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April 2023 NAC, Day 4: Kira Hansen, Jeff Kallio Win Vet Combined Gold on Tournament’s Final Day

04/24/2023, 4:15pm CDT
By Bryan Wendell

Their events were two of the 12 held Monday at the 2023 Division I National Championships & April North American Cup in St. Louis.

ST. LOUIS, MO. — The Kira Hansen (Northern California Division) comeback is officially on.

After a 12-year hiatus from fencing, primarily to raise her three young children, Hansen returned to fencing and won Vet Combined Women’s Epee gold on Monday at the 2023 Division I National Championships & April North American Cup in St. Louis.

It was just her second national tournament in more than a decade. Her first was the January 2023 NAC, where she earned a bronze medal.

“It's great to be back on the strip,” she says. “I've missed fencing so much. And I could feel it a little more strongly in the last couple of years.”

Even though she might have been away from the strip for a while, Hansen says she stayed in fencing shape.

“I think I've been very lucky. I just have always had really great stamina,” she says. “And I had a really great base growing up with ballet training, so a lot of that sticks with you.”

With that base, Hansen was able to spend most of the months before her comeback preparing an often-overlooked aspect of a fencer’s game.

“It was practice getting my mental focus back,” she says. “So I didn't get any bad habits in the meantime, but I didn't reinforce good ones, either. So just finding what feels right, whether I can see the action and get my brain to recognize it and my body to respond.”

Hansen has noticed some changes in her 2023 return to fencing. For one, strip assignments and results are now posted in near-real time and accessible on a phone that fits in your pocket.

“So that's really cool,” she says. “But at the core, you still just have to hit the other person before they hit you. That remains the same.”

In the day’s other Vet Combined event, Jeffrey Kallio (Forge Fencing Teams) took home gold in Men’s Saber — his best finish as a Veteran fencer.

“I medaled a couple of times before, but I hadn't been able to put together a strong enough performance to get any farther than that,” he says. “It feels awesome.”

Kallio, who also coaches at his club in North Carolina, says his experiences on the strip as a fencer help him be a better coach.

“It actually helps me connect with the referees,” he says. “You know, it's one thing to see how someone is calling something when you're on the side coaching. But when you are on strip, and that person is making decisions about your actions and your outcomes, it just gives you a different perspective.”

Besides, Kallio says, it’s also incredibly fun.

“The Vet community in USA Fencing is just phenomenal group of people,” he says. “I fenced in the semifinals and the finals against two of my best fencing friends, Chris Matt and Ron Thornton, who are just tremendous fellas. I'm extremely appreciative of everybody as part of that process.”

Full Day 4 Results

Junior Men's Foil

Gold: Allen Chen (Bluegrass Fencers' Club)

Silver: Andrew Chen (Bluegrass Fencers' Club)

Bronze: Chase Emmer (Massialas Foundation / University Of Notre Dame NCAA)

Bronze: Kruz Schembri McCord (Masters Fencing Club / Tampa Fencing & Tennis Academy)

5th: Caleb Jeon (Silicon Valley Fencing Center)

5th: Andy Zhang (Epic Fencing Club / SCAD- Atlanta Fencing)

7th: Ethan Um (Marx Fencing Academy)

8th: Zachary Godzhik (LA International Fencing)


Vet Combined Women’s Epee

Gold: Kira Hansen (Northern California Division)

Silver: Kristin Foellmer (DC Fencers Club)

Bronze: Valerie Asher (DC Fencers Club)

Bronze: Anne Crocket (Green Mountain)

5th: Nicole Polanichka (Lancaster Fencing Academy / Williamsport Fencing Club)

6th: Carola Schmid (Salle Auriol Seattle)

7th: Bonnie Aher (Salle Auriol Seattle)

8th: Sandra Marchant (Rogue Fencing Academy / The Phoenix Center)


Vet Combined Men’s Saber

Gold: Jeffrey Kallio (Forge Fencing Teams)

Silver: Ronald Thornton (Capital Fencing Academy)

Bronze: Joshua Runyan (Spartak)

Bronze: Chris Matt (Capital Fencing Academy)

5th: Sergey Makogon (Salt City Swords Fencing Club)

6th: Dmitri Kopylov (Lilov Fencing Academy)

7th: Mike Krasnich (Canada)

8th: James Zirkle (RedStar Fencing Club Chicago)


Vet 40 Women’s Saber

Gold: Elisabet Chiarelli (Manhattan Fencing Center)

Silver: Kate Sierra (Atlantic Fencing Academy)

Bronze: Lynn Zhang (PDX Fencing)

Bronze: Laura Johnson (Capitol)

5th: Clare Deming (Lilov Fencing Academy)

6th: Blanca Marentes (Salle Auriol Seattle)

