Women’s Foil

1931 Amazons of the foil

1931 Amazons of the Foil” American’s Champion swordswomen meet brittan’s best in ‘clash of steel’ for international honours.  Features footage of three female American foilists: Ms. Marion Lloyd (later Mrs. Joseph Vince), the current US Women’s Foil Champion; Miss Locke, and Miss Burnside. Also three female British foilists: Miss Peggy Butler, Miss Nelligan, and Miss Pollock-Smith. Video courtesy of schlager7

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1939 Eddy, Mayer and Helm

SF Examiner photo of  (l to r)
Jane Eddy, Helene Mayer, Harriet Helm all of San Francisco at the Commercial Club getting ready to compete in the Fencers’ Carnival to help raise money for the 1939 US Nationals  to be held in San Francisco .   This would be the first time the Nationals were held outside the east coast.

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1967 Pan Am Women’s Foil Team 1967_PanAmGames_WomensFoil.jpg

1967 US Pan Am Games Women’s Foil Team
Left to Right: Veronica Smith, Harriet King, Jan Romary, Maxine Mitchell

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1969 Women’s Foil Medalists 1969USWomensFoilChamps_banner.jpg

1969 US Women’s Foil medalists

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1988 Seoul Olympic Games Dave Littel and Sharon Monplaisir DaveLittel_SharonMonplasir2.jpg

United States’ foil fencers Dave Littel and Sharon Monplaisir at the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games.
photo by Carl Borack

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1996 Olympic Fencing Team Opening Ceremony 1996_OlympicOpeningCeremonies2.jpg

’96 Olympians, photo taken in the holding area prior to Opening Ceremonies in Atlanta
Photo By Carl Borack

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1996 Olympic Team at the White House 1996Olympians_WhiteHouse2.jpg

1996 Olympic Team at the White House

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Acel, Grace Grace_Acel_banner.jpg

Grace Acel was 3 times the National Intercollegiate Womens Fencing Association Champion, was 2nd to Maxine Mitchell in the U.S. Nationals in 1954 and was a member of the U.S. Team for the Pan American Games in 1955. Her Coach was Giorgio Santelli

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Angelakis, Jana Jana_Angelakis_banner.jpg

Jana won the Jr. Olympic Under 20 foil title 4 times (the first time when she was only 14), the U-19 National foil title 5 times, NCAA foil champion, won the Pan Am Games gold medal with the US foil team in 1983, US national foil champion 3 times, andwas a member of 2 Olympic teams (1980 & 1984).

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Bilodeaux, Caitlin Caitlin_Bilodeaux_banner.jpg

4 US titles, the dominant women’s foilist of her time

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Bradford, Vincent VincentBradford_banner.jpg

USFA national foil champion (1984); national epee champion (1982, ’83,’84, ’86).
NIWFA foil champion (1975,’77) for San Jose State. Assistant Director USFA Coaches College. Coach, Texas Fencing Academy.

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Cerra Tishman, Maria Maria_Cerra_Tishman_banner.jpg

AFLA national foil champion (1945). Member, U.S. Olympic team (1948). Finalist, Olympic foil individual (1948) – tied for second place, finished fourth. This is the highest Olympic attainment by a US woman. NIWFA champion for Hunter (1938, ’40). First woman to officiate at a national final (1949); first woman member of the Olympic fencing committee (1965).

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Cross, Emily Emily_Cross_banner.jpg

Emily Cross – 3 World Champion titles, foil fencer at Harvard University.

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deBruin, Monique Monique_deBruin_banner.jpg

Monique deBruin (from Portland, Oregon) at the Pan Am Games in 1995.
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deTuscan, Joanna Joanna_deTuscan_banner.jpg

Joanna deTuscan is the first American woman ever to hold a World Foil title which she won in 1939 in London capturing the World Professional Foil title.

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Dow, Helena Mroczkowska Helena_Dow_banner.jpg

(1917-1998) – AFLA national foil champion (1940, ’43, ’47, ’48). Member, U.S. Olympic team (1948). Coach of Fairleigh Dickinson University (Rutherford) (1968-71). NIWFA foil champion for Hofstra (1939).

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Fish, Mrs. Stuyvesant StuyvesantFish_Banner.jpg

(1884 – 1971) – generous patron of fencing, advocate of women’s fencing, member of first championship women’s foil team.

