In 2023, Maia Weintraub (Fencers Club Inc. and Princeton University) defeated Lauren Scruggs (Peter Westbrook Foundation and Harvard University) in the finals of Division I Women's Foil. Photo by Serge Timacheff.
Updated: This post has been updated to reflect the requirements for the 2024 Division I National Championships in Salt Lake City.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Their names are etched in fencing lore — so iconic that many fans know them by last name only: Zagunis. Westbrook. Hurley (both Courtney and Kelley). Stull. Prescod. Itkin.
These fencing legends have one thing in common: their path to glory started at a Division I National Championship — the highest domestic medal available to members of USA Fencing. Many Division I National Champions have gone on to compete on Senior World Teams, win Senior World Championship Medals and even fence at the Olympic Games.
And here’s the inspiring part: Each April, any USA Fencing member who represents the United States can compete in the Division I National Championship — as long as they qualify.
So how does a fencer qualify for this year’s edition? With the 2024 Division I National Championships & April North American Cup approaching fast, let’s review.
And for those who qualify, we’ll see you April 25-28 in Salt Lake City!
Here’s what the Athlete Handbook says:
Division I National Championships: The Div I National Championships, held in conjunction with the April NAC, are championships for fencers on the National Rolling Point Standings for Seniors, Juniors and the top Cadets. Competitors must be U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents.
Fencers qualify for these Championships via the National Rolling Point Standings, top placements from the last Div IA and Div II National Championships and via modern pentathlon.
Athletes that have represented another country in the last three years at FIE level competitions (Veteran/ Senior/Junior and those athletes that represented another country in the Cadet World Championships) are not eligible to compete in a National Championship, unless the athlete has been officially approved by the FIE to represent the USA.
This event, along with other designated competitions, is part of the selection criteria for the Senior World Championship or Olympic Team.
Here’s what the Athlete Handbook (section 2.12.5) says:
Eligibility (age, classification, qualification path)
Fencers must be at least 13 years old on Jan. 1 in the year of the competition (see Table 2.5.1 for exceptions). Fencers must have a classification of “A”, “B”, or “C” at the entry deadline and be a U.S. citizen or Permanent Resident.
Please be aware that since Junior Olympics are the championship events for the Cadet and Junior age category, Cadet fencers born in 2007 and Junior fencers born in 2004 that will age out after Charlotte will no longer be able to use those age category points to qualify for Division I Championships. That means '04 fencers will need to have Division I points and '07 cadet fencers will need to have Junior points or Division I points. They can also petition on our website.
This is from the Athlete Handbook (section 2.12.5):
Fencers must meet eligibility requirements AND at least one of the following requirements:
Be on the current Senior National Rolling Point Standings (NRPS) at the regular fee entry deadline
Be on the current Junior National Rolling Point Standings (NRPS) at the regular fee entry deadline
Be on the current Cadet National Rolling Point Standings (NRPS) at the regular fee entry deadline
Have placed in the top 8 in the 2022-23 season’s Division IA National Championships (held at the 2023 Summer Nationals in Phoenix)
Have placed in the top 4 in the 2022-23 season’s Division II National Championships (held at the 2023 Summer Nationals in Phoenix)
Be one of the 24 individual competitors who fences at the 2024 NCAA National Championships (held March 21-24, 2024)
For epee only: the top 3 (on Modern Pentathlon Point Standings) USA Fencing Modern Pentathlon fencers will be eligible to compete in the Division I epee events without qualifying by any other means. USA Modern Pentathlon fencers MUST be USA Fencing members.
To be on the National Rolling Point Standings (NRPS) for Senior, Junior or Cadet, a fencer must have earned points at one or more of the following tournaments:
2023 Division I Championship/April NAC
2023 June SJCC
2023 July Challenge
2023 October NAC
2023 November NAC
2023 December NAC/SJCC
2024 January NAC
2024 Junior Olympics
In order to compete for a Division I Team National Championship, fencers must meet the age (2010) and classification (C or higher) requirements that are standard at all Division I events.