The 2017 U.S National Fencing Championships and July Challenge were held in Salt Lake City, Utah from July 1 – 10. This was the largest fencing tournament in the world with over 4,200 competitors from 47 states. Local Garwood fencing club, Advance Fencing & Fitness Academy (AFFA) sent over 18 athletes to the event who had to qualify through the national circuit or rigorous qualification paths through the region.
AFFA athletes returned home with 5 medals, starting with sweeping gold in the Senior (Division 1), Senior Team and Junior Women’s Saber events. Maia Chamberlain started off with gold in the Division 1 category and continued the streak with the senior team event where Zara Moss, Julia Parzecki and Abby Parker joined her. The girls took the final in a convincing fashion winning by a score of 45-27 against PDX of Portland, Oregon.
In the Junior category, Zara Moss continued her dominate season by taking gold. Zara has won two Division 1 titles and represented the United States at the Junior World Championships in Plovdiv, Bulgaria this April. Zara will be attending Penn State University on a full fencing scholarship this fall, but first she will travel to Leipzig, Germany with the Senior National Team as an alternate.
During the Division II event, Gillian Lawlor had a strong performance with a 5th place medal in her last event before joining the Boston College Eagles fencing team in the fall. The next young generation of AFFA fencer’s was highlighted by 10 year old Sofia Marek’s finish with a 5th place medal and Veronica Mika’s 12th place finish in the Under-10 category.
AFFA also had many notable finishes that came up just short of the medal rounds. Malcolm Fields finishes 14th out of 216 fencers in the Junior Men’s saber event. The Men’s senior team placed a strong 8th place out of 33 clubs in the country. Thirteen-year-old Jadeyn Williams placed 13th in the Junior and Under-14 events. Casper Mika finished 30th out of 203 competitors in the Under-14 event.
AFFA will be hosting three weeks of beginner camps starting July 17h, July 24th and July 31st for ages 8 through 14 with no prior experience required and all equipment provided, held at their state of the art facility located at 110 South Ave. Ste. B Garwood, N.J 07027.