skip navigation

January NAC Day 4 Recap: Kat Holmes OLY Battles for NAC Gold When She Needed it Most

01/09/2023, 8:45pm CST
By Bryan Wendell

While Kat Holmes OLY has been in plenty of pressure-packed situations — and won Division I gold at three previous NACs — this one felt different.

Kat Holmes OLY (right) lands a touch against Ketki Ketkar during the finals of Division I Women's Epee at the January 2023 NAC. (Photo by Serge Timacheff)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Kat Holmes OLY has been to two Olympics. She’s won a Senior World Championship gold medal. And she’s been a Division I medalist at NACs more than 10 times in her career.

But as she began her fencing on Monday, Holmes was nervous.

“I had a really rough start to the season,” she says. “And so in order to go to the World Cups, actually, I needed a really good result.”

While Holmes has been in plenty of pressure-packed situations — and won Division I gold at three previous NACs — this one felt different.

“I’ve really only been in a couple of situations where it comes down to one day —do or die,” she says. “So going into it, it was a lot of nerves, a lot of tension, a lot of build-up and practicing over the holidays. And then to not only get the result I needed but then to go on and win gold? This medal is staying in my pocket for a while.”

In a stacked field that included many of her World Cup teammates, Holmes outlasted them all to end up on top. 

Her gold medal was among the many highlights during a fun-filled final day of fencing at the January 2023 North American Cup. Monday featured 10 events, with gold medals awarded in Division I Women’s Epee, Junior Men’s Epee, Junior Men’s and seven different Veterans events. 

While Monday’s event was an individual competition, Holmes wasn’t up there alone. She says she was carried through the grueling day by a support squad.

“Today, so many people that I have known in the sport since I was a child — literally since I competed in my first event at 10 — came out,” she says. “I just felt so loved and supported, not because of the results that I've previously gotten, but because of who I am as a person. I can't thank those people enough for just being there and like giving me their love and support all day.”

Holmes says that support helped her cope with the pressure of the moment. 

“That's how I was able to do it, to stay focused, to keep fighting — even though there were times when I was almost tearful,” she says. “But because so many people turned up and were like, ‘we love you no matter what,’ that really gave me the fortitude to go out and do what I needed to do. And a little more.”

With enough points to reclaim her spot among the 12 women who travel to Senior Women’s Epee World Cup and Grand Prix events, Holmes is focused on supporting her teammates however she can.

“There’s so much potential with all the girls, and they're really fun to work with,” Holmes says. “So I’m think thinking about what we can accomplish and not just setting myself up to qualify for Paris, but setting our team up for what we can do in Paris. We're young, but there's so much fire and so much potential and so much want. As we work together over the course of the season and building towards those games, we can really do something great.”

But that journey can wait a day. After Monday night’s massive win, there was one thing to do first.

Says Holmes: “I’m gonna go get a milkshake.”

Full Results

Division I Women's Epee

Gold: Kat Holmes OLY (New York Athletic Club / DC Fencers Club)

Silver: Ketki Ketkar (Cornell University / Kaizen Academy LLC)

Bronze: Anne Cebula (New York Athletic Club)

Bronze: Tierna A. Oxenreider (Columbia University)

5: Faith K. Park (DC Fencers Club)

6: Francesca A. Bassa (Alliance Fencing Academy / LA International Fencing)

7: Isabella Chin (New York Fencing Academy)

8: Sharika R. Gajjala (Medeo Fencing Club)


Junior Men's Epee

Gold: Samuel A. Imrek (Alliance Fencing Academy)

Silver: Henry A. Lawson (Fencers Club Inc.)