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Gehrig, Adeline Adeline_Gehrig_banner.jpg

Adeline Gehrig won 4 consecutive foil titles

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Goodrich, Judy Judy_Goodrich_banner.jpg

2-time Olympians Judy Goodrich and Byron Krieger, both Michigan legends, on the cover of Detroit News Magazine in 1956

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Hopper, Irma Irma_Hopper_banner.jpg

1924 National foil champion and Olympian, Irma Hopper.

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Jacobsen (D’Asaro), Gay

Gay was the 1974 and 1978 US Foil Champion, a member of two Pan Am teams (1975 and 1979) and two Olympic teams (1976 and 1980).  She was also a 1-rated Referee.  Known for her beautiful technique, Gay is a member of the US Fencing Hall of Fame.

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Johnson, Stacey

*    Member of the 1980 Olympic Fencing Team
*    1982 Olympic Sports Festival Individual Champion and Gold Medal Team Champion
*    Four-time All American 1976-79
*    Two-time National Collegiate Champion 1976 & 1979
*    Four-time National Collegiate Team Champion 1976-79
*    Held Collegiate individual record for team win/loss (305-1)
*    Member of two World University Games Teams, 1977&1979
•                    Three-time U.S. National Team Champions – 1974, 1976-77/
•                     Five-times U.S. National
Championships individual finalist 1974, 1977-79, 1982
*    Member of three Junior World Teams (1973-75 Buenos Aires, Argentina; Istanbul, Turkey; and Mexico City, Mexico)
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Jones, Julia

NIWFA co-founder and first champion (1929) for NYU. Coach of the NIWFA championship team at NYU (1933, ’38) and Hunter (1970).  NIWFA coach of the year (1970, ’92).  Devoted to the development of women’s collegiate fencing; bringing the NIWFA from four teams in 1929 to 79 teams in 1980.

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King, Harriet Harriet_King_banner.jpg

A four-time national women’s fencing champion, King was a member of the US Olympic team four times. She fenced at Hunter College from 1953 to 1957. She was also a member of the USA Pan-American team and editor of American Fencing Magazine. Elected to Hunter College Sports Hall of Fame and US Fencing Hall of Fame.

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Locke, Dorothy Dorothy_Locke_banner.jpg

Dorothy Locke, born in Brooklyn in 1912, her father one day popped the question out of nowhere, “How’d you like to fence?”

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Marsh, Ann Ann_Marsh_banner.jpg

2 US titles. Ann Marsh made a legendary comeback against the German foil team.

VIDEO:  Ann Marsh interviewed by Andy Shaw at Summer Nationals 2011

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Mayer, Helene Helene_Mayer_banner.jpg

9 US titles, 1928 Olympic Gold Medalist, 2-time World Champion

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Mitchell, Maxine Maxine_Mitchell_banner.jpg

Maxine Mitchell, 4 US Titles, 4th 1952 Helsinki Olympics, after a 4-way tie for 3rd.

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Monplaisir, Sharon Sharon_Monplaisir_banner.jpg

Sharon Monplaisir, National Foil Champion and Olympian

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O’Connor, Denise Denise_OConnorBanner.jpg

A two-time Olympian, (1964, 1976), she fenced in five World Championships (1965, ’66, ’69, ’70, ’75), as well as the Pan American Games of 1975 (Bronze Medal). She was the winner of the 1971 Terre des Hommes in Montreal. For nearly two decades, she was a nationally ranked women’s foilist (1959-1976). She captained the Salle Santelli Women’s Foil Team to five national titles. She was also a 3-time chair of the New Jersey Division, coach of Brooklyn College for over a decade at Brooklyn College before becoming Assistant Director of Athletics.. In 1975 and ’76, she was NIWFA College Coach of the Year.. Her students have become champions and successful coaches in their own right.

VIDEO: Denise O’Connor interviewed by Andy Shaw 2012

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O’Neill, Mary Jane

Mary Jane O’Neill became the first Penn woman fencer to represent the United States in the Olympic Games, competing in 1988 at Seoul and again in 1992 at Barcelona.

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Pechinsky, Sally SallyPechinsky_Banner.jpg

Sally Pechinsky, Salle Santelli competed in the 1968 Olympic Games

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Romary, Janice York Janice_Romary_banner.jpg

Janice York Romary – 10 US National foil fencing titles, and Olympian.

