ansas City, Missouri hosted the November North American Cup for Cadets (U-17) and Juniors (U-20). Garwood’s Advance Fencing & Fitness Academy (AFFA) student athletes participated in the November 27-30 competition with the intention to up their rankings as National Team selections pass the halfway mark.
In the Cadet Women’s Saber event, AFFA student and Tenafly resident Martha Merriam defeated teammate and Cranbury resident Zara Moss to make the medal round. Merriam, ranked 2nd in the US in this division had a strong performance in the group stages going undefeated. Moss went 5-1 which led to the early draw. In the quarterfinal, Martha defeated Edith Johnson of Georgia 15-10 followed by Mikaela Avakian of Southern California 15-11 in the semifinal. In the gold medal match, Merriam fenced a close bout to Miranda Gieg but was defeated 15-13 finishing with a silver medal.
In the Junior category, both Merriam and Moss went undefeated in the preliminary rounds earning 2rd and 5th seeds respectfully going into direct elimination. In the quarterfinal round, Merriam defeated Alexis Anglade of Georgia 15-10 and Moss trumped Maverick Dougherty 15-7. The semifinal rounds saw Merriam defeated by Kara Linder of Arizona 15-11, earning her a Bronze medal finish; while Moss squeaked out a 15-14 victory over Ryan Jenkins. Moss was victorious in the finals over number-one ranked US fencer Kara Linder by a score of 15-8, earning her the gold medal.
Martha and Zara are coached by multiple-time National Champion and former US National Team Member Aleksander Ochocki along with former Penn State Assistant Coach and current Oak Knoll Associate Head Coach Jerome Guth.