(St. Louis, Mo.) – Both Geoffrey Tourette (Cupertino, Calif.) and Maia Chamberlain (Menlo Park, Calif.) had momentum on their side entering their Division I events at the July Challenge in St. Louis.
Tourette won the gold in the junior event on Friday while Chamberlain came into the July Challenge as last year’s winner in Division I women’s saber and a bronze medalist at the Division I National Championships in April. On Sunday, both came out on top once again with Tourette going undefeated on the day to win his second Division I foil title of 2018 and Chamberlain repeating as the Division I saber champion.
“My confidence was definitely very high,” Tourette said. “I knew that there was nobody I couldn’t beat heading in. And I think when you have that confidence and you’re able to go out there every bout, no fear, it really helps me relax and get the groove on, so that was good.”
A two-time Junior World medalist in the team event, Tourette went 6-0 in pools to earn a bye into the table of 64, where he dominated his bout against Aidan Chu (San Francisco, Calif.), 15-6.
After defeating Lucas Orts (Burlingame, Calif.), 15-12, Tourette quickly made his way in the quarter-finals with a 15-5 win over Andrew Chung (Yorba Linda, Calif.)
A 15-12 win over Aleksandr Pivovarov (RUS) set the stage for a re-match between Tourette and Mohamed Hamza (EGY), who also met in the semifinals in the junior event. Tourette took the bout 15-9 just two days prior and Sunday earned a 15-8 victory to advance to the final.
Facing a familiar foe in Sam Moelis (Hewlett, N.Y.), Tourette’s teammate on the gold medal-winning team at the 2017 Junior Worlds, Tourette jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead.
Then, with the score at 5-3, Tourette scored 10 consecutive touches to end the bout and take the gold, 15-3.
“Sam and I have been fencing for forever,” Tourette said. “We’ve been rivals since Y12 days, so we’ve been there for a while and today I just got into a rhythm early. When that happens, I try to not even give them a chance to breathe because as soon as they get a chance to breathe, they can reset and the tide can switch really fast. I wasn’t willing to risk that because I know how terrific of a fencer he is, so I was just a little scared. But as soon as I got on my roll, it was all I needed to take it to the top.”
Chamberlain started her day 4-2 pools to move directly into the 64.
In the 64, Chamberlain gave up just four points to take a 15-4 victory. The following rounds saw her edge out Imogen Harrison (Portland, Ore.), 15-11, and Daniella Timofeyev (Antelope, Calif.), 15-13, to reach the quarters.
A 15-9 victory over 2018 Cadet World bronze medalist Alexis Anglade (Alpharetta, Ga.) in the quarters guaranteed Chamberlain a medal and she secured a spot in the final by outtouching Nora Burke (New York, N.Y.), 15-14.
Up 8-7 at the break in the final against four-time Olympian Aleksandra Shelton (POL), Chamberlain extended her lead to 12-10, but Shelton responded with three straight touches to take the lead at 13-12.
However, it would be Chamberlain’s turn for a run as she ended the bout with the final three points for a 15-12 victory.
“[Winning gold] feels great, Chamberlain said. “I was up against a really tough opponent, so it was really nice to know that I could step up to the challenge.”
In cadet women’s épée, Sonia Bulavko (Dublin, Calif.) won her first gold at a national event with an overtime victory, scoring the winning touch with five seconds remaining on the clock. Luke Linder (Chandler, Ariz.) also won his second straight July Challenge cadet gold in men’s saber.
Two National Champions in Division IA were crowned on Sunday. Nineteen-year-old Matthew Comes (Bothell, Wash.) won his second National Championship title, adding a men’s epee gold to his Division III National Championship win in 2014. Fencing at her second Div IA Nationals, 14-year-old Justina Lam (Cherry Hill, N.J.) took the women’s foil title.
Two gold medals were also given out in senior team as part of the July Challenge.
Team USA took the top spot on the podium in women’s épée as 2018 Senior World Team members Kat Holmes (Washington, D.C.), Kelley Hurley (San Antonio, Texas), Courtney Hurley (San Antonio, Texas) and Amanda Sirico (Bowie, Md.) joined together to fence in one final tournament in preparation for Worlds in Wuxi later this month. Team USA defeated LAIFC 1, 45-30, in the final to take gold.
In the senior men’s team saber event, Nellya came to St. Louis with a squad that included 2018 Junior World team bronze medalist Kamar Skeete (Duluth, Ga.) and 2017 Cadet World silver medalist Christopher Walker (Atlanta, Ga.) as well as junior fencers Alex Walker (Atlanta, Ga.) and Raymond Zhao (Johns Creek, Ga.) competed for Nellya and won the gold with a 45-35 victory over Fencers’ Club.
