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SJCC & Div II NAC, Day 1: Six Fencers Stick To The Plan, and End With Gold Medals

06/02/2023, 8:00pm CDT
By Nicole Kirk

“Do whatever it takes,” for Kaitlyn Zanga that was what went through her mind in her quest to win gold on home turf.

RALEIGH, N.C. — For Kaitlyn Zanga (Apex Fencing Academy), fencing today meant keeping her stamina up — a skill she turned to in a massive way during the Division II Women’s Epee final.

The first day of competition at the 2023 Super Junior Cadet Circuit and Division II North American Cup was filled with fencers looking to execute on all of the training their coaches had guided them to. And for six of these fencers on Friday, those plans ended with gold medals.

The tournament’s first gold went to Samuel Craig (Globus Fencing Academy), who took the top prize in the Cadet Men’s Saber competition. 

“It’s pretty nice,” he says. “I have never done it before.” 

He recalled a duck counterattack that hyped him up, but what was most important was that Craig listened to his coaches and stuck with their competition plan.

Kaitlyn Zanga battled in her final bout to the last touch to take gold. Zanga’s stamina was the focus of the tournament. “Stamina was a big thing,” she says, “my coaches Wes and Kriszti they really worked us with exercise and keeping good stamina and strength and that helped me a lot today.” In the intense battle that her final bout of the day was, it was “do whatever it takes” to get that final touch and gold, she says. 

Junior Women’s Foil gold medalist Caterina Fedeli (Epic Fencing Club / SCAD- Atlanta Fencing) fought her hardest to the top in the same fashion of keeping up her stamina. Not sure that she would make it to the finals, she was thrilled to make it all the way and be able to take home gold. The key to her win, she focused on defense.

Nothing beats bringing home a gold medal and making it one of your best finishes. Martina Fernandez (Nellya Fencers), “it feels really good, I am really proud of myself,” she said. Practicing hard every week but still having fun with it was the key to Fernandez’s training. That shined through today as she claimed her gold medal.

Jacob Le (Golubitsky Fencing Center) battled for his gold medal in the Division II Men’s Foil final. His battle though was a testament to the dedication he has put in day in and day out. He credited his success to the “synergy” of the team at Golubitsky Fencing Center. The final gold medal in Junior Men’s Epee was awarded to Owen Jin (Olympia Fencing Center), who credited his win to being able to stay calm throughout the competition even when he was done. The only previous gold for Jin was last year so this was an accomplishment that had him feeling incredibly similar to the last gold medal.

Full Day 1 Results

Division II Women's Epee

Gold: Kaitlyn Zanga (Apex Fencing Academy)

Silver: Lexi Caldera (Alliance Fencing Academy)

Bronze: Anastasia Novojilov (Medeo Fencing Club)

Bronze: Reagan Nix (Fencing Sports Academy, Inc.)

5th: Lauren M. Dunseath (Forge Fencing Teams / Two Ravens Fencing School)

6th: Gloria Plaza-Gasalla (Apex Fencing Academy)

7th: Anna Donges (Elite Fencing Academy (GA))

8th: Nika Ungurianu (The Phoenix Center)

Junior Women’s Foil

Gold:Caterina S. Fedeli (Epic Fencing Club / SCAD- Atlanta Fencing)

Silver: Ella Calise (Tim Morehouse Fencing Club (Port Chester))

Bronze: Charlotte R. Koenig, (V Fencing Club / Fencers Club Inc.)

Bronze: Iris Yang (Tim Morehouse Fencing Club (Port Chester))

5th: Emma G. Griffin (Space City Fencing Academy)

6th: Katherine Kim (Golubitsky Fencing Center)

7th: Yuqiao Aprille Song

8th: Hailey M. Eyer (Manchen Academy Of Fencing)

Cadet Men’s Saber

Gold: Samuel Craig (Globus Fencing Academy)

Silver: Rohan Anand (Nellya Fencers)

Bronze: Silas Choi (Globus Fencing Academy)

Bronze: Nathan Qiu (Spartak)

5th: Derek Zhang (Sigma Fencing Academy)

6th: Heonjun Cheong (Frisco Fencing Academy)

7th: Masanobu Miyasaki-Castro (South Bay Fencing Academy)

8th: Surya Mattoo (Fencers Club Inc.)

Junior Men’s Epee

Gold: Owen Jin (Olympia Fencing Center)

Silver: Nathaniel P. Wimmer, (Elite Fencing Academy (VA) / Elite Fencing Academy)

Bronze: Ethan Dennis, (Windy City Fencing-Chicago)

Bronze: Padick Loyola Torriente (Cobra Fencing Club LLC)

5th: Samuel Y. Lee (Elite Fencing Academy (VA) / Elite Fencing Academy (GA))

6th: Reid Kokenge (Medeo Fencing Club)

7th: IVAN A. Goriunov (South Florida Fencing Club)

8th: Luke Strauss (Northern Colorado Fencers) 

Cadet Women’s Saber

Gold:Martina Fernandez (Nellya Fencers)

Silver: Sofia Maklin (Dynamo Fencing Center Inc.)

Bronze: Delilah Huai (Premier Fencing Academy LLC)

Bronze: Elizabeth Kondev (Globus Fencing Academy)

5th: Alissa Khan (Dynamo Fencing Center Inc.)

6th: Dagny L. Johnson (Rochester Fencing Club)

7th: Vasilisa Kuraeva (Alle Fencing Club)

8th: Hannah Liu (Sigma Fencing Academy)

Division II Men’s Foil

Gold:Jacob W. Le (Golubitsky Fencing Center)

Silver: Jason H. Qian (Epic Fencing Club / SCAD- Atlanta Fencing)

Bronze: Austin Song (AIC Fencing Club)

Bronze: Connor J. Williams (Bluegrass Fencers' Club / Birmingham Fencing Club)

5th: Darius D. Brown (Still Point Fencing / Wildcat Fencing-University of Arizona)

6th: Michael Kryltsov (Rain City Fencing Center)

7th: Aaron Zhang (LA International Fencing / Orange County Fencing Center)

8th: Zixian (Aaron) Liu

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Tag(s): 2023 SJCC