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Fencers put on a show at the Minneapolis Convention Center

USA Fencing's "July Challenge" runs through July 11 at the Minneapolis Convention Center.

MINNEAPOLIS — There were fireworks indoors in downtown Minneapolis on Independence Day, but not the dangerous kind. 

More than 4,500 fencers from across the country and even international fencers are in town for the 2022 USA Fencing National Championships, and the intensity of the bouts is a show unlike anything you've ever seen. 

"I just think a lot of it is in the moment, you get really passionate," said Magda Skarbonkiewicz, a 17-year-old fencer from Oregon who's in town to compete. She's ranked third in the country at her age group. 

Skarbonkiewicz wasn't competing on July 4; her events come later in the week. But the competition on the floor was still extremely high, with nationally ranked fencers dueling it out to increase their standing and chase their dreams of fencing at the highest levels. 

"It's just fun, I think it's really fun. And I find when I'm just having fun, I am fencing my best," said William Morrill, a New Yorker in town for the tournament. Morrill competed in the juniors age group sabre tournament, taking gold over Elden Wood, another New Yorker. 

"I just joined a new fencing club and I wanted to bring a big win to them," Morrill said.

The 2022 USA Fencing National Championships started on July 2 at the Minneapolis Convention Center and finish up on July 11. People as young as 7 and as old as 87 are competing across all three disciplines of fencing, which are epee, sabre and foil. 

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