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Junior Olympics 2024, Day 2 Recap: With Their First National Titles, Fencers Secure Their Legacy

02/17/2024, 9:00pm CST
By Bryan Wendell

A trio of first-time national champions — Vinni Yu, Regina Lee and Alexandra Lee — were among the highlights on Saturday in Charlotte.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — In his last ever competition as a Junior, Vinni Yu (Top Fencing Club & Yale University) could’ve let the weight of the moment overwhelm him.

Instead, the Yale sophomore just went out there and fenced. It worked. Yu won the 2024 Junior Men’s Foil national championship on Saturday — one of six titles earned on the second day of the 2024 Junior Olympics and Parafencing NAC in Charlotte.

“Coming into this event, I didn't really expect a result like this,” he says. “I kind of dropped all my expectations, and just fenced. It felt really good. This kind of came out of nowhere.”

Cadets and Juniors rightly feel that competing at USA Fencing tournaments prepares them for collegiate fencing. But Yu has learned that it can work in the other direction, too.

“College facing is an entirely different experience,” he says. “It’s much more mentally challenging, and that really toughened me up for today. Also, fencing a lot of people from all over the world — that's really helpful.”

While Yu is in his final season of Junior eligibility, another of Saturday’s champions will be able to compete in Juniors for another five years.

Regina Lee (Swords Fencing Studio), who is 14, outlasted a field that included multiple college first-year students and sophomores on her way to a title.

Meanwhile, in Junior Women’s Saber, Alexandra Lee (Princeton University & Premier Fencing Academy) grabbed her first national championship, letting out a series of satisfied screams after scoring the decisive touch.

“I don't think it’s really hit me,” she says. “I had such super tough battles against my teammate [Irene Jung of the Premier Fencing Academy]. I just still haven't registered it.”

Like Yu, Lee says that her time as a college fencer has helped her fencing career develop.

“Collegiate fencing helps me fight for every single touch,” the Princeton freshman says. “Collegiate fencing is five touches, right? So if you lose one, you're already a fifth down. So I'd say that's helped me make points more valuable while still keeping that endurance up as well.”

And while national championships aren’t on the line in parafencing events until April, Abe Kaplan (Greensboro Fencing Academy & Invictus Fencing) achieved a career milestone of his own.

Fencing against a skilled fencer more than three times his age, the 15-year-old won his first NAC gold.

“I've been really training for this one, and I'm so glad I've been able to pull it off,” he says. “Especially since I'm so young fencing these older people, it’s a lot of pressure for me, but I'm just glad that I could really come up here and just perform.”

Junior Team Men's Saber — Photo by Serge Timacheff

Junior Men's Foil — Photo by Serge Timacheff

Junior Women's Epee — Photo by Serge Timacheff

Parafencing Men's Foil — Photo by Serge Timacheff

Parafencing Women's Foil — Photo by Serge Timacheff

Junior Team Men's Epee — Photo by Serge Timacheff

Junior Team Women's Foil — Photo by Serge Timacheff

Junior Women's Saber — Photo by Serge Timacheff

Day 2 Results: The Top 8

Junior Women’s Epee

Gold and 2024 National Champion: Regina Lee (Swords Fencing Studio)

Silver: Alexandra Rakhovski (New York Fencing Academy)

Bronze: Karen Wang (Northwestern University & Alliance Fencing Academy)

Bronze: Melinda Yao (Alliance Fencing Academy)

5th: CJ Tolsma (Alliance Fencing Academy)

6th: Lefu Chen (North Shore Fencers Club & Allegro Fencing Center)

7th: Victoria Doroshkevich (Fencing Center Of Chicago)

8th: Daniella Barg (Alliance Fencing Academy)

Junior Women’s Saber

Gold and 2024 National Champion: Alexandra Lee (Princeton University & Premier Fencing Academy)

Silver: Irene Jung (Premier Fencing Academy)

Bronze: Sophie Liu (Capital Fencing Academy)

Bronze: Siobhan Sullivan (Oregon Fencing Alliance)

5th: Charmaine Andres (Southern California Fencing Academy (SOCALFA))

6th: Victoria Gorman (Zeta Fencing & Duke University)

7th: Marley Kim (Manhattan Fencing Center)

8th: Ibla Vadasz (Bergen Fencing Club)


Junior Men’s Foil

Gold and 2024 National Champion: Vinni Yu (Top Fencing Club & Yale University)

Silver: Alexander Wu (Star Fencing Academy)

Bronze: Enoch Xiao (Birmingham Fencing Club & Columbia University)

Bronze: Castor Kao (Star Fencing Academy)

5th: Jun Ahn (East Coast Fencing Club)

6th: Jack Griffith (U.S. Air Force Academy & Naples Fencing Academy)

7th: Biaya Tiya (Atlanta Fencers Club Foundation Inc. & Lotus Fencing Academy)

8th: Jeffrey Zhai (East Coast Fencing Club)

Junior Team Women’s Foil

Gold and 2024 National Champions: Tim Morehouse 1 (Alina Zhang, Iris Yang, Ella Calise, and Grace Feng)

Silver: GSFA (Emma Griffin, Juliana Hung, Chin-Yi Kong, and Sandra Luo)

Bronze: DominaSHEN (Sophia Shen, Lydia Shen, and Emilia Shen)


Junior Team Men’s Epee

Gold and 2024 National Champions: EFA VA (Jack Kropp, Daniel Lee, Samuel Lee, and Shwan Lee)

Silver: M.E.N. (Alexander Bezrodnov, Michael Bezrodnov, Benjamin Mao, and Seth Sverdlov)

Bronze: Alliance Blue (Elijah Imrek, Stewart Lee, Simon Lioznyansky, and Ankith Prasad)


Junior Team Men’s Saber

Gold and 2024 National Champions: Fencing Academy of Denver 1 (Christian Dudnick, Elian Freyre De Andrade, Krish Kilari, and Nicolas Wang)

Silver: BFC (Jason Bae, Eric Liu, Bryan Peng, and Graham Skinner)

Bronze: AFFA (Matthew Chan, Jonathan Chen, Justin Miclaus, and Noah Zeng)


Parafencing Women’s Foil

Gold: Tori Isaacson (The Phoenix Center & Rogue Fencing Academy)

Silver: Jataya Taylor (Denver Fencing Center & Invictus Fencing)

Bronze: Ellen Geddes PLY (Shepherd Swords Fencing Club)

Bronze: Patricia (Mama T) Dykes (Orion Fencing & Zeljkovic Fencing Academy)

Parafencing Men’s Foil

Gold: Abe Kaplan (Greensboro Fencing Academy & Invictus Fencing)

Silver: Tareq Alqallaf (Zeljkovic Fencing Academy)

Bronze: Kevin Reeve (Kern Athletic Fencing Foundation)

Bronze: Josh Russell (Virginia)

5th: Timothy Birt (Shepherd Swords Fencing Club & Auburn Fencing Club)

6th: Ryan Schmidke (Mission Fencing Center)

7th: Stephen Burch, Jr. (Mission Fencing Center)

Day 2 Photo Gallery

 Find hundreds of great photos on our Facebook page.

Tag(s): Updates  Junior Olympics 2024