Paralympian Cat Bouwkamp
(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – Although Catherine Bouwkamp (Fishers, Ind.) is just a senior in high school, the London Paralympian is one of the most formidable forces in American fencing.
The 17-year-old hasn’t lost a bout in wheelchair women’s fencing on American soil since 2010 and continued her run on Saturday when she won her 19th straight national tournament title at the October North American Cup in Milwaukee.
Following her gold medal win in the epee competition on Friday, Bouwkamp won the women’s foil title on Saturday with a 15-0 shutout of Patricia Dykes (San Antonio, Texas).
Representing Kuwait, former Wheelchair World Champion Tareq Alqallaf won his second title of the weekend and fifth of the season with his victory in the men’s foil event.
Alqallaf defeated Rick Zengler (Norcross, Ga.), 15-1, in the semifinals and won his bout over 2013 Wheelchair World Team member Curt Oswalt (Von Ormy, Texas), 15-11, to take gold.
In a bid to qualify for her first Cadet World Team, Sarah Merza (Wayne, N.J.) moved up to the #1 U.S. ranking after winning gold in the cadet women’s saber event.
Merza won four direct elimination bouts to advance to the semifinals where she defeated Tori Johnson (Peachtree City, Ga.), 15-5, and went on to take her first cadet NAC title after a 15-8 win over Regina O’Brien (Wellesley Hills, Mass.)
After winning the Division II Nationals in July and placing second in the Y14 women’s epee event at Nationals, Dariya Yefremenko (Manalapan, N.J.) took her first Y14 NAC title on Saturday.
Seeded first out of the pools, Yefremenko won three direct elimination bouts to advance to the quarter-finals where she outtouched Tzarina Von Fritsch (San Antonio, Texas), 8-7.
Yefremenko controlled her semifinal bout against Emily Cabral (San Diego, Calif.), 15-4, and won gold over Kenyata Plenty (New York City, N.Y.), 15-11.
The Y14 men’s foil final came down to a battle between two teammates from Five Towns Fencers Club: Joseph Marino (Rockville Centre, N.Y.) and Andrew Machovec (East Rockaway, N.Y.)
While Marino came out of the pools as the first seed, Machovec was seeded 71st in the table of 128.
Both fencers advanced to the semifinals where they met a pair of fencers from Salle Mauro.
Marino defeated Mohamed Hamza (Pearland, Texas), 15-5, and Machovec defeated Kaden Lewis (Missouri City, Texas), 15-9.
Marino’s closest bout of the day ultimately came from his teammate in the gold medal final, but Marino came away with the victory and won his bout against Machovec, 15-13.
In the Division II men’s epee event, Zachary Cheng (Bloomington, Ill.) narrowly escaped his foes in the tables of 32 and 16 where he won bouts against Jeffrey Ozanne (Glenwood, Minn.) and Griffin Winterman (Penfield, N.Y.) by scores of 15-14 and 8-7, respectively.
Cheng secured his first ever NAC medal with a 15-3 win over Julian Maldonado (San Antonio, Texas) in the quarters and defeated Austin Crawford (Southlake, Texas), 15-11, in the semis.
Cheng finished his day with a 15-12 victory in the gold medal final against Cameron Sullivan (San Francisco, Calif.)
Zuzu Tang (Bellevue, Wash.) stood on the podium for the first time in 2011 when she won silver in the Division III women’s foil event at the October NAC as a 12-year-old.
On Saturday, Tang returned to the podium to capture her first gold medal win at a NAC – this time as a Division II fencer.
Seeded first out of the pools, Tang dominated nearly all of her direct elimination opponents and gave up no more than seven touches to anyone in her first five bouts.
Tang went on to win both her semifinal and final bouts by 15-8 margins over Zoe Loh (CAN) and Shani Edwards (Lexington, Ky.), respectively.
Click here to view complete results.
Top eight and results are as follows:
Cadet Women’s Saber
1. Sarah Merza (Wayne, N.J.)
2. Regina O’Brien (Wellesley Hills, Mass.)
3. Marta Lasota (Silver Spring, Md.)
3. Tori Johnson (Peachtree City, Ga.)
5. Galen Cadley (New York City, N.Y.)
6. Miranda Gieg (Sudbury, Mass.)
7. Victoria Zhang (Carmichael, Calif.)
8. Chloe Fox-Gitomer (Portland, Ore.)
Wheelchair Men’s Foil
1. Tareq Alqallaf (KUW)
2. Curt Oswalt (Von Ormy, Texas)
3. Rick Zengler (Norcross, Ga.)
3. DeJuan Surrell (Jackson, Miss.)
Wheelchair Women’s Foil
1. Catherine Bouwkamp (Fishers, Ind.)
2. Patricia Dykes (San Antonio, Texas)
3. Luticha Doucette (West Henrietta, N.Y.)
Y14 Women’s Epee
1. Dariya Yefremenko (Manalapan, N.J.)
2. Kenyata Plenty (New York City, N.Y.)
3. Emily Cabral (San Diego, Calif.)
3. Ariel Cox (West Newton, Mass.)
5. LeeAnn Choy (Basking Ridge, N.J.)
6. Tzarina Von Fritsch (San Antonio, Texas)
7. Tatijana Stewart (Ogden, Utah)
8. Nicole Agob (Azusa, Calif.)
Y14 Men’s Foil
1. Joseph Marino (Rockville Centre, N.Y.)
2. Andrew Machovec (East Rockaway, N.Y.)
3. Kaden Lewis (Missouri City, Texas)
3. Mohamed Hamza (Pearland, Texas)
5. Blake Broszus (San Jose, Calif.)
6. Zohaib Mannan (Short Hills, N.J.)
7. Nick Itkin (Los Angeles, Calif.)
8. Stefan Panagiev (Overland Park, Kans.)
Division II Men’s Epee
1. Zachary Cheng (Bloomington, Ill.)
2. Cameron Sullivan (San Francisco, Calif.)
3. Austin Crawford (Southlake, Texas)
3. Aris Vanderpool (Newton, Mass.)
5. Nikola Damjanovic (CAN)
6. Justin Brickman (Deerfield, Ill.)
7. Julian Maldonado (San Antonio, Texas)
8. Frank Sapienza (Bardonia, N.Y.)
Division II Women’s Foil
1. Zuzu Tang (Bellevue, Wash.)
2. Shani Edwards (Lexington, Ky.)
3. Zoe Loh (CAN)
3. Ariane Bilodeau (CAN)
5. Julia Gianneschi (Atlanta, Ga.)
6. Wei Chee Chen (Birmingham, Ala.)
7. Abigail Kaye (Columbus, Ohio)
8. Rhiannon Harvey (Norfolk, Va.)