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National Championship Titles on the Line in Reno this Weekend

02/25/2015, 4:45pm CST
By Nicole Jomantas

World Team Champion Eliza Stone won her first Division I National Championship in 2013. Photo Credit: Nicole Jomantas

(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – More than 1,000 athletes will compete in 57 events during the USA Fencing National Championships and March North American Cup this weekend in Reno.

The four-day tournament begins on Friday at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center, 4590 S. Virginia St., and all events are free and open to the public.

U.S. Olympic Team members from the 2012 Games in London as well as past Senior World Championship medalists will be competing for the chance to be named a USA Fencing National Champion in the Division I (senior elite) events for epee, foil and saber.

Among the athletes competing this weekend are the following members of the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team:

  • Courtney Hurley (San Antonio, Texas / epee), 2012 Olympic team bronze medalist
  • Kelley Hurley (San Antonio, Texas / epee), 2012 Olympic team bronze medalist
  • Nzingha Prescod (Brooklyn, N.Y. / foil), three-time World Cup circuit medalist
  • Nicole Ross (New York City, N.Y. / foil), 2015 Gdansk World Cup team silver medalist
  • Jeff Spear (Wynantskill, N.Y. / saber), two-time World Cup team medalist

Two members of the U.S. Women’s Saber Team that won gold at the 2014 Senior World Championships will be fencing in Reno – two-time Senior World team medalist Eliza Stone (Chicago, Ill.) and four-time Senior World team medalist Ibtihaj Muhammad (Maplewood, N.J.) Two-time Senior World team medalist Daria Schneider (New York City, N.Y.) also will be fencing in Reno where all three athletes are former Div I National Champions.

In the men’s epee event, the field includes 2012 Senior World Team Champion Ben Bratton (New York City, N.Y.) and Benji Ungar (Bronx, N.Y.) who won silver in the team competition at the 2010 Senior Worlds.

While the focus is on the Division I titles, several men’s saber fencers will be competing for a chance to qualify for the 2015 Junior and Cadet World Championships as this tournament is the final qualifier for the team that will compete in April.

Andrew Mackiewicz (Westwood, Mass.), a bronze medalist at the 2014 Junior Worlds, finished second at the 2014 Div I Nationals and is expected to be a contender for the podium this weekend as well. While Mackiewicz has his position on the team secured, saber fans will be watching 2013 Senior Pan American Team Champion Jonah Shainberg (Rye, N.Y.) battle it out with 2014 Cadet World Team members Ben Natanzon (Manalapan, N.J.) and Calvin Liang (Chandler, Ariz.) for a chance to represent Team USA in Uzbekistan.

In addition to being the Division I Nationals, this weekend’s tournament also features events in the March North American Cup for Veteran (40+), Division III and wheelchair fencers.

As the second domestic tournament of the season for wheelchair fencers, the March NAC will feature a number of 2016 Paralympic hopefuls, including 2012 Paralympian Joey Brinson (Florence, Miss.) and three-time Paralympian Andrea DeMello (New York City, N.Y.)

Click here to view the complete list of athletes competing in Reno. 

Competition schedule is as follows (all times are estimated start times, events run through completion):

Friday, Feb. 27
8: 30 a.m.
Division I Men’s Saber
Division I Women’s Epee
Veteran +70 Men’s Epee

9:30 a.m.
Veteran 60-69 Men’s Epee
Veteran Open Men’s Foil

11:30 a.m.
Veteran Team Men’s Saber
Veteran Open Women’s Saber

12:30 p.m.
Veteran 40-49 Women’s Foil

1:30 p.m.
Wheelchair Women’s Epee
Veteran Team Women’s Epee
Veteran 40-49 Men’s Epee
Veteran 50-59 Men’s Epee
Veteran 60-69 Women’s Foil
Veteran +70 Women’s Foil

2:30 p.m.
Veteran 50-59 Women’s Foil

Saturday, Feb. 28
8:30 a.m.
Division I Men’s Epee
Division III Men’s Saber

9:30 a.m.
Division I Women’s Foil
Veteran 40-49 Women’s Saber
Veteran +70 Men’s Foil

10 a.m.
Veteran 40-49 Men’s Foil

10:30 a.m.
Wheelchair Women’s Foil
Veteran 60-69 Women’s Saber

11:30 a.m.
Veteran 60-69 Men’s Foil

12:30 p.m.
Veteran Team Men’s Epee

1:30 p.m.
Wheelchair Men’s Foil
Veteran 50-59 Men’s Foil
Veteran 50-59 Women’s Saber
Veteran +70 Women’s Saber
Veteran Team Women’s Foil
Division III Women’s Epee

2:30 p.m.
Division I Team Women’s Epee

3:30 p.m.
Division I Team Men’s Saber

Sunday, March 1
8:30 a.m.
Division I Men’s Foil
Division III Men’s Epee

9:30 a.m.
Division I Women’s Saber
Division I Team Men’s Epee

10:30 a.m.
Wheelchair Men’s Saber

12:30 p.m.
Veteran 40-49 Women’s Epee
Veteran Team Men’s Foil
Division III Women’s Foil

1:30 p.m.
Wheelchair Women’s Saber
Veteran 50-59 Women’s Epee
Veteran 60-69 Women’s Epee
Veteran Open Men’s Saber

2:30 p.m.
Veteran +70 Women’s Epee

3:30 p.m.
Veteran Team Women’s Saber

Monday, March 2
8:30 a.m.
Veteran +70 Men’s Saber
Veteran Open Women’s Epee
Division III Men’s Foil
Division III Women’s Saber

9:30 a.m.
Veteran 40-49 Men’s Saber

10:30 a.m.
Veteran Men’s Epee

11:30 a.m.
Veteran 50-59 Men’s Saber

12:30 a.m.
Veteran 60-69 Men’s Saber
Veteran Open Women’s Foil 

Tag(s): News  Courtney Hurley  Kelley Hurley  Ibtihaj Muhammad  Nicole Ross  Nzingha Prescod  Eliza Stone