Bronze: Yao Rong (University Of California San Diego)

Bronze: Stafford Moosekian (Pennsylvania State University/Swords Fencing Studio)

5: Christopher Chong (Penta Olympic Fencing Club)

6: Ethan Boroditsky (Medeo Fencing Club)

7: Gabriel M. Feinberg (Olympia Fencing Center)

8: Peyton E. Young (Alliance Fencing Academy)


Junior Men's Saber

Gold: Jordan H. Silberzweig (Manhattan Fencing Center)

Silver: Lev C. Benavram (Nazlymov Fencing Foundation / National Capital Fencers Club)

Bronze: Connor Liang (Laguna Fencing Center / Spartak)

Bronze: Ronald Anglade (Nellya Fencers / Bergen Fencing Club)

5: Jaden P. Callahan (South Bay Fencing Academy / Boston Fencing Club)

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

7: Jack (Yuxiang) Pan (Manhattan Fencing Center)

8: Leo Feng (Miracle Fencing Club / Nazlymov Fencing Foundation)


Vet Women's Foil (Combined)

Gold: Julie T. Seal (Valkyrie Fencing Club)

Silver: Jennette Starks-Faulkner (Connecticut)

Bronze: Traci Sethre (Fargo-Moorhead Fencing Club)

Bronze: Anne-Marie Walters (Masters Fencing Club)

5: Lacey E. Maddox (Charlotte Fencing Academy)

6: Elizabeth (Badger) E. Merritt (Rockville Fencing Academy)

7: Lesley F. Chapman (Ludus Fencing Studio)

8: Georgina Love (Central Florida)


Vet Men's Foil (Combined)

Gold: Patricio A. Moreno Briones (Northwest Fencing Center)

Silver: Dong-Ying Pai (Twin Cities Fencing Club)

Bronze: Julian Tang (Canada)

Bronze: Peter Habala (RedStar Fencing Club Chicago)

5: Jasper Phillips (Northwest Fencing Center)

6: Marek B. Wyszynski (Fencers Club Inc.)

7: Paul Epply-Schmidt (Bucks County Academy of Fencing / Sebastiani Fencing Academy)

8: Robert Pavlovich (Fencers Club Inc.)


Vet-40 Men's Saber

Gold: Mahmoud Elbakry (Elite Fencing Academy (GA))

Silver: Ivan Lee OLY (Long Island University / Long Island Fencing Center)

Bronze: Andrew T. Anfora (Team Touche Fencing Center)

Bronze: Jeffrey E. Kallio (Forge Fencing Teams)

5: Ethan I. Babayev (Stamford Fencing Center LLC)

6: Derek Plonka (Avant Garde Fencers Club Inc (CA) (AGFC))

7: James Zirkle (RedStar Fencing Club Chicago)

8: Aaron M. Waxler (Tim Morehouse Fencing Club)


Vet-50 Men's Saber

Gold: Ilho Choi (Boston Fencing Club)

Silver: Sergey Makogon (Salt City Swords Fencing Club)

Bronze: Mariusz Dolegiewicz (Midwest Fencing Club)

Bronze: Stephen Dashnaw (Lilov Fencing Academy)

5: Ronald J. Thornton (Capital Fencing Academy)

6: Antonio V. Escueta Jr. (Globus Fencing Academy)

7: Oleg Lukibanov (Renaissance Fencing Club)

8: Nathan T. Anderson (Denver Fencing Center)


Vet-60 Men's Saber

Gold: Chris Matt (Capital Fencing Academy)

Silver: Val Kizik (IndySabre)

Bronze: Todd Bukowski (Nazlymov Fencing Foundation)

Bronze: Mark R. Lundborg (Washington Fencing Academy)

5: Joshua Runyan (Spartak)

6: Mark A. Srere (Capital Fencing Academy)

7: Jacaeber Kastor (Manhattan Fencing Center)

8: Vitaly V. Neverovich (Renaissance Fencing Club)


Vet-70 Men's Saber

Gold: Joseph S. Streb (Columbus International Fencing Academy / Royal Arts Fencing Academy)

Silver: C. David Seuss (Fencing Academy of Boston)

Bronze: Keith L. Baker (Nazlymov Fencing Foundation)

Bronze: Garik Gutman (Rockville Fencing Academy)

5: Alfred Lara (Oregon Fencing Alliance)

6: Michael J. Szathmary (Middle Tennessee Fencing Club)

7: William H. Walker (Cardinal Fencing Club / Academy of Fencing Masters (AFM))

8: William J. Segale (Northern California)


Vet-80 Men's Saber

Gold: Victor (Vic) E. Bianchini (Spartak)

Silver: Lucas T. Dobrzanski (Kern Athletic Fencing Foundation / Gryphon Fencing)


Day 4 Photo Gallery

Explore the full Day 4 photo collection on Facebook

Tag(s): Updates