DURHAM, N.C. – The Duke fencing team added its seventh signee for the 2018-19 recruiting class as epeeist Kevin Chao signed a National Letter of Intent (NLI) to compete for the Blue Devils.
Chao comes to Durham from Manhattan Beach, Calif., and currently attends Mira Costa High School. Chao is a member of the Los Angeles International Fencing Center under the direction of Eric Hansen.
Chao has been fencing since fifth grade and currently competes nationally in Junior and Division I Men’s Epee events. He has represented Team USA four times in the European Cadet World Cup and earned a silver medal for the team event in Austria in 2016. In the summer of 2015, Chao trained at an invitation-only, week-long epee camp at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.
A few of Chao’s most notable fencing accomplishments include defeating several top fencers, such as the 2012 NCAA and Ivy League Champion in December 2017, a former Olympian from Bulgaria and the 2013 Cadet World bronze medalist. Chao also recorded a top-eight finish in Cadet Men’s Epee in 2015 and his fencing club placed fourth in the Junior Olympics in 2016. Additionally, Chao is a member of the US Fencing First All-American Team and a three-time First Academic Team honoree.
Outside of fencing, Chao is a member of the National Honor Society, an AP Scholar and listed on the principal’s honor roll. Chao has received several awards including the Charlaine Deatherage Award for Highest Ranking Juniors, the Helen Putnam Award and is a member of the California Scholarship Federation, a state-wide academic honors organization.
Chao also performed a minor solo at Carnegie Hall in New York City with his school’s symphonic band.