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April 2024 NAC, Day 1 Recap: Grant Williams Repeats, Delphine DeVore Gets First National Title

04/25/2024, 9:00pm CDT
By Bryan Wendell

On Day 1 of the April NAC in Salt Lake City, Grant Williams becomes the first repeat national champion in Division I Men’s Saber since 2018, while Delphine DeVore battles for her first Division I Women’s Foil national title.

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — Grant Williams (New York Athletic Club) knew what was possible: becoming the first back-to-back Division I Men’s Saber national champion since 2018.

“I kind of had in the back of my mind that I wanted to snatch another national championship,” he says. 

But repeating is, of course, easier said than done — especially when the fencer standing in his way happened to be Daryl Homer OLY (Peter Westbrook Foundation), a three-time Olympian and the last man to repeat as champion in the event.

Trailing 10-4 in the gold medal bout, Williams gives an honest assessment of his mental state in the moment.

“I definitely panicked a little bit,” he says. “Fencing a guy like Daryl is always going to be a monumental challenge. So I just had to kind of lock in, focus and try to get some touches to even it out and hope that my actions are going to give me that edge.”

Sure enough, Williams was able to tie the bout at 14 and give himself a shot at the title.

“Every fencer knows that feeling,” he says. “You’ve got to just kind of go for it, I guess. And I ended up on top today.”

Williams won the national championship — defending his title and earning a gold medal, one of 12 golds won on Thursday, Day 1 of the April North American Cup, Division I National Championships and Parafencing National Championships

“It felt really good for that to kind of come to fruition,” he says.

A few hours after Williams earned his second national title in a row, Delphine DeVore got her first — a Division I Women’s Foil national championship. It was also her first NAC gold in USA Fencing’s top division. 

“This year, I've put in a lot of work to improve my fencing,” she says. “And I'm just happy to see it paying off.”

DeVore says she’s been working hard on improving her fencing speed — increasing her patience.

“I think I used to fence very fast — to try to immediately get as many touches as I can,” she says. “But I've been trying to just take time in between touches to really move around and be mindful of the moments I'm doing things in.”

That strategy paid off in the gold medal bout against Zander Rhodes (V Fencing Club), who was fighting hard to erase DeVore’s early lead. Even as her lead started to diminish a bit, DeVore told herself not to change her mindset.

“I realized that if I worked, I could win,” she says. “But if I stopped working for my touches, I was going to lose.”

She did indeed win — and says the victory is a big confidence boost as the work continues.

“I haven't won a tournament in a while, so that's great,” she says. “I think it's just confirmation to me that what I'm doing is right. So now I just go back to the lab and keep going back to the lab.”

Day 1 Results

Division I Women’s Foil

Gold and 2024 National Champion: Delphine DeVore

Silver: Zander Rhodes (V Fencing Club)

Bronze: Alexandra Nissinoff (V Fencing Club)

Bronze: Emily Jing (Star Fencing Academy)

5th: Caterina Fedeli (Epic Fencing Club & SCAD- Atlanta Fencing)

6th: Rebecca Cho (Top Fencing Club)

7th: Gabrielle Grace Gebala (Silicon Valley Fencing Center)

8th: Alina Lee (Massialas Foundation & The Ohio State University)

Division I Men’s Saber

Gold and 2024 National Champion: Grant Williams (New York Athletic Club)

Silver: Daryl Homer OLY (Peter Westbrook Foundation)

Bronze: Silas Choi (Globus Fencing Academy)

Bronze: Darren Yen (New York Athletic Club & Integrity Fencing Studio)

5th: Taylor Chon (Globus Fencing Academy)

6th: Filip Dolegiewicz (Tim Morehouse Fencing Club & Midwest Fencing Club)

7th: Roger Wu (University Of California San Diego)

8th: Jared Smith (New York Athletic Club & University Of Notre Dame)

Junior Men’s Foil

Gold: Nickolas Rusadze (Tim Morehouse Fencing Club (Port Chester))

Silver: Anup Banerjee (Silicon Valley Fencing Center)

Bronze: Jeidus DeSeranno (Renaissance Fencing Club)

Bronze: Aiden Siu (SoCAL Fencing Center)

5th: Renzo Fukuda (Massialas Foundation (M Team))

6th: Roy Graham (Jovanovic Fencing / Cambridge Fencing Center)

7th: Akhil Lewis (Top Fencing Club)

7th: Yikai Lu (Culver Military Academy / Renaissance Fencing Club)

Vet 40 Men’s Epee

Gold: Adam Maczik (Marx Fencing Academy)

