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Day 3 Recap: October 2022 North American Cup

10/09/2022, 9:30pm CDT
By Bryan Wendell

On the third day of #OctoNAC, gold medals were awarded in seven events, including Division I Women’s Foil, Y-14 Women’s Saber and Division I Men’s Saber.

Lee Kiefer OLY (right) battled Jessica Zi Jia Guo in the Division I Women's Foil final. (Photo by Serge Timacheff)

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — Becoming a fencing champion isn’t about training at full speed 365 days a year. It’s actually about knowing when to set down the blade and reset.

Lee Kiefer OLY (Bluegrass Fencers' Club) would know. After a 2021-22 season that included two international gold medals (Tauber World Cup and Incheon Grand Prix) and an individual bronze  at the 2022 Fencing World Championships, Kiefer took some well-deserved time off to recharge.

That strategy seemed to pay off on Sunday when she started her 2022-23 season with a Division I Women’s Foil gold medal at the October 2022 North American Cup.

“Resting is so important — not only for injuries but just mentally having that time off,” Kiefer says. “At the end of last season, I was losing steam just because you have been going so hard for so many months. So I highly recommend a rest.”

During a national tournament like this one, Kiefer gets few opportunities to rest. During her non-competition days at the October NAC, for example, Kiefer volunteered at the parafencing pod, cheered for other fencers (including her husband, Gerek Meinhardt OLY, who won gold two days earlier), and signed countless lames and gloves when approached by younger fans.

Kiefer is generous with her time when meeting these fans — an inspiring sign that she hasn’t forgotten that she was once in their shoes. 

“I have been around for a long time,” the three-time Olympian says. “So sometimes it's just putting it in perspective — being grateful that I'm still here. I’m an introvert, so sometimes it's hard. But everyone here loves fencing, and I love fencing, so it’s easy to relate.”

Ruth Mund (Stamford Fencing Center LLC) can absolutely relate. A couple of years ago, Mund reached a decisive moment in her athletic career. She had to choose between swimming and fencing. 

With a gold medal in Y-14 Women’s Saber on Sunday, she seems to have made a wise choice.

“I was very, very conflicted, because I love both sports,” she says. “But I knew that fencing is a really big part of my life and also something that I really enjoy doing. And I also really enjoy how hard it is and how much thinking you have to do.”

Mund’s fencing results have been on a steady rise, but she says the gold medal came as a shock nonetheless.

“It was not something that I thought I could do,” she says. “So I was very surprised. I definitely did not think I could win.”

To win, Mund had to follow that old sports cliché and focus on one bout at a time — something she says she struggles with doing when competing in a large-field tournament. 

“I try to just focus on each touch and what’s right in front of me,” she says. “And after that’s done, I’ll try to wrap my head around the next big mountain.”

In other action from Sunday, Eli Dershwitz OLY (Tim Morehouse Fencing Club) outlasted a stacked pool of more than 200 fencers to win gold. His tournament ended somewhat earlier than planned, however, when his finals opponent, Fares Ferjani of Tunisia, was forced to medically withdraw.

Other Day 3 gold medalists included Tareq Alqallaf (Kuwait/Zeljkovic Fencing Academy) in Parafencing Men’s Saber, Ruien Xiao (Canada) in Cadet Women’s Epee, Nathaniel P. Wimmer (Penta Olympic Fencing Club) in Y-14 Men’s Epee and Caleb A. Jeon (Silicon Valley Fencing Center) in Cadet Men’s Foil.

Day 3 Results

Division I Women’s Foil

Gold: Lee Kiefer (Bluegrass Fencers' Club)

Silver: Jessica Zi Jia Guo (Canada)

Bronze: Stefani K. Deschner (Bluegrass Fencers' Club)

Bronze: Kristina Petrova (Maximum Fencing Club)

5th: Delphine P. Devore (Fairfield County Fencing Academy AKA Fairfield Fencing Academy)

6th: Crystal Qian (Silicon Valley Fencing Center)

7th: Sabrina N. Cho (University of Pennsylvania/Golden State Fencing Academy)

8th: Jacqueline Dubrovich (New Jersey Fencing Alliance)


Division I Men’s Saber

Gold: Eli Dershwitz (Tim Morehouse Fencing Club)

Silver: Fares Ferjani (Tunisia/Metropolitan NYC)

Bronze: Grant W. Williams (Metropolitan NYC)

Bronze: Colin Yang Siqi Heathcock (Central California)

5th: Ziad A. Elsissy (Egypt/Tim Morehouse Fencing Club)

6th: William Morrill (Scarsdale Fencing Center / Fencers Club Inc.)

7th: Andrew Doddo (Fencers Club Inc.)

8th: Jaesun Yun (Southern California Fencing Academy (SOCALFA))


Parafencing Men’s Saber

Gold: Tareq Alqallaf (Kuwait/Zeljkovic Fencing Academy)

Silver: Rick Swauger (Columbus)

Bronze: Nicholas Badeaux (Fencing Institute of Texas)

Bronze: Terre Engdahl (Denver Fencing Center)

5th: James Downing (Denver Fencing Center)


Cadet Women’s Epee

Gold: Ruien Xiao (Canada)

Silver: Sarah Gu (Medeo Fencing Club)

Bronze: Sharika R. Gajjala (Medeo Fencing Club)

Bronze: Sophia N. Jakel (DC Fencers Club)

5th: Leehi Machulsky (Academy of Fencing Masters (AFM))

6th: Yasmine A. Khamis (Alliance Fencing Academy)

7th: Kyle R. Fallon (Fencing Academy of Westchester)

8th: Regina Lee (Swords Fencing Studio)


Cadet Men’s Foil

Gold: Caleb A. Jeon (Silicon Valley Fencing Center)

Silver: Renzo K. Fukuda (Massialas Foundation (M Team))

Bronze: Liam Bas (Gutkovskiy Fencing Academy)

Bronze: Nickolas Rusadze (Tim Morehouse Fencing Club (Port Chester))

5th: Zachary Godzhik (LA International Fencing)

6th: Aiden Siu (Orange County Fencing Center)

7th: Aiden S. Song (Fencing Institute Of Texas / Austin Fencers Club)

8th: Conrad Lo (Massialas Foundation (M Team))


Y-14 Women’s Saber

Gold: Ruth Mund (Stamford Fencing Center LLC)

Silver: Julie Xiao (Canada/Platinum Fencing Academy)

Bronze: Sarah Zeng (Bergen Fencing Club)

Bronze: Natalie Tsui (Manhattan Fencing Center)

5th: Valentina Chiarelli (Manhattan Fencing Center)

6th: Irmak Senoglu (Turkey/RedStar Fencing Club Chicago)

7th: Sofia Maklin (Dynamo Fencing Center Inc.)

8th: Nina Goldin (Salle Auriol Seattle)


Y-14 Men’s Epee

Gold: Nathaniel P. Wimmer (Penta Olympic Fencing Club)

Silver: Nicholas Iarikov (New York Fencing Academy)

Bronze: Leon Fu (Team Touche Fencing Center)

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

5th: Geoffrey B. Yao (True Focus Sports Academy)

6th: Samuel Y. Lee (Elite Fencing Academy (VA) / Elite Fencing Academy (GA))

7th: Nikhil Khanna (Pegasus Sword Academy Inc.)

8th: Jake Lo (Swords Fencing Studio)

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