COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. —To earn the honor of representing the United States on the international stage, these young athletes have trained relentlessly, received expert coaching, and secured impressive finishes at tournaments across the country and around the world.
Now it’s their time to step onto the world’s biggest stage and shine.
From April 1 to 9 in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, 39 fencers from 14 different states will battle to make their mark on the world stage at the 2023 Junior & Cadet Fencing World Championships in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. With a mix of experienced Juniors and Cadets and fresh talent, Team USA will be feeling optimistic about its prospects for bringing home more gold medals and repeating last year’s top-of-the-medal-table finish.
The 2023 Junior & Cadet Fencing World Championships will be an opportunity for these young athletes to showcase their skills, dedication and passion for the sport of fencing. As they compete against the best in the world, they’ll not only represent their country but also inspire the next generation of fencers to pursue their dreams of some day reaching the sport’s highest stage for Juniors (under 20) and Cadets (under 17).
Team USA’s journey to the championships has been a testament to the hard work and perseverance of these young athletes, their coaches, their families and the entire fencing community.
While the entire squad is filled with exceptional talent, some fencers have emerged as ones to watch due to their impressive records and past achievements.
Fencing prodigy Lauren Scruggs is set to make a triumphant return to the international stage as she looks to defend her Junior Women's Foil world title. The five-time world champion, who recently added another trophy to her collection by winning the Individual Women’s Foil title for Harvard at the 2023 NCAA Championships, is more determined than ever. With an impressive track record, including her latest victory in Dubai at the 2022 Junior & Cadet Fencing World Championships, Scruggs has proven that she can juggle the demands of school and elite-level competition with finesse. As she heads to Plovdiv, the world will be watching to see if this exceptional young talent can continue her incredible winning streak and further cement her place in fencing history.
Hadley Husisian is no stranger to success, having claimed the world title in Junior Women's Epee at the 2022 Junior & Cadet Worlds in Dubai. As the first American to win gold in this event since Kelley Hurley in 2008, Husisian has her sights set on defending her title in Plovdiv. With her strong technique and exceptional determination, she's poised to continue her reign in the Junior Women's Epee category.
Another world champion returning to defend her title, Magda Skarbonkiewicz has a remarkable history in the sport. In 2022, she earned gold medals in both Junior Women's Saber and Cadet Women's Saber, becoming the first athlete to accomplish this since Rebecca Ward (USA) in 2006 and Mariel Zagunis (USA) in 2001. Skarbonkiewicz's agility, precision, and tactical prowess make her a formidable opponent and a top contender for gold in Plovdiv.
A rising star in American fencing, Emily Jing has qualified for both the Junior and Cadet Women's Foil teams, proving her exceptional talent and dedication to the sport. With a strong record in both age categories, Jing's ability to compete at such a high level across multiple age groups speaks to her potential for future success. Better keep an eye on this young athlete, as she's sure to make waves in Plovdiv and beyond.
Similar to Emily Jing, William Morrill and Cody Walter Ji have qualified for both the Junior and Cadet Men's Saber teams, showcasing their incredible skill and adaptability. These two young athletes will have a packed schedule in Plovdiv, competing across all three days of competition for their weapon. Their ability to excel in both age categories is a testament to their potential to become future leaders in the sport.
After securing a bronze medal in Cadet Men's Foil at the 2022 Junior & Cadet Worlds, Andrew Chen has made the leap to the Junior Men's Foil team for the 2023 championships. With his experience and success at the Cadet level, Chen is expected to be a strong contender on the Junior team, demonstrating his ability to rise to the challenge and compete against the world's best.
These are just a few of the remarkable athletes representing Team USA at the 2023 Junior & Cadet Fencing World Championships. As the competition unfolds in Plovdiv, keep an eye on these fencers and everyone on Team USA as they strive for gold and make their mark on the world stage.