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Daryl Homer Continues Undefeated Streak at NACs in 2018

10/16/2018, 11:30pm CDT
By Kristen Henneman

Div I men's saber podium (Back Row L-R): Bronze medalists Grant Williams and Jeff Spear, gold medalist Daryl Homer and silver medalist Khalil Thompson. (Front Row L-R): Top-eight finishers Filip Dolegiewicz, Christopher Walker, Josef Cohen and Karol Metry

Adam Rodney celebrates his Div I men's epee gold medal with younger brother Maxwell Rodney who fenced Div II epee in Milwaukee. Photo Credit: Kristen Henneman.

(Milwaukee, Wis.) – Rio Olympic silver medalist Daryl Homer (New York, N.Y.) remained perfect at national events in 2018, claiming his fourth gold, while Adam Rodney (New York, N.Y.) and Ysaora Thibus (FRA) each earned their first career NAC titles on Sunday at the October NAC.

Homer has not lost at a national tournament since April of 2016, going 7-0 on the day in the Division I men’s saber event. After besting Tariq Karam (New York, N.Y.), 15-7, in the table of 128, Homer cruised past Evan Prochniak (Boston, Mass.), Gabriel Armijo (San Diego, Calif.) and 2015 World Championships Team member Peter Souders (Silver Spring, Md.) by 15-6 scores.

“I’m grounding myself and focusing on one touch at a time, one bout at a time and most importantly, I’m just trying to get ready for the World Cups,” Homer said. “Today I experimented with a style I haven’t fenced in quite a bit and I saw really good percentages with it, so I’m really excited about that and excited to bring it to the World Cups.”

In the quarter-finals, Homer faced his biggest test of the day in Josef Cohen (Barrington, R.I.) Homer took the bout, 15-13, and advanced to the final with a 15-10 victory over his 2012 Olympic teammate Olympian Jeff Spear (Wynantskill, N.Y.)

Fencing for gold, Homer faced his teammate at the Peter Westbrook Foundation, Khalil Thompson (Teaneck, N.J.) Homer jumped out to a quick 7-1 lead, but Thompson closed the gap to two at the break, 8-6. Thompson continued his run at the beginning of the second period, going on a 3-0 run to take a 9-8 lead, but Homer finished the bout with seven straight points to secure the 15-9 victory.

“I just didn’t want to lose to my little brother. That was all,” joked Homer. “I’m happy that Khalil broke through and won the silver medal, which is amazing, and it’s been a great competition.”

The silver medal marked the best result in Division I for Thompson. Spear and Grant Williams (Atlanta, Ga.) earned bronze.

Another teammate of Homer and Thompson at the Peter Westbrook Foundation, Rodney, won his first NAC gold medal in Division I men’s épée after three previous silver medal finishes at national events.

“It means a lot [to win] because you come up short so many times,” said Rodney, who also noted the weekend was also special as he brought his brother Maxwell Rodney (Houston Texas) to compete at his first NAC in Division II men’s épée. “I’ve been up there a few times and you come up short and everything starts to tell you it’s just a curse. You hear people talking about it and hear people rambling, ‘Adam can’t finish’ and stuff like that. I felt like I couldn’t finish today – everything was against me. My legs were giving out, I was tired, I was cramping and it took a fight I hadn’t been able to muster before, so it means a lot to me to silence those voices in myself and out there. It’s very relieving.”

Rodney started the direct elimination rounds with 15-10 and 15-11 victories over 2014 Junior World bronze medalist Justin Yoo (La Verne, Calif.) and Daniel Volkmann (Reno, Nev.), respectively, before outtouching Teddy Sherrill (Brooklyn, N.Y.), 6-5.

The quarters saw Rodney overcome James Kaull (New York, N.Y.), 12-9, and in the semis, Rodney edged out 2018 World Championship Team member Jake Hoyle (New York, N.Y.), 15-13.

One win away from gold, Rodney started the final strong, going up 5-1 on two-time Junior World Championship Team member Stephen Ewart (Lancaster, Calif.) after the first break. With Rodney holding a 12-5 advantage going into the third period, Ewart started to make up ground, pulling within 14-10, but Rodney held on for a 15-10 victory.

