SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ - Union Catholic's Jadeyn Williams finished seventh in the sabre in the Junior Division (under-20 age group) at the USA Fencing Junior Olympics at the Greater Columbus Convention Center on Saturday in Columbus, Ohio.
This was the highest finish at the Junior Olympics for the 16-year-old Williams, who continues to more than hold her own against older fencers.
The great performance by Williams at the Junior Olympics comes a week after she finished in a tie for 18th in the Junior Division at the Coupe du Monde Junior World Cup on Sunday in Bulgaria.
The biggest highlight of the tournament for Williams came when she went up against two-time World Champion Natalia Botello of Mexico, who is ranked No. 2 in the World in the Junior Division (Under 20). Although Williams didn't win, she gave Botello all she could handle, losing by just three points to the eventual champ,15-12. Only one other fencer came closer to upsetting Botello in the entire tournament.
Williams, who lives in Metuchen and fences out of the Advance Fencing & Fitness Academy (AFFA) in Garwood, has gained a lot of experience competing for Team USA internationally over the last year. This past December, Williams was one of only two girls in her age group selected to compete at the Junior World Championships in Sosnowiec, Poland. In the field of 138 fencers in the sabre, she placed a very strong 54th against the more experienced and older fencers. Williams was part of a U.S. squad that placed ninth in the final team standings.
She also captured a bronze medal at the prestigious European Fencing Confederation Cadet Cup in Eislingen, Germany at the Junior World Championships. It was the first European Cup medal for Williams.
In November, Williams won the gold medal at the North American Cup in the Cadet Division as she captured the third national title in her remarkable career. In October, Williams helped lead Team USA to the gold medal in the Women's Sabre Cadet Division at the World Cup Championships in Godollo, Hungary.
Williams scored 16 points as the anchor in the championship match to spark Team USA to a 45-36 victory over Hungary to clinch the gold medal.
Willams said all the traveling and high level competition is part of a process for her.
In addition to all her international success, Williams has built a remarkable resume at U.S. meets.
Last summer, she captured the gold medal in the Cadet Women's sabre at the USA Fencing National Championships in Center in Ohio. That was the second national title for Williams, who won her first national title in the sabre in the 14-and-under division in 2014.
Williams also placed 14th in the sabre competition at the USA National Championships to help her team win the silver medal in the Division 1 team competition, which is for fencers of all ages. The gold medal in the Division 1 sabre competition was won by Sada Jacobson Baby, who won the bronze medal in the sabre at the 2004 Olympics in Athens and captured the silver medal in the sabre at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.
Next up for Williams is the NJSIAA Championships on March 1 at Livingston High School. Williams qualified by placing first at the NJSIAA Independent Schools Qualifying Round last month when she won all six of her bouts and outscored her opponents 30-2 to win for the third straight year.
Williams placed second in the girls sabre at the NJSIAA Individual Fencing Championships last year, and she was sixth as a freshman in 2018.