Jessica Davis competing at USA Fencing Summer Nationals
USAPM National Champion Jessica Davis Wins USA Fencing Summer Nationals Division IA Women’s Epee Title
by USA Fencing
PHOENIX, Ariz. — Jessica Davis (New York Athletic Club) was already the reigning national champion in modern pentathlon, having won the 2023 title in the Olympic sport that combines fencing, swimming, running, shooting and show-jumping.
On Friday, zeroing in on one of those disciplines, Davis added another national title to her successful summer: Division IA Women’s Epee national champion.
“I’m really proud that I was able to actually string together a full day,” she says. “I’ve had a lot of almost-there competitions and never quite gotten where I’ve been able to hold it together the whole day. So I was very proud that I was able to stay focused and stay energized the whole competition.”
Davis says her experience in modern pentathlon, which requires intense aerobic training, helped her have the endurance required to persist round after round.
“It’s where I think I do have my strength with fencing is that I'm in very good cardiovascular shape from running and swimming,” she says. “I’m able to really stay active through the whole day, but it is a very different mental game.”
While her fencing matches are to 15 touches, a modern pentathlon bout last for a single touch. That gives Davis plenty of experience for those moments in a fencing bout when a single touch means winning or losing.
“And a lot of my bouts today ended up coming down to 14-14,” she says. “So it was it was good practice for that one touch.”
The gold for Davis was one of four medals awarded on the first day of the 2023 National Championships and July Challenge, also known as Summer Nationals. Over 10 action-packed days, 95 gold medals will be awarded, including 66 national champions.
Will Morrill (Scarsdale Fencing Center / Fencers Club Inc.) took home the gold medal in Junior Men’s Saber. After a dominant performance in pools — 6-0, +22 indicator — Morrill continued his strong showing all day long. In his seven direct elimination bouts, Morrill allowed his opponents to score double-digit touches only twice.
“I was just trying to stay aggressive throughout most of the day and keep the pressure on the opponents and not give them any room to breathe,” he says. “So just keep with the pressure throughout the entire bout, and then using the pressure to make actions off of that. And that was working pretty well for me all day.”
Speaking of room to breathe, Morrill had very little. His Junior Men’s Saber competition ended around 4 p.m. Phoenix time, and his first bout in Division I Men’s Saber on Saturday was scheduled for just 16 hours later.
“I'll definitely just go straight to my hotel room, eat a lot of food, rest, stretch and just get ready for tomorrow and just stay prepared for tomorrow,” he says. “The job’s not finished. So I just need to stay with the same aggression for tomorrow.”
In the day’s other action, Samuel Imrek (Alliance Fencing Academy) won gold in Division I Men’s Epee. For Imrek, this victory marked three Division I men’s epee gold medals in the 2022-23 season.
He also won the December 2022 North American Cup in Salt Lake City and earned a national title at the Division I National Championships in April in St. Louis.
The day’s other gold medal went to Carlotta Ferrari (Maximum Fencing Club) in Division I Women’s Foil. Ferrari was most recently seen at the Junior and Cadet World Championships in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, where she fenced for Italy, finishing ninth.