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October NAC Preview: The 2022-23 National Tournament Season Starts in Minneapolis

09/26/2022, 9:30am CDT
By Bryan Wendell

From Oct. 7-10, more than 2,100 athletes from across the country will unite inside the Minneapolis Convention Center for the first national fencing tournament of the season.

Lauren Scruggs (left) squared off against Zander Rhodes in the Division I Women's Foil final at the April NAC in Charlotte. (Photo by Serge Timacheff)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The road to fencing glory starts in Minneapolis.

More than 2,000 of the nation’s top fencers, from talented youngsters to experienced Olympians and even an Olympic champion, have their sights set on achieving greatness — however they might choose to define that term.

For senior-level fencers competing in Division I (the top division), "greatness" might mean a trip to the 2023 Fencing World Championships next July in Milan, Italy.

While many will compete for a spot on the Senior World Team, only 24 will earn enough qualifying points over the next six months to secure a place on the team for Milan. 

The quest to earn those points begins at the October North American Cup, scheduled for Oct. 7-10, 2022, at the Minneapolis Convention Center. That’s where more than 2,100 athletes from across the country will gather to compete in foil, epee or saber.

The competition in Division I will be strong indeed with 1,240 of the nation’s highest-ranked fencers set to compete. Of the 25 fencers on the 2022 Senior World Team, 24 are planning to compete in Minneapolis — including all eight of Team USA's medalists from the 2022 Fencing World Championships in Cairo.

Since the October NAC is the first domestic tournament since Senior Worlds, this is something of a homecoming for our Team USA medalists. If you happen to see one of these fantastic fencers, be sure to congratulate them!

  • Lee Kiefer (Lexington, Ky.) — bronze in individual, silver in team
  • Jackie Dubrovich (Maplewood, N.J.) — silver in team
  • Maia Weintraub (Philadelphia, Pa.) — silver in team
  • Zander Rhodes (South Orange, N.J.) — silver in team
  • Nick Itkin (Los Angeles, Calif.) — bronze in individual, silver in team
  • Chase Emmer (Morristown, N.J.) — silver in team
  • Gerek Meinhardt (Lexington, Ky.) — silver in team
  • Alexander Massialas (San Francisco, Calif.) — silver in team

But the high-stakes fencing doesn’t end with Division I.

Medals and qualifying points are on the line in the other three categories being contested in Minneapolis: Cadet (for fencers 17 and under), Y-14 (for fencers 14 and under) and Parafencing (also known as wheelchair fencing).

The Parafencing events feature two Paralympians — Ellen Geddes (Aiken, S.C.) and Scott Rodgers (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) — as well as a number of hopefuls looking to improve their ranking ahead of the 2024 Paralympics in Paris, where Team USA will look for its first medal in wheelchair fencing since Rodgers earned bronze in 2004.

Info for Spectators and Visitors

  • Admission to the event is free, and tickets are not required. 

  • To protect the health and safety of our athletes, coaches and officials, proof of vaccination is required for all visitors age 12 or older. Spectators should present their vaccination card and photo ID upon entry. All attendees of the tournament, ages 12 and up, who have been approved for a medical or religious exemption by the USA Fencing National Office must provide their approval email received from the National Office, as well as a negative PCR test result within 72 hours, to enter the venue. This includes athletes and staff, as well as all coaches and spectators. Proof of your negative COVID-19 test result and exemption must be presented to a USA Fencing staff member at registration for verification. 

  • Guests between the ages of 3 and 11 must provide proof of vaccination or proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test result dated within 72 hours of arrival to the venue. 

  • Masks are optional within the venue.

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