The best fencers in the nation flocked to America’s Center Convention Complex in St. Louis, Missouri, June 28 to July 7 to compete in the 10-day USA National Championships, arguably the largest fencing tournament in the world with over 4,000 athletes competing. Fencers from age 8 to over 80 challenged each other for championship crowns and national team memberships. Every fencer was required to prequalify for each of his or her selected events in the three fencing weapons—foil, epee, and sabre—grouped by gender, age, and ability level. Fencing events began at 8 a.m. daily with some afternoon sessions ending at 10to 11p.m. due to the 200-300 or more athletes competing in some categories.
The Rhode Island Fencing Academy & Club (RIFAC) in E. Providence was well represented at Summer Nationals in all weapon contests, but particularly so in foil. RIFAC’s women’s foil team defeated the number one seed on its way to a second place silver in Senior Team Women’s Foil. Four of the club’s strongest and most experienced women fencers made up the team including Providence’s Julia Shalansky. Shalansky holds a national rating of “B”; ratings are awarded by the United States Fencing Association and range from “A” at the highest to “E.”
Submitted by the R.I. Fencing Academy & Club