Catherine (Kasia) Nixon, a sophomore at Notre Dame Academy in West Los Angeles, became the first U.S. woman ever to win gold at the Gothenburg Epee Cadet European Cup in Sweden on Feb. 1.
Competing against 149 fencers representing 30 different countries, Kasia won gold in the epee event in the cadet division. A 2013 Cadet World Team member, she won all six of her pool bouts to earn the fifth seed in the direct elimination tables and a bye into the table of 64 where she defeated teammate Camille Esnault of Cupertino, 15-7.
In the table of 32, Kasia defeated Francesca Cugini of Italy, 9-7, then posted a 15-9 win over Pauline Hamilton of Colorado Springs to gain the quarterfinals where she defeated France’s Camille Nabeth, 15-11 win to secure a place on the podium.
Kasia then advanced to the gold medal final with a 15-13 win against 2013 Cadet European Team Champion Eleonora De Marchi of Italy. In final, she and Fanny Depanian of France, the No. 3 women’s epee fencer in Cadet European Rankings, were tied at nine touches each at the end of the third period when the bout was sent to overtime. Kasia won priority, but didn’t need the advantage as she scored the last touch to win the bout, 10-9.
This is the second Cadet European Cup medal for Nixon who won bronze at the 2012 tournament in Grenoble, and was part of Team USA 1 that won the gold medal in the Cadet Team Women's Epee event, which featured 17 teams from 10 nations. She remains the No. 1 ranked Women’s Cadet (under 17) fencer in the U.S. and is expected to secure a berth on her second Cadet World Team.
A parishioner of St. Martin of Tours Church in Brentwood, Kasia is a straight-A honor student, despite her rigorous competition schedule that takes her out of state and overseas several times per year.
She was also a top-5 finisher in Cadet Women’s Epee at the 2013 USA Fencing National Championships in Columbus, Ohio. As part of the U.S. Cadet World Championship team which competed in Croatia, she placed ninth.
“Needless to say, our family and the coaches are beyond ecstatic,” said Lucy Nixon, Kasia’s mother. “I also admit that without Notre Dame Academy’s support and all Kasia’s teachers’ willingness to work with her closely and giving her assignments to work on the plane --- giving her a day or two to catch up when she returns, for example --- this would not be possible. We very much value Kasia’s experience at NDA and are grateful for the school’s high academic standards.