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Schoonmaker, Florence

US Foil Champion in 1925, 1926, and 1929, representing the Fencers’ Club.

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Smart, Erinn Erinn_Smart_banner.jpg

Erinn Smart became involved in fencing at the age of 11 after her parents read in the newspaper about the Peter Westbrook Foundation, an organization founded by a six-time U.S. Olympian to draw in minority and underprivileged children to fencing.

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Stewart, Mildred MildredStewart_Banner.jpg

Mildred Langdon Stewart, who lived in West Hempstead, New York, attended Hunter College and was trained by Georgio Santelli at Salle Santelli.  She was a 2-time N.I.W.F.A. Foil champion (1936 & 1937) and made the 1940 U.S. Olympic Fencing team.  Due to World War II, the Olympic Games were cancelled.

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Sullivan, Molly

1985 National Women’s Foil Champion, 1985 National U-19 Champion, 2-time Olympian, 2-time NCAA Champion

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Sweeney, Paula

1953 US Foil Champion, coached by Bela deTuscan.

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US National Women’s Foil Champions


1912 Dr. Adelaide Baylis
1913 Mrs. Wm. H. Dewar
1914 Margaret Stimson
1915 Jessie Pyle
1916 Alice Voorhees
1917 Florence S. Walton
1920 Adeline Gehrig

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Van Buskirk, Elizabeth Elizabeth_VanBuskirk_banner.jpg

Elizabeth Van Buskirk was the 1930 U.S. Women’s foil champion representing the Fencers’ Club

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Vince, Marion Lloyd Marion_Lloyd_Vince_baner.jpg

(1909-1969) – AFLA national foil champion (1928, ’31); medalist eight times. Member, U.S. Olympic team (1928, ’32, ’36). Finalist, Olympic foil individual (1932) – ninth place. She was the first American woman to attain the Olympic finals. The national Under-19 women’s foil trophy is presented in her memory.

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White, Ruth

AFLA Women’s Foil Champion [1969, ’71]; AFLA U-19 Women’s Foil Champion (1968, ’70). The first African-American to win a US fencing championship, she won her first senior national championship in 1969 while still in high school in. NIWFA Champion in (1970, ’71).

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Women’s Foil Olympians

Best Non-Medaling Olympic Performances

4th Place WF 1948
Maria Cerra (Tishman) (3-way tie for 2nd)

4th Place WF 1952
Janice Lee York (Romary)

4th Place WF 1956
Janice Lee York (Romary)

4th Place WFT 2000
Ann Marsh, Felicia Zimmermann, Iris Zimmermann

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Women’s Foil Record Holders

10 Titles
Janice Lee York Romary: 1950, 1951, 1956, 1957, 1960, 1961, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1968
This record tops all men and women in United States foil history.

9 Titles
Helene Mayer: 1933 (out), 1934, 1935, 1937, 1938, 1939, 1941, 1942, 1946

4 Titles
Adeline Gehrig: 1920, 1921, 1922, 1923
Helena Mroczskowska Dow: 1940, 1943, 1947, 1948
Maxine Mitchell: 1952, 1954, 1955, 1958
Harriet King: 1963, 1967, 1970, 1971
Caitlin Bilodeaux: 1986, 1987, 1989, 1992
Felicia Zimmermann: 1993, 1996, 1999, 2000
Erinn Smart : 1998, 2007, 2004, 2007

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Women’s Foil World Champions

Gold Medalists
1995, Iris Zimmermann, CWF
1997, Iris Zimmermann, CWF
2000, Iris Zimmermann, JWF
2003, Emily Cross, CWF
2005, Emily Cross, JWF
2006, Emily Cross, JWF

Silver Medalists
1997, Iris Zimmermann, JWF

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Zimmermann, Felicia Felicia_Zimmermann_banner.jpg

4 US titles.  The first woman to win both the foil (1998) and epee (1999) at the NCAA championships.

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Zimmermann, Iris Iris_Zimmermann_banner.jpg

“I learned discipline from my own life experiences. I didn’t learn it from sport.” “My fencing has benefited from that discipline. It brings me to fencing practice everyday.”

VIDEO: Iris Zimmermann interviewed by Andy Shaw

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