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Summer Nationals 2024, Day 4 Recap: Repetition is Key as Champions Strike Gold Again

07/02/2024, 9:00pm CDT
By Zach Allen

Jaelyn Liu and Chris O’Laughlin were among the winners on Tuesday, July 2 — Day 4 of the USA Fencing National Championships & July Challenge, also known as Summer Nationals.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Two days — two gold medals. All Jaelyn Liu (Star Fencing Academy / Fencing Institute of Texas) can see is gold after she recorded her second gold medal in as many days by winning the Cadet Women’s Foil crown one day after taking home the Division I Women’s Foil gold medal on July 1.

“I'm a fighter right now. I've been trying to stay calm and all of my bouts, that's something I've been working on, my emotions,” Liu says. “I think I definitely succeeded in that.”

Liu’s gold medal was one of 16 gold medals earned on Tuesday, July 2, at the USA Fencing National Championships & July Challenge, also known as Summer Nationals.

Chris O’Laughlin OLY (New York Athletic Club) shared a similar strategy en route to his second consecutive gold medal and national championship in Vet-50 Men’s Epee.

O’Laughlin defeated Alexandre Rachtchinine (Cardinal Fencing Academy / Fairfax Fencers LLC) 10-2 in the finals. Other than his 10-7 victory over Erich Cranor (Northwest Fencing Center) in the semifinals, none of O’Laughlin’s opponents scored more than three touches.

“I didn't know what to expect going into today, I really didn't,” O’Laughlin says. “I tried to take it one touch at a time, one bout at a time, and I'm just really pleased that I made it to the final and that I won.”

Jeannine Bender (Capital Fencing Academy) joined O’Laughlin as another competitor who won gold for the second straight year.

For Bender, the Vet-70 Women’s Saber crown was the cherry on top of her Summer Nationals experience, as the community aspect makes it enjoyable no matter what happens on the strip.

“This sport, it really keeps you young and keeps you thinking, and it's just fabulous,” Bender says. “ I really enjoy fencing with my colleagues when I come to Nationals, and it's especially fun at the club because I get to fence with all the kids. So it feels really great [to win].”

Fritz Chang (NEMA Fencing Center) kept young by maintaining a consistent practice routine, even if he didn’t want to go at times. His determination paid off after he took home the gold medal in Vet-80 Men’s Epee.

“There are times when I felt tired, I still felt that I needed to practice, and that's what I did,” Chang says. “I overcame a lot of moments when I didn't feel like practicing, but I did it despite being tired or fatigued or hungry or whatever.”

Chang defeated Donald Anderson (New Mexico Fencing Foundation), 10-9, in the finals. Chang led 7-4 before a five-touch run by Anderson put Chang on the ropes.

Chang was able to bounce back and rattle off three touches in a row to win gold.

“I was telling myself that perhaps I lost concentration or something, so I needed to regain concentration and change my strategy a little bit,” Chang said. “So that's what I did. I changed my strategy and refocused on what to do next against my opponent.”

Day 4 Medalists

Division I-A Women's Epee

Gold and 2024 National Champion: Jolie Korfonta (Elite Fencing Academy)

Silver: Holly Buechel (Tim Morehouse Fencing Club)

Bronze: Felicity Sebastian (Alliance Fencing Academy)

Bronze: Anda Wattanakit (Medeo Fencing Club & Advance Fencing)

5th: Hiba Hafeez (Vivo Fencing Club)

6th: Tanishka Padhye (Alliance Fencing Academy)

7th: Alisa Yang (Guanyi Fencing Academy)

8th: Tesla Wells (Marx Fencing Academy)

Division I-A Men's Saber

Gold and 2024 National Champion: Henry Nadile (University of Notre Dame & Scarsdale Fencing Center)

Silver: Samuel Craig (Globus Fencing Academy)

Bronze: Enzo Bera (Tim Morehouse Fencing Club)

Bronze: Bernard Witek (Globus Fencing Academy)

5th: Anderson Bull (Salle Auriol Seattle & Manhattan Fencing Center)

6th: Adam Mandel (Fencing Academy of Denver)

7th: James Schardine (Columbus International Fencing Academy)

8th: Zaheer Booth (Peter Westbrook Foundation & Fencers Club Inc.)

