencing Academy) is on her own timeline. She’s the youngest Division I women’s saber national champion in a decade. (Francesca Russo won the 2012 title at age 16.)

Success at an early age, Kim says, comes from hard work and a robust support system.

“I just can't even believe it. I’ve had such a journey to get here,” she says. “But I'm really grateful for everyone who has helped me along the way — all the coaches, my parents, my friends. That’s what keeps me going — motivates me to work really hard.”

Hard work is something Lauren S. Scruggs (Peter Westbrook Foundation/Fencers Club Inc./Harvard University) knows well. As a five-time world champion at the junior and cadet levels and student at Harvard, Scruggs successfully balances all the commitments in her life.

Adding a Division I women’s foil national championship marks the continuation of a remarkable run for Scruggs.

“I want to continue doing bigger things in the senior level,” she says. “I’ve just started getting in there, so I want to improve on that level.”

Day 2 Results

Division I Men’s Saber — Team

Gold and National Champions: Peter Westbrook Foundation (Gabriel K. Armijo, Zaheer Booth, Noah Te Velde, Khalil A. Thompson)

Silver: Durkan Fencing Academy (Adam Barnett, Maciej L. Biernacki, Quinten A. Burgunder, Ansh Ghayalod)


Cadet Men’s Saber

Gold: Taylor A. Chon (Globus Fencing Academy)

Silver: Jaesun Yun (Southern California Fencing Academy (SOCALFA))

Bronze: Lev Ermakov (Fencing Academy Of Denver)

Bronze: Shaun M. Kim (Tim Morehouse Fencing Club)

5th: Eric Y. Wang (Laguna Fencing Center)

6th: William A. Holz (Premier Fencing Academy LLC)

7th: Finn D. Buchmann (Advance Fencing And Fitness Academy)

8th: Wade H. Hjerpe (Phoenix Fencing Academy)


Division I Men’s Foil

Gold and National Champion: Nick Itkin (LA International Fencing/Notre Dame)

Silver: Bryce Louie (LA International Fencing)

Bronze: Alexander C. Massialas (Massialas Foundation — M Team)

Bronze: Andrew C. Machovec (East Coast Fencing Club)

5th: Allen Chen (Bluegrass Fencers' Club)

6th: Brandon H. Li (Marx Fencing Academy)

7th: Sidarth Kumbla (New York Athletic Club/Silicon Valley Fencing Center)

8th: Adam Mathieu (Fencers Club Inc.)


Parafencing Women’s Foil

Gold and National Champion: Victoria A. Isaacson (The Phoenix Center/Rogue Fencing Academy)

Silver: Ellen T. Geddes (Shepherd Swords Fencing Club)

Bronze: Shelby A. Jensen (Valkyrie Fencing Club)

Bronze: Jillian Kosanovich (Denver Fencing Center)

5th: Terry Hayes (Southwest Florida Fencing Academy/Zeljkovic Fencing Academy)

6th: Andrea Hampton (West Michigan Fencing Academy)

7th: Patricia A. Dykes (Zeljkovic Fencing Academy/Fencing Academy of Denver)


Cadet Men’s Epee

Gold: Daniel Y. Lee (Elite Fencing Academy)

Silver: Dylan G. Kats (New York Fencing Academy)

Bronze: Dayus T. Gohel (Olympia Fencing Center)

Bronze: Ian C. Park (Penta Olympic Fencing Club)

5th: Odinn A. Bindas (Atlantic Fencing Academy/Medeo Fencing Club)

6th: James J. Sennewald (Alliance Fencing Academy)

7th: Alexander Bezrodnov (Medeo Fencing Club)

8th: Imran Zakariyya Latif


Division I Women’s Saber

Gold and National Champion: Zoe Kim (Forward Fencing Academy)

Silver: Magda Skarbonkiewicz (Oregon Fencing Alliance)

Bronze: Sky Miller (Northwestern University)

Bronze: Francesca Russo (Bergen Fencing Club)

5th: Janna N. Freedman (South Bay Fencing Academy)

6th: Elizabeth Tartakovsky (Manhattan Fencing Center/Harvard University)

7th: Maggie Shealy (Boston Fencing Club)

8th: Tatiana F. Nazlymov (Nazlymov Fencing Foundation)


Cadet Women’s Epee

Gold: Leehi Machulsky (Academy Of Fencing Masters)

Silver: Sarah Gu (Medeo Fencing Club)

Bronze: Yasmine A. Khamis (Alliance Fencing Academy)

Bronze: Kira Nguyen (North Shore Fencers Club)

5th: Julia Yin

6th: Ashley Luo (Olympia Fencing Center)

7th: Tina Tianyi Zhang (New York Fencing Academy)

8th: Alexandra Rakhovski (New York Fencing Academy)


Division I Women’s Foil

Gold and National Champion: Lauren S. Scruggs (Peter Westbrook Foundation/Fencers Club Inc./Harvard University)

Silver: Zander Rhodes (V Fencing Club /LE CLUB TOUCHE)

Bronze: Crystal Qian (Silicon Valley Fencing Center)

Bronze: May L. Tieu (Princeton University)

5th: Morgan K. Partridge (Rhode Island Fencing Academy and Club)

6th: Christina M. Ferrari (Tim Morehouse Fencing Club (Port Chester)/Duke University)

7th: Ellen Wang (Moe Fencing Club LLC)

8th: Evelyn Cheng (Silicon Valley Fencing Center)


Parafencing Men’s Foil

Gold and National Champion: William Chase (Shepherd Swords Fencing Club/Lotus Fencing Academy)

Silver: John (Scott) S. Rodgers (Denver Fencing Center)

Bronze: William Schoonover (Salt City Swords Fencing Club)

Bronze: Noah Hanssen (Salle Palasz/Tri-Weapon Fencing Club)

5th: Tim M. Kortenkamp

6th: Timothy Birt (Auburn Fencing Club/Shepherd Swords Fencing Club)

7th: Terre Engdahl (Denver Fencing Center)

8th: Mason Hall (Salt City Swords Fencing Club)

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