7th: Beth Debertin (Center for Blade Arts)

8th: Elaine Preimesberger (Center for Blade Arts)


Vet 50 Women’s Saber

Gold: Frauke Berman (Manhattan Fencing Center)

Silver: Julie Seal (Valkyrie Fencing Club)

Bronze: Liz Enochs (United Fencers of Oakland)

Bronze: Natalia Oblonsky (Manhattan Fencing Center)

5th: Jamie Willemse (PDX Fencing)

6th: Eileen Foley (Denver Fencing Center)

7th: Jasmina Denner (Scarsdale Fencing Center)

8th: Barbara Shinn-Cunningham (Western Pennsylvania)


Vet 60 Women’s Saber

Gold: Robin Pernice (Dynamo Fencing Center Inc.)

Silver: Jenny Yang (Nellya Fencers)

Bronze: Jennette Starks-Faulkner (Connecticut Fencers Club)

Bronze: Heidi Runyan (Spartak)

5th: Esperanza Alzona (Rockville Fencing Academy / Nazlymov Fencing Foundation)

6th: Rebecca Freyre (Denver Fencing Center)

7th: Sharon Gordon (Manhattan Fencing Center)

8th: Jayne Jerkins (Capital Fencing Academy)


Vet 70 Women’s Saber

Gold: Jane Eyre (Infinity Fencing Alliance)

Silver: Jeannine Bender (Capital Fencing Academy)

Bronze: Linda Dunn (IndySabre / Indianapolis Fencing Club)

Bronze: Agota Balot (Atlantic Fencing Academy)

5th: Judith Offerle (RedStar Fencing Club Chicago)

6th: Gemin Channing (Rockville Fencing Academy / Nazlymov Fencing Foundation)

7th: Dede Deane (Salle Green Fencing School)

8th: Marsha Reichman (Fencing Sports Academy Inc. / Capital Fencing Academy)


Vet 40 Men’s Epee

Gold: Cedric Loiseau (Escrime Du Lac)

Silver: Noah Zucker (Cobra Fencing Club LLC)

Bronze: Chad Scales (Huntsville Fencing Club)

Bronze: Thomas Cheng (Stoccata Fencing Academy & Club / Penta Olympic Fencing Club)

5th: Solomon Liou (Lilov Fencing Academy / Medeo Fencing Club)

6th: Christopher Ryan (Battle Born Fencing Club)

7th: Scott Rostal (Twin Cities Fencing Club)

8th: Jordan Stock (Salle Auriol Seattle)


Vet 50 Men’s Epee

Gold: Jon Normile (Medeo Fencing Club)

Silver: Keith Lichten (East Bay Fencers Gym)

Bronze: Tobias Lee (Metro Tacoma Fencing Club)

Bronze: Mehmet Tepedelenlioglu (East Bay Fencers Gym)

5th: Joseph Deucher (DC Fencers Club)

6th: Darcy Gates (Canada)

7th: Aaron Gaines (No Fear Fencing / San Diego Fencing Center)

8th: Darren Barreiro (Atlantic Fencing Academy)


Vet 60 Men’s Epee

Gold: Walter Dragonetti (Battle Born Fencing Club / Hooked On Fencing)

Silver: Evan Ranes (Battle Born Fencing Club)

Bronze: Laurance Lingvay (Fortune Fencing)

Bronze: John Varney (Salle Auriol Seattle)

5th: Fred Frank (Northwest Fencing Center)

6th: Dick Richards (DC Fencers Club)

7th: Jeffrey Hudson (Hudson Centers For The Martial Arts)

8th: August Skopik Jr (Alliance Fencing Academy / Fort Bend Fencing Academy)


Vet 70 Men’s Epee

Gold: Thomas Henzler (Alliance Fencing Academy / Escrime Du Lac)

Silver: James Newsome (Tidewater Fencing Club)

Bronze: Joseph Rouse (Rogue Fencing Academy / Pioneer Valley Fencing Academy)

Bronze: Charles Schneider (Plymouth/Ann Arbor Fencing Academy)

5th: Daryl Taylor (Fortune Fencing)

6th: Jere Bothelio (Academy Of Fencing Masters (AFM) / Fortune Fencing)

7th: Malcolm Patterson (Rockville Fencing Academy)

8th: Richard King (Northwest Fencing Center)


Vet 80 Men’s Epee

Gold: Mark Henry (Chevy Chase Fencing Club)

Silver: Costa Nichols (Las Vegas Fencing Academy)

Bronze: Richard Dunlop (Illinois Fencers Club)

Bronze: Jose DeOlivares (Cardinal Fencing Academy)

5th: James Gallivan (Fortune Fencing / San Dimas Fencing Academy)


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Tag(s): Updates  April 2023 NAC