Vet-40 Women's Saber

Gold and 2024 National Champion: Kathryn Pierrynowski (Research Triangle Fencing)

Silver: Camilla Sise (New England)

Bronze: Agnieszka Koszyk (RedStar Fencing Club Chicago)

Bronze: Elizabeth Earls (West Berkeley Fencing Club)

5th: Clare Deming (Lilov Fencing Academy)

6th: Meredith Steyer (Tanner City Fencers Club & Cape Cod Fencers)

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

8th: Blanca Marentes (Salle Auriol Seattle)

Vet-50 Women's Saber

Gold and 2024 National Champion: Julie Seal (Valkyrie Fencing Club)

Silver: Jasmina Denner (Scarsdale Fencing Center)

Bronze: Nona Lim (United Fencers of Oakland)

Bronze: Frauke Berman (Manhattan Fencing Center)

5th: Eileen Foley (Denver Fencing Center)

6th: Emmanuelle Jean (Texas Fencing Academy)

7th: Nadia Dreyer (Nova Fencing Club)

8th: Eva Thornton (Capital Fencing Academy)

Vet-60 Women's Saber

Gold and 2024 National Champion: Robin Pernice (Dynamo Fencing Center Inc.)

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

Bronze: Beth Vance (Renaissance Fencing Club)

Bronze: Jenny Yang (Nellya Fencers)

5th: Kimberly Klein-Braddock (Oregon Fencing Alliance)

6th: Barbara Shinn-Cunningham (Corsair Fencing Club)

7th: Rebecca Freyre (Fencing Academy of Denver & Denver Fencing Center)

8th: Nam Heui Kim (Cambridge Fencing Center)

Vet-70 Women's Saber

Gold and 2024 National Champion: Jeannine Bender (Capital Fencing Academy)

Silver: Jennette Starks-Faulkner (Connecticut Fencers Club)

Bronze: Jude Offerle (RedStar Fencing Club Chicago & University of Notre Dame)

Bronze: Linda Dunn (IndySabre & Indianapolis Fencing Club)

5th: Gemin Channing (Capitol)

6th: Lynne Olson (Columbus Fencing and Fitness LLC)

7th: Anne-Marie Walters (Masters Fencing Club)

8th: Marsha Reichman (Fencing Sports Academy & Capital Fencing Academy)

Vet-40 Men's Epee

Gold and 2024 National Champion: Vadim Makmatov (Salle Auriol Seattle)

Silver: Sandor Mandoki (Halberstadt Fencers' Club)

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

Bronze: Adam Maczik (Marx Fencing Academy)

5th: Donovan Holtz (Peter Westbrook Foundation)

6th: Scott Rostal (Twin Cities Fencing Club)

7th: Jonathan Bartlett (New York Athletic Club & Rockland Fencers Club)

8th: Dong-Ying Pai (Twin Cities Fencing Club)

Vet-50 Men's Epee

Gold and 2024 National Champion: Chris O'Loughlin OLY (New York Athletic Club)

Silver: Alexandre Rachtchinine (Cardinal Fencing Academy & Fairfax Fencers LLC)

Bronze: Chris Pienta (Plymouth/Ann Arbor Fencing Academy)

Bronze: Erich Cranor (Northwest Fencing Center)

5th: Aaron Gaines (No Fear Fencing & San Diego Fencing Center)

6th: Robert Stewart (Marx Fencing Academy & Seacoast Fencing Club)

7th: Matt Maychrowitz (East Bay Fencers Gym)

8th: Darren Barreiro (Atlantic Fencing Academy)

Vet-60 Men's Epee

Gold and 2024 National Champion: Fred Frank (Northwest Fencing Center)

