Dalton Walker Earns Silver at USA Fencing National Championships
QUEENS, N.Y. - Competing in one of the most premier fencing tournaments in the United States, Dalton Walkerclaimed the silver medal at the USA Fencing National Championships in men’s saber in St. Louis, Mo. The freshman cruised through pool play with a perfect 5-0 mark to advance into the tournament portion of the competition as the seventh seed and a bye in the opening round. Walker collected a 15-10 victory in the table of 64 before punching his ticket to the table of 16 with a 15-11 triumph in the table of 32. The Jersey City, N.J., native’s tightest match came in the table of 16 when the freshman defeated Richard Shin, 15-13, to reach the final eight. There, Walker cruised into the semifinals with a 15-11 win to push the winning streak to nine-straight matches in the competition.
Facing a higher seed for the first time, the rookie dispatched fifth seeded Mark Leung, 15-12, before falling to the No. 6 seed Charlson Kim by the same score.
Walker also competed in the junior saber portion of the tournament, posting a 5-1 record in pool play and reaching the table of 32 with a pair of victories in the knockout rounds. Fellow freshman Sal Centanni also shined in the junior saber division, finishing a perfect 6-0 in pool play and earning the No. 2 seed in the table of 256. After advancing due to a bye, Centanni dropped a 15-14 heartbreaker to Bryan Moise in the next round to end the tournament run for the rookie.
A tetrad of current Johnnies and recent alum competed in the men’s epee bracket of the championships, with Omari Smoak and Ivan Zagoruiko leading the way with top-20 finishes. Smoak struggled in pool play, dropping his first trio of bouts before rallying to claim three-straight wins to earn the No. 64 seed in the table of 128. A tight 15-13 victory in the opening round booked a date with top-seeded Alexander Tsinis in the table of 64. There, Smoak defeated Tsinis, 15-10, before capturing another triumph over a higher seed in the table of 32. The sophomore fell in a spirited 15-14 affair against Matthew Comes in the table of 16 to finish 14th overall. Zagoruiko saw an easier time in pool play, claiming five-straight bouts after dropping the opener to push the freshman into the table of 128 as the No. 12 seed. The Kazakhstan native cruised in the opening round before claiming a 15-13 decision in the table of 64. Zagoruiko was upset in the table of 32 by Anton Piskovatskov, earning an 18th-place finish in the tournament. First Team All-American and silver medalist at the 2018 NCAA Fencing Championships, Sean White looked to continue his strong play in the epee division in St. Louis.
The senior won four of his six bouts in pool play to face fellow Johnnie Shomari Moore, who finished pool play with a 3-3 record, in the opening bout of the table of 128. White defeated his teammate, 15-9, before upsetting fifth-seeded Skyler Liverant with a 15-8 triumph to quickly move into the table of 32. The Manassas, Va., native dropped a 15-14 bout in the table of 32 to Daniel Volkmann to place 27th overall. Former St. John’s star Benjamin Bratton reached the table of 128 following a 3-3 mark in pool play, but was ousted in the opening round with a 15-14 lo