“The past few times I’ve been in the final, I’ve gotten great leads and great control of the bout, and not been able to be disciplined and focused and strong enough and have the fortitude to withstand what’s ultimately going to come, which is there is going to be a shift in the bout,” Rodney said. “Stephen started to put some real pressure on at the end … but I knew that I couldn’t let my guard down. I couldn’t think that that was it because it will come eventually. The score was still a nice score, but the pressure that was there at the end was coming and if we had another round, maybe I wouldn’t have been able to withstand it, but I did today.”

Joining Rodney, Ewart and Hoyle on the podium was 2015 Senior World Team member Ari Simmons (Bellaire, Texas), who earned bronze.

In the Division I women’s foil competition, Thibus, a two-time individual Senior World medalist, won gold competing at her first NAC while Eleanor Harvey (CAN), a top-eight finisher at the Rio Olympic Games, took silver. Samantha Viqueira (Maplewood, N.J.) and Delphine DeVore (Westport, Conn.) also claimed podium finishes. For Viqueira, the bronze is her best result in Division I.

Thibus easily controlled her first two DE bouts of the day, overpowering Crystal Qian (Cupertino, Calif.), 15-4, and Anisha Kasi (New City, N.Y.), 15-5.

With a 15-10 victory over Ever Marinelli (San Francisco, Calif.) and a 15-7 win against Anna Novoseltseva (Grand Rapids, Mich.), Thibus clinched a spot in the quarter-finals.

After defeating Madison Zeiss (Culver City, Calif.), 15-11, Thibus outtouched Viqueira, 15-14, to advance to the final.

“Most of the time I like to stick to the tactic, but this bout was more about feeling, so I tried not to think too much, to clear my mind,” Thibus said. “When it’s 14-14, I always try to forget about the score and reset, like it’s 0-0 and fence for one touch. So it was a good exercise for me.”

Close throughout, Harvey took an 11-10 lead into the second break, but Thibus tied the score at 11 and scored the next four points to secure the victory, 15-11.

“Now I’m living in America most of the time, so the season’s going to start in November and it’s perfect timing for me to have a good competition with good level [fencing], so I’m happy to be here,” Thibus said. “[The final] was a good bout for me because it’s like a World Cup bout. I fence with Harvey often in competition, so we know each other. I was kind of tired, I have to admit, so I took my time to find a good rhythm and I changed her timing a little bit and went more with my arm and more forward, so it worked well at the end.”

In the final wheelchair events of the weekend, Rio Paralympian Ruth Sylvie Morel (CAN) and Tareq Alqallaf (KUW) won saber gold.

Winning the wheelchair women’s saber title for the second straight NAC after taking gold in January, Morel went a combined 8-2 in pools. With a 15-7 victory over Victoria Isaacson (Poughkeepsie, N.Y.), Morel moved into the final, where her bout against Shelby Jensen (Salt Lake City, Utah) went down to the wire.

Morel came out on top, 15-14, and Jensen earned silver for her third medal of the weekend. Isaacson and Hailey Bauer (Denver, Colo.) claimed bronze.

The men’s event saw Alqallaf win complete a sweep of the men’s wheelchair events. He bested Rick Swauger (Logan, Ohio), in the semifinals, 15-11, before shutting out DeJuan Surrell (Jackson, Miss.), 15-0, in the final.

Noah Hanssen (Ellicott City, Md.), who was competing at his first competition, also won bronze.

In the Division II women’s épée competition, Lauren McLane (Los Angeles, Calif.) took the top spot in the podium, her first gold on the NAC circuit. Diane Kim (Palisades Park, N.J.) won silver while Aafreen Qureshi (Arcadia, Calif.) and Paree Chan (Las Vegas, Nev.) earned bronze.

McLane gave up just three points in the 128, winning 15-3, before overcoming Devon Belsley (Chicago, Ill.), 15-10; Rachel Kowalsky (Oyster Bay, N.Y.), 15-13; and Gabrielle Roberts (Boxborough, Mass.), 15-12.