In the veteran team events, the Needles, composed of Ann Totemeier (Boulder, Colo.), Liz Kocab (Farmington Hills, Mich.), Ellen Finnegan (West Roxbury, Mass.) and Marcia Pierce (Richmond, Ky.), won a tight overtime bout in women’s épée, 32-31, over Kooky Coyotes 203 for the top spot on the podium.
Aleksandr Fotiyev (Newtown, Conn.), Oleksii Kuznetsov (Basking Ridge, N.J.), Sergey Makogon (Matthews, N.C.) and Oleg Stetsiv (Staten Island, N.Y.) teamed up as the Ukrainian Fanatics and went 3-0 for gold in men’s saber with a 45-39 win over FCAZ in the final
Top eight results are as follows:
Division I Men’s Foil July Challenge
1. Geoffrey Tourette (Cupertino, Calif.)
2. Sam Moelis (Hewlett, N.Y.)
3. Andrew Machovec (East Rockaway, N.Y.)
3. Mohamed Hamza (EGY)
5. Kevin Katayama (Belmar, N.J.)
6. Aleksandr Pivovarov (RUS)
7. Duncan Rheingans-Yoo (Cambridge, Mass.)
8. Earnest Chen (Weston, Conn.)
Division I Women’s Saber July Challenge
1. Maia Chamberlain (Menlo Park, Calif.)
2. Aleksandra Shelton (POL)
3. Anne-Elizabeth Stone (Princeton, N.J.)
3. Nora Burke (New York, N.Y.)
5. Honor Johnson (Bethesda, Md.)
6. Alexis Anglade (Alpharetta, Ga.)
7. Violet Michel (Cambridge, Mass.)
8. Veronica Czyzewski (Caldwell, N.J.)
Cadet Women’s Épée July Challenge
1. Sonia Bulavko (Dublin, Calif.)
2. Jaclyn Khrol (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
3. Zi Shan Guo (CAN)
3. Greta Candreva (Katonah, N.Y.)
5. Yasmine Khamis (Mckinney, Texas)
6. Yejine Lee (Northvale, N.J.)
6. Sarah Gresham (San Antonio, Texas)
8. Ella Minnulina (RUS)
Cadet Men’s Saber July Challenge
1. Luke Linder (Chandler, Ariz.)
2. Trenton Schmitt (Granite Bay, Calif.)
3. Antonio Heathcock (Midlothian, Va.)
3. Donghwan Park (Sacramento, Calif.)
5. Andrew Johnson (Chandler, Ariz.)
6. Marcel Merchant (New Rochelle, N.Y.)
6. John Lin (Stamford, Conn.)
8. Alan Chen (Raleigh, N.C.)
Division IA Men’s Épée National Championships
1. Matthew Comes (Bothell, Wash.)
2. Mehmet Tepedelenlioglu (La Honda, Calif.)
3. Colin Yu (Acton, Mass.)
3. Michael Shinholster (Woodstock, Ga.)
5. Henry Lange (Beaverton, Ore.)
6. Daniel Volkmann (Reno, Nev.)
7. Jakub Nowak (Schaumburg, Ill.)
8. Reza Merchant (Scarsdale, N.Y.)
Division IA Women’s Foil National Championships
1. Justina Lam (Cherry Hill, N.J.)
2. Helen Tan (Coppell, Texas)
3. Melissa Du (Short Hills, N.J.)
3. Renata Chusid (Franklin Lakes, N.J.)
5. Alyssa Chen (San Diego, Calif.)
6. Anika Breker (Barrington, R.I.)
7. Amy Jia (Houston, Texas)
8. Briana Parris (Stony Point, N.Y.)
Senior Team Women’s Épée July Challenge
1. Team USA
2. LAIFC 1
4. North Shore Fencers Club
5. The California Bois
6. NWFC Aspire
7. Gold Blade Fencing Center
8. East Bay Fencers Gym
Senior Team Men’s Saber July Challenge
1. Nellya Fencers
2. Fencers’ Club
3. Tim Morehouse Fencing Club 1
4. Avant Garde Fencer’s Club
6. Redstar Fencing Chicago
7. Capital Team
8. Midwest Fencing Club
Veteran Team Women’s Épée July Challenge
1. The Needles
2. Kooky Coyotes 203
3. NWFC Aspire
4. Victorious Valkyries}
5. The DMV
6. Mystery Train
7. Salle Auriol Seattle
8. Point Perfect
Veteran Team Men’s Saber July Challenge
1. Ukrainian Fanatics
3. Bates Motel
4. Five Below
5. Sworded Gentlemen
6. Mid-South Marauders
7. Beards and Blades
8. Denver Fencing Center