Silver: Noah Zucker (Cobra Fencing Club)

Bronze: Solomon Liou (Medeo Fencing Club & New Jersey Fencing Alliance)

Bronze: Jens Stephan (German Fencing Academy)

5th: Sandor Mandoki (Halberstadt Fencers' Club)

6th: Philip Baranowski (Denver Fencing Foundation & Denver Fencing Center)

7th: Scott Rostal (Twin Cities Fencing Club)

8th: Eric Pho (Fencers Club & Rockland Fencers Club)

Vet 50 Men’s Epee

Gold: Daniel Wheeler (DC Fencers Club)

Silver: Erich Cranor (Northwest Fencing Center)

Bronze: David Hitchcock (Cardinal Fencing Academy)

Bronze: Aaron Gaines (No Fear Fencing & San Diego Fencing Center)

5th: Chris O'Loughlin OLY (New York Athletic Club)

6th: Farooq Habib (Academy Of Fencing Masters)

7th: Toby Lee (Metro Tacoma Fencing Club)

8th: Jeffrey Snider (DC Fencers Club)

Vet 60 Men’s Epee

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

Silver: Michael Perka (The Fencing Center)

Bronze: Evan Ranes (Battle Born Fencing Club)

Bronze: Timothy Gillham (Madison Fencing Academy)

5th: Jeff Hudson (Hudson Centers For The Martial Arts)

6th: Timothy Glass (Ataba Fencing Club)

7th: Michael Poppre (Phoenix Falcons Fencing Club)

8th: Sean Ameli (Battle Born Fencing Club)

Vet 70 Men’s Epee

Gold: Gypsy Gelnaw (No Fear Fencing & Fortune Fencing)

Silver: Bruno Goossens

Bronze: John Moreau (Olympian Fencing Club)

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

5th: James Newsome (Tidewater Fencing Club)

6th: Daryl Taylor (Fortune Fencing)

7th: Werewolf Patterson

8th: Chuck Alexander (No Fear Fencing)

Vet 80 Men’s Epee

Gold: Barry Leonardini (East Bay Fencers Gym)

Silver: Jose Deolivares (Cardinal Fencing Academy)

Bronze: Mark Henry (Chevy Chase Fencing Club)

Bronze: Dick Weber (Denver Fencing Center)

5th: Jonathan Jefferies (Halberstadt Fencers' Club)

6th: Donald Anderson (New Mexico Fencing Foundation)

7th: Ed Sady (Fencing Sports Academy, Inc.)

8th: James Gallivan (Fortune Fencing)

Vet 40 Women’s Saber

Gold: Clare Deming (Lilov Fencing Academy)

Silver: Elisabet Chiarelli (Manhattan Fencing Center)

Bronze: Blanca Marentes (Salle Auriol Seattle)

Bronze: Lynn Zhang (PDX Fencing)

5th: Giselle Martinez Elizalde

6th: Agnieszka Koszyk (RedStar Fencing Club Chicago)

7th: Emily Grajales (Stoccata Fencing Academy & Club)

8th: Esther Duong (Laguna Fencing Center)

Vet 50 Women’s Saber

Gold: Julie Seal (Valkyrie Fencing Club)

Silver: Jasmina Denner (Scarsdale Fencing Center)

Bronze: Jody Ambalong (Premier Fencing Academy)

Bronze: Frauke Berman (Manhattan Fencing Center)

5th: Kate Sierra (Atlantic Fencing Academy)

6th: Nadia Dreyer (Nova Fencing Club)

7th: Eileen Foley (Denver Fencing Center)

8th: Maud Webb (Globus Fencing Academy)

Vet 60 Women’s Saber

Gold: Robin Pernice (Dynamo Fencing Center Inc.)

Silver: Heidi Runyan (Spartak)

Bronze: Rebecca Freyre (Fencing Academy Of Denver & Denver Fencing Center)

Bronze: Jenny Yang (Nellya Fencers)

5th: Lydia Fabry (Avant Garde Fencers Club & South Bay Fencing Academy)

6th: Beth Vance (Renaissance Fencing Club)

7th: Cindy Starr (Bergen Fencing Club)

8th: Robin King (Salle Auriol Seattle)

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: Gemin Channing

5th: Erica Julien (Forge Fencing Teams & Cape Fear Fencing Association)

6th: Marsha Reichman (Fencing Sports Academy & Capital Fencing Academy)

7th: Jude Offerle (RedStar Fencing Club Chicago & University Of Notre Dame)

8th: Dede Deane (Salle Green Fencing School)

Day 1 Photos

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Tag(s): Updates  April 2024 NAC