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Strategic Victories, Sharp Comebacks on Day 3 of the November NAC

11/12/2023, 9:30pm CST
By Bryan Wendell

Josephina Conway, Skyler Liverant, Emilio Gonzalez and Borys Budovskyi fence for gold in Fort Worth.

Josephina Conway (University of Notre Dame / Escrime Du Lac) celebrates her Junior Women's Foil win. Photo by Serge Timacheff

FORT WORTH, Texas — When you fence for one of the best NCAA fencing programs in the country, it’s easy and natural to feel a little overwhelmed by the magnitude of each bout. That’s one reason Josephina Conway (University of Notre Dame / Escrime Du Lac) loves to compete at USA Fencing tournaments like the November North American Cup.

“NACs are much more quiet,” she says. “And I like that because I get to think more — I get to be more strategic.”

Those strategies paid off against 224 of the nation’s best under-20 women’s foil fencers on Sunday, when Conway outlasted everyone to win gold.

“Honestly, I just focus on one touch at a time,” she says. “I get distracted very easily. So just doing that helps me stay locked in for a bout.”

Skyler Liverant (Columbia University / New York Fencing Academy), who won the Junior Men’s Epee gold on Sunday, also knows about the pressures of fencing for a top-tier NCAA program.

Liverant, who was part of the 2022 team that won silver at Junior and Cadet Worlds, says his last year of fencing was a bit of a struggle. That made today’s win even more meaningful.

“Honestly, I'm coming off a bit of a rough patch for the last year,” he says. “Things aren't always gonna go your way, and I think just being able to bounce back and persevering — not getting down over a bad few tournaments, even a bad season.”

Liverant has found his way back to the top by continuing the grind — the same grind that first helped him fall in love with the sport all those years ago.

“You know, when I was a little kid, I loved the sport a lot and watched a lot of videos, a lot of footwork, a lot of practice,” he says. “I guess that's the secret to it. Just loving the sport.”

For Emilio Gonzalez (Scarsdale Fencing Center / Fencers Club Inc.) the secret to winning Cadet Men’s Saber gold was refusing to let an early setback get him down.

After dropping two of his six pool bouts, Gonzalez gave himself a tougher path to the medal rounds. But he won one direct elimination bout after another until the gold was his.

“It feels really good,” he says. “I had a rough pools, so making it this far was very surprising. I fought really hard throughout the tournament.”

Gonzalez says he truly follows that old fencing cliché of fencing just one bout at a time — resisting the urge to look at who might be ahead in the bracket.

“I don't even look who I'm fencing next,” he says. “I just keep fencing and don't worry.”

Skyler Liverant (Columbia University / New York Fencing Academy) faces off against Noah Silvers (University of Notre Dame / Windy City Fencing-Chicago). Photo by Serge Timacheff

Day 3 Medalists

Junior Women’s Foil

Gold: Josephina Conway (University of Notre Dame / Escrime Du Lac)

Silver: Gabrielle Grace Gebala (Silicon Valley Fencing Center)

Bronze: Jaelyn Liu (Star Fencing Academy / Fencing Institute Of Texas)

Bronze: Ryanne Leslie (University of Notre Dame / V Fencing Club)

5th: Emily Jing (Star Fencing Academy)

6th: Lydia Shen (Star Fencing Academy)

7th: Ziyue Luo (SoCAL Fencing Center)

8th: Lavender Lee (Top Fencing Club)


Junior Men’s Epee

Gold: Skyler Liverant (Columbia University / New York Fencing Academy)

Silver: Noah Silvers (University of Notre Dame / Windy City Fencing-Chicago)

Bronze: Nathaniel Wimmer (Elite Fencing Academy - VA / Elite Fencing Academy - GA)

Bronze: Henry Lawson (Fencers Club Inc.)

5th: Ethan Boroditsky (Medeo Fencing Club)

6th: Kent Iyoki (Northwest Fencing Center)

7th: Dohyun Kim (Battle Born Fencing Club)

8th: Alexander Moses (TeamK Fencing)


Cadet Men’s Saber

Gold: Emilio Gonzalez (Scarsdale Fencing Center / Fencers Club Inc.)

Silver: William Lim (Southern California Fencing Academy - SOCALFA / Globus Fencing Academy)

Bronze: Jason Bae (Boston Fencing Club)

Bronze: Eric Kwalwasser (Stamford Fencing Center, LLC)

5th: Bryan Peng (Boston Fencing Club)

5th: Justin Miclaus (Advance Fencing And Fitness Academy)

7th: Nicolas Wang (Fencing Academy Of Denver / Renaissance Fencing Club)

8th: Govind Ramanan (Cardinal Fencing Club)


Y14 Men’s Foil

Gold: Borys Budovskyi (Canada)

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

Bronze: Ethan Liu (Renaissance Fencing Club)

Bronze: Alber Wu (Silicon Valley Fencing Center)

5th: Blake Derrick (Silicon Valley Fencing Center)

6th: Ethan Choi (Golubitsky Fencing Center)

7th: Derek Liu (Star Fencing Academy)

8th: Martin Nguyen (LA International Fencing)

Junior Team Women’s Epee

Gold: Tootin Texan Tycoon (Meera Desai, Sophia Jakel, Jolie Korfonta)

Silver: Alliance Red (Yasmine Khamis, Anya Mehrotra, Felicity Sebastian, Victoria Zhang)

Bronze: Alliance Blue (Daniella Barg, Auprell Edwards, Tanishka Padhye, Melinda Yao)


Junior Team Women’s Saber

Gold: Garlic Bread (Nisha Hild, Amanda Li, Audrey Lin, Natalie Shearer)

Silver: Angoraceya (Reya Ghayalod, Grace Ker, Angelina Yang, Xuanyi Zhang)

Bronze: South Bay Fencing Academy (Kira Erikson, Janna Freedman, Mirka Ramirez)


Junior Team Men’s Foil

Gold: East Coast Fencing + 1 (Liam Bas, Sebastian Elwood, Philip Matsakh, Leor Sadovsky)

Silver: I Need More Boulets (Blake Degroot, Minhyeok Kim, Spencer Orr, Jason Park)

Bronze: The Department of Defense (Isaiah Klotz, Matthew Li, Ben Rose, Owen Traugot)

Emilio Gonzalez (Scarsdale Fencing Center / Fencers Club Inc.) reacts to the winning touch. Photo by Serge Timacheff

Day 3 Photo Gallery

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Tag(s): Updates  November 2023 NAC