International Sport in Your Neighborhood
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Jennifer Hergert’s current role in the fencing world is being a fencing mom and wife, supporting her son Benito who fences foil and her husband, Earl, who does epee with travel and scheduling needs and being a strip coach and cheerleader. Previously though, Jennifer fenced foil for Division 1 Rutgers University and at Fair Lawn High School and lettered all 8 years.
Lana caught the fencing bug when her oldest son Mark discovered fencing almost by accident in an after-school program at his middle school in 2008. As a lefty, he had a good many early successes and Mark and his mom began hitting the school and USFA fencing circuits frequently, often giving up family vacations to get to national tournaments with sabre and camera in hand respectively. You can see them both speaking about their love of fencing in the NJ Division high school promo video elsewhere on this website. While Mark has since graduated to occasional coaching and refereeing, Lana is ramping up her participation with a younger son, Alex, who plans to join his high school team next year. She might even pick up a sabre and train with him!
With plenty of IT skills from her work as a Senior Systems Programmer/Analyst with the Visiting Nurse Service of NY, Lana works on the Division website and occasionally writes articles and provides photos of fencing to the local media.
Rosa lives in Monmouth County, New Jersey, with her husband and two growing boys. Born in Havana, Cuba, but raised in Flushing, New York, she attended the LaGuardia High School of Music and Art in Manhattan. She studied at Harper College at SUNY Binghamton, where she graduated in 1977 with a double major in History and Music. Rosa practices hot yoga, enjoys Skiing, but took up the sport of fencing to understand her youngest son’s chosen sport, qualifying as a referee in 2009. She fences both epee and saber in Veteran events.
Locally, Rosa supports the Friends of Holmdel Library and the United Way of Monmouth County, and will occasionally volunteer to teach a beading class at a local venue. She’s proudest of her three year term as the regional delegate on the Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Council to Senior Management for her corporation, Merrill Lynch, where she is a Senior Vice President. She serves on the Board of the Central Jersey Fencing Foundation, where she chairs the Volunteer Committee. She also serves on the Board of Tim Morehouse’s Fencing in the Schools.
Carolyn served as a local elected official in Bernards Township, NJ from 2009-2018. She was appointed as Mayor twice, in 2013 and 2017. She has two sons who fenced at Medeo Fencing Club, Ridge High School in Basking Ridge, and in the NCAA. She served on the executive board of the Ridge High Fencing Association from 2008-2016 and as it’s president in 2013-2014. Her son,Tim, fenced (foil) at Ridge from 2007-2011 (2009 State Champions, 2008 and 2011 Cetrulo Tournament Champions), and at Lafayette College from 2012-2015. Her son, Will, earned a bronze medal at the Pan American Cadet Championships (2015), fenced (foil) for Ridge High School from 2013-2016 (2015, 2016 State Champions and All-State) and at The Ohio State University 2017-present. Carolyn has been a member of the executive committee of the New Jersey Division of USA Fencing since 2017.
Jorge A. Gana lives in Colts Neck, NJ with his wife Rosemarie and their six children. He currently serves as volunteer Assistant Coach for the fencing team at Christian Brothers Academy HS and he and his kids are members of the Atlantic Fencing Academy in Shrewsbury, NJ.
Mr. Gana was nationally ranked in Epee and reached his highest 10th place ranking in the USFA Senior National Rolling Point Standings in 1991. He was a Fencing Team Captain for John’s Hopkins University of which he is an alumni, and is the JHU All-Time Career Win Percentage leader in Men’s Epee. He was a Men’s Epee Team Gold Medalist in the U.S. Olympic Festival in 1990 and was also University Athletic Association Men’s Epee Individual Champion in 1991.
In addition to fencing, he has been active with his children’s schools and the community, also coaching girls basketball and boys baseball. Mr. Gana is an active runner and triathlete, having run the Boston Marathon in 2013 and completed the U.S. Ironman Championship in 2012. He is currently employed as Managing Director by Assured Guaranty, a global leader in capital markets bond insurance.
Rich Millhiser lives in High Bridge, NJ with his wife Catherine. Rich fences foil and began fencing as a member of the North Hunterdon HS fencing team. Rich is now back at North Hunterdon as a volunteer assistant coach.
Rich continued fencing at the Johns Hopkins University while pursuing a degree in Mechanical Engineering. He was a 4 time varsity letter winner and was co-captain his Junior and Senior years. He was on teams that won the Mid Atlantic Conference Fencing Association 3 weapon Championship 3 times (’90, ’91, and ’92). Upon graduation, Rich had the third most career victories in school history.
Rich was initially able to balance fencing and work and he continued competing nationally into his mid-20’s. Eventually, extensive international travel for work prevented him from continuing to fence. After more than 25 years in the Energy industry, Rich decided to take early retirement and he and his wife moved back to New Jersey in 2019. He reached out to North Hunterdon and they created a volunteer position for him. In addition to coaching at North Hunterdon, Rich also fences at Manchen Academy of Fencing.
My name is Zoe and I’m a 16-year old attending Ridge High School in Basking Ridge, New Jersey. I have been fencing saber for 6 years and attend Kaprica United Fencing Academy. I am the y14 National Champion in 2018 and Junior Olympic Cadet Champion in 2019, as well as a member of the 2020 Cadet World Team.
Alex has been involved in fencing since she was 14 years old, starting her fencing career at Columbia High School in Maplewood, NJ as an epee fencer in 2003. After realizing that her skills would be suited in another weapon, she decided to switch to sabre, the weapon she continues to fence today.
After taking some time off, Alex returned to fencing, but after suffering a back injury, she decided to dedicate her time to refereeing rather than competing. She has been an active referee both locally and nationally for the past 4 years.
Alex most weekends can be found either refereeing or mentoring young/new referees at a local event. She is actively involved in promoting youth, veteran, and wheelchair fencing, as well as actively involved in referee development.
If you see Alex at a tournament, feel free to stop and say hello. She’d be happy to answer any questions you might have.