Team USA silver medalists Miriam Grady, Tatijana Stewart, Saanchi Kukadia and Ariana Mangano.
(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – Competing at its first Junior World Cup of the season, the U.S. Junior Women’s Epee Team earned the silver medal on Sunday in Burgos, Spain.
The team of