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April 2024 NAC, Day 4 Recap: It’s a Schoonover Sweep in Men’s Para; Jensen Mitchell and NYAC Win Championships

04/28/2024, 7:00pm CDT
By Bryan Wendell

On Day 4 of the April NAC in Salt Lake City, Garrett Schoonover earned his third national championship of the weekend and Shelby Jensen Mitchell PLY earned saber gold. In the Division I Men’s Epee team event, the New York Athletic Club became national champions.

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — Garrett Schoonover (Salt City Swords Fencing Club) saved his best move for last.   

On Sunday, Day 4 of the April North American Cup, Division I National Championships and Parafencing National Championships, Schoonover competed in what he considers his best event: Parafencing Men’s Saber. 

After winning national championships in epee on Friday and foil on Saturday, Schoonover entered Sunday looking for the sweep. 

“I wanted to build on the adjustments I was able to make,” Schoonover says. “Seeing the actions my opponents are making and making timely adjustments so that they don't make a run on me. I’d really like to try and carry that forward into our international bouts.”

After winning national championships in all three weapons, Schoonover next will join his fellow Team USA parafencers in a trip to Brazil for the Americas Championships.

Because Team USA is hoping to qualify a Men’s Foil team for the Paralympic Games Paris 2024, Schoonover plans to prioritize his training in that weapon.

“My focus is going to be primarily on foil, because that is where we stand to qualify for Paris,” he says.

He could ask Shelby Jensen Mitchell PLY (Valkyrie Fencing Club) for some advice since the Tokyo Paralympian knows what it’s like to compete on the highest stage. And on Sunday, she also earned a national championship in saber.

“I was just very confident in my moves,” she says. “I think that played a huge part because you have to be confident to be able to get points.”

Mitchell got a confidence boost from her cheering section — including her husband, friends and members of her family.

“It was amazing,” she says. “It was pretty special to show them what I do. And pretty special for them to watch and cheer for me.” 

And in the tournament’s final championship event, Ryan Griffiths, Ari Simmons and Justin Yoo took home Division I Men’s Epee Team titles for the New York Athletic Club.

It was the 48th team championship in Men’s Epee for the NYAC and sixth in the last 10 years.

“There’s a lot of really, really good talent coming into the program,” Simmons says. “This is something that we all work really hard for. And the team event is always the most fun because we support each other, we get a lot of good energy, and we get to celebrate one another and see our hard work pay off.”

Day 4 Medalists

Division I Men’s Epee Team

Gold and 2024 National Champions: NYAC Red (Ryan Griffiths, Ari Simmons, Justin Yoo)  

Silver: Peter Westbrook Foundation & Cloak and Dagger (Curtis McDowald, Shomari Moore, Adam Rodney, Omari Smoak)  

Bronze: NYAC Blue (Andrea Cipriani, James Kaull, Matthew Trager)

Parafencing Women’s Saber

Gold and 2024 National Champion: Shelby Jensen Mitchell PLY (Valkyrie Fencing Club)  

Silver: Olivia Scott (Louisville Fencing Center, Inc.)  

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

Parafencing Men’s Saber

Gold and 2024 National Champion: Garrett Schoonover (Salt City Swords Fencing Club)  

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

Bronze: Kevin Reeve (Kern Athletic Fencing Foundation)  

Bronze: Gregory Tyler (Orion Fencing & Orange County International Fencers Club)  

5th: Sam Long (Denver Fencing Center)  

6th: Nicholas Badeaux (Fencing Institute Of Texas & Invictus Fencing)  

7th: James Downing (Denver Fencing Center)  

8th: Tim Kortenkamp (San Francisco Fencing Academy)

Junior Women’s Epee

Gold: Leehi Machulsky (Academy Of Fencing Masters)  

Silver: Heidi Ding (China)  

Bronze: Kyle Fallon (Fencing Academy Of Westchester)  

Bronze: Sarah Gu (Medeo Fencing Club)  

5th: Melinda Yao (Alliance Fencing Academy)  

6th: Angela Song (Cavalier Fencing Club)  

7th: Regina Lee (Swords Fencing Studio)  

8th: Ava Wade-Currie (Northwestern University & Olympia Fencing Center)

Junior Women’s Saber

Gold: Gabriela Hwang (Phoenix Fencing Academy)  

Silver: Charmaine Andres (Southern California Fencing Academy)  

Bronze: Dagny Johnson (Rochester Fencing Club)  

Bronze: Katherine Andres (University Of Pennsylvania & Southern California Fencing Academy)  

5th: Audrey Lin (Globus Fencing Academy)  

6th: Lila Paul (Sheridan Fencing Academy)  

7th: Natalie Tsui (Manhattan Fencing Center)  

8th: Aria Bevacqua (Manhattan Fencing Center)

Junior Men’s Epee

Gold: Samuel Imrek (Alliance Fencing Academy)  

Silver: Jack Kropp (Elite Fencing Academy VA & GA)  

Bronze: Michael Bezrodnov (Medeo Fencing Club)  

Bronze: Geoffrey Yao (True Focus Sports Academy)  

5th: Alexander Bezrodnov (Medeo Fencing Club)  

6th: Daniel Chirashnya (Academy Of Fencing Masters)  

7th: Kent Iyoki (Northwest Fencing Center)  

8th: James Sennewald (Alliance Fencing Academy)

Vet Combined Men’s Foil

Gold: Dong-Ying Pai (Twin Cities Fencing Club)  

Silver: Carlos Junco (Mexico)  

Bronze: Pasha Glozman (Salle Auriol Seattle & Rain City Fencing Center)  

Bronze: Lorenzo Gavilli (Canada)  

5th: Michael Cho (Renaissance Fencing Club)  

6th: Henri Darrieau (Denver Fencing Center)  

7th: James Flanagan (Youth Enrichment League Fencing Club)  

8th: Roustam Pimoutkine (Fencers Club Inc.)

Vet Combined Women’s Epee

Gold: Christina Kaneshige (Denver Fencing Center)  

Silver: Rebecca Chimahusky (DC Fencers Club)  

Bronze: Carola Schmid (Salle Auriol Seattle)  

Bronze: Kira Hansen (Academy Of Fencing Masters)  

5th: Kristin Foellmer (DC Fencers Club)  

6th: Suzanne Bloomer (Academy Of Fencing Masters)  

7th: Dawn Lorentson (Shoreline Fencers Club & Riverside Fencing Club)  

8th: Janet Marsh (No Fear Fencing)

Day 4 Photos

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Tag(s): Updates  April 2024 NAC