An 11-8 victory in the quarters over Tatiana Zafft (Worthington, Mass.) guaranteed McLane a medal and she earned the chance to fence for gold with a 15-12 win against Qureshi. In the final, McLane edged out Kim, 15-13, for her first title.

The gold medalist in Y12 men’s foil at the 2018 National Championships, 13-year-old Ethan Um (Concord, Mass.) earned the Div II men’s foil title.

Um defeated Andrew Ma (Miramar, Fla.), 15-7, before advancing to the 32 with a 15-9 victory over William Snyder (Shepherdstown, W. Va.)

In the following two rounds, Um blazed past Duke Wang (Mason, Ohio), 15-5, and Jason Zhao (Cincinnati, Ohio), 15-6. The quarter-finals saw Um defeat Caden Lee (CAN), 15-10.

After overcoming Richard Lin (Melville, N.Y.), 15-11, to make the final, Um outtouched Spencer Grossman Smisek (New York, N.Y.) in overtime, 15-14.

Grossman Smisek took the silver and Lin and William Shih (Santa Clara, Calif.) earned bronze.

Click here to view complete results.

Top eight results are as follows:

Division I Men’s Saber October North American Cup
1. Daryl Homer (New York, N.Y.)
2. Khalil Thompson (Teaneck, N.J.)
3. Grant Williams (Atlanta, Ga.)
3. Jeff Spear (Wynantskill, N.Y.)
5. Karol Metryka (Linden, N.J.)
6. Josef Cohen (Barrington, R.I.)
7. Christopher Walker (Atlanta, Ga.)
8. Filip Dolegiewicz (Park Ridge, Ill.)

Division I Men’s Épée October North American Cup
1. Adam Rodney (New York, N.Y.)
2. Stephen Ewart (Lancaster, Calif.)
3. Jake Hoyle (New York, N.Y.)
3. Ari Simmons (Bellaire, Texas)
5. James Kaull (New York, N.Y.)
6. Soren Thompson (New York, N.Y.)
7. Zeyad Elashry (Hacienda, Calif.)
8. Ben Bratton (New York, N.Y.)

Division I Women’s Foil October North American Cup
1. Ysaora Thibus (FRA)
2. Eleanor Harvey (CAN)
3. Samantha Viqueira (Maplewood, N.J.)
3. Delphine DeVore (Westport, Conn.)
5. Madison Zeiss (Culver City, Calif.)
6. Zander Rhodes (South Orange, N.J.)
7. Jessica Guo (CAN)
8. Jacqueline Dubrovich (Hoboken, N.J.)

Wheelchair Women’s Saber October North American Cup
1. Ruth Sylvie Morel (CAN)
2. Shelby Jensen (Salt Lake City, Utah)
3. Hailey Bauer (Denver, Colo.)
3. Victoria Isaacson (Poughkeepsie, N.Y.)
5. Terry Hayes (North Fort Myers, Fla.)
6. Anny Kennedy (Ogden, Utah)

Wheelchair Men’s Saber October North American Cup
1. Tareq Alqallaf (KUW)
2. DeJuan Surrell (Jackson, Miss.)
3. Rick Swauger (Logan, Ohio)
3. Noah Hanssen (Ellicott City, Md.)

Division II Women’s Épée October North American Cup
1. Lauren McLane (Los Angeles, Calif.)
2. Diane Kim (Palisades Park, N.J.)
3. Aafreen Qureshi (Arcadia, Calif.)
3. Paree Chan (Las Vegas, Nev.)
5. Kira Belaoussoff (CAN)
6. Tatiana Zafft (Worthington, Mass.)
7. Alexandra Drovetsky (Martinsville, N.J.)
8. Kaylin Nguyen (Las Vegas, Nev.)

Division II Men’s Foil October North American Cup
1. Ethan Um (Concord, Mass.)
2. Spencer Grossman Smisek (New York, N.Y.)
3. William Shih (Santa Clara, Calif.)
3. Richard Lin (Melville, N.Y.)
5. Lucas Choy (HKG)
6. Caden Lee (CAN)
7. Dayaal Singh (Basking Ridge, N.J.)
8. Adam Catlin (Porter Ranch, Calif.)

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