Illinois Division

The Illinois Division of USA Fencing has three missions:
*To promote the sport of fencing in Illinois
*To sanction official USA Fencing local competitions
*To assist member clubs in the Illinois Division

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Illinois Fencer Named National Champion

August 31, 2021

Judith "Jude" Offerle has returned home to Illinois as National Champion in Veteran 70 Women's Foil, having won GOLD at the USA Fencing Veteran National Championships in Atlanta over the weekend. Offerle has earned a berth on the World Team for the 16th time in foil and for the 4th time in saber, having also placed 6th in Vet 70 Women's Saber at the tournament.

Ms. Offerle began her fencing journey one half-century ago in 1971 at the University of Notre Dame, fencing for the legendary Coach Michael DeCicco, a long ago inductee into the USA Fencing Hall of Fame. Women could only fence foil then. Notre Dame won the women's team event in the 1974 Collegiate Midwest regionals, the precursor to the NCAA regionals. However, women were not invited to the NCAAs for another 6 years.

Jude currently fences at RedStar Fencing Club Chicago and is coached by Peter Habala. She has fenced and earned medals all over the world, including an individual bronze in saber and a team gold at the Veteran World Championships in France in 2015. When she is not fencing, you may see Ms. Offerle sporting a navy blazer as a national referee. 

While living in New York Ms. Offerle was an officer of the Westchester/Rockland Division for more than a decade through the 1980s. Her coach in New York was another USA Fencing Hall of Famer, Allan Kwartler. She took a pause in competition when she moved to the Chicago area in 1992, but resumed when her son began fencing for New Trier High School and Notre Dame.

Congratulations on becoming National Champion, Jude, and thank you for all you've contributed to the sport of fencing in Illinois and beyond!

Breaking- The FIE Veteran World Championships were to be held in Daytona Beach, Florida in October 2021, but the status of the tournament is uncertain at this time. An announcement was made this week postponing the event due to travel restrictions presented by Covid-19 that make it difficult or impossible for fencers from around the world to enter the United States.


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