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

Bronze: Sean Ameli (Battle Born Fencing Club)

Bronze: Rick Watrall (New York Athletic Club)

5th: Bruce Jugan (Presidio Fencing Club & Swords Fencing Studio)

6th: Remi DePommier (Vivo Fencing Club)

7th: Dave Swanson (Ataba Fencing Club)

8th: John Varney (Salle Auriol Seattle)

Vet-70 Men's Epee

Gold and 2024 National Champion: Daryl Taylor (Fortune Fencing)

Silver: John Moreau OLY (Olympian Fencing Club)

Bronze: Dwain Blakley (Alliance Fencing Academy)

Bronze: James Newsome (Tidewater Fencing Club)

5th: Robert Tkach (Bucks County Academy of Fencing & Atlantic Fencing Academy)

6th: Tom Lutton (Denver Fencing Center)

7th: Charles King (Southwest Fencing Club)

8th: Bill Winget (Indianapolis Fencing Club)

Vet-80 Men's Epee

Gold and 2024 National Champion: Fritz Chang (NEMA Fencing Center)

Silver: Donald Anderson (New Mexico Fencing Foundation)

Bronze: Mark Henry (Chevy Chase Fencing Club)

Bronze: Ed Sady (Fencing Sports Academy)

5th: Barry Leonardini (East Bay Fencers Gym)

6th: James Gallivan (Fortune Fencing)

Cadet Women's Saber

Gold: Julie Xiao (Manhattan Fencing Center)

Silver: Natalie Tsui (Manhattan Fencing Center)

Bronze: Martina Fernandez (Nellya Fencers)

Bronze: Xuanyi Zhang (LA Fencing Academy of Pomona)

5th: JoyAnn Wei (Capital Fencing Academy)

6th: Gloria Wang (Culver Military Academy & Southern California Fencing Academy)

7th: Sarah Zeng (Bergen Fencing Club)

8th: Keira Lauri (Tim Morehouse Fencing Club)

Cadet Men's Foil

Gold: Riccardo Sisinni (Silicon Valley Fencing Center)

Silver: Gabriel Guerra (Metro Tacoma Fencing Club)

Bronze: Arjun Deshmukh (Austin Fencers Club)

Bronze: Aiden Siu (SoCAL Fencing Center)

5th: Cristiano Coelho (Massialas Foundation)

6th: Biaya Tiya (Atlanta Fencers Club Foundation & Lotus Fencing Academy)

6th: Matt Wei (Canada)

8th: Royce Lu (Mountain Valley)

Cadet Women's Foil

Gold: Jaelyn Liu (Star Fencing Academy & Fencing Institute of Texas)

Silver: Kaitlyn Tan (Star Fencing Academy)

Bronze: Gabrielle Gebala (Silicon Valley Fencing Center)

Bronze: Chloe Chen (Elite Fencing Club)

5th: Rebecca Cho (Top Fencing Club)

5th: Ziyue Luo (SoCAL Fencing Center)

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

8th: Iris Yang (Tim Morehouse Fencing Club)

Senior Team Men's Epee

Gold: Alliance Red (Alexander Fray, Oleg Knysh, Simon Lioznyansky, Miles Weiss)

Silver: NYAC White (James Kaull, Jack Piasio, Ian Sanders, Ari Simmons)

Bronze: NYAC Red (Stephen Ewart Jr., Ryan Griffiths, Teddy Lombardo)

Veteran Team Women's Epee

Gold: Nice Try (Heidi Chang, Kira Hansen, Haejung Hofman)

Silver: The Roses (Yuliya Ganser, Liz Kocab, Sandra Marchant, Toby Tolley)

Bronze: Salle Auriol Seattle Kraken (Kundry HaberKern, Monica Exum, Carola Schmid)

Day 4 Photos

Find all the great Day 4 photos on Facebook.

Tag(s): Updates  2024 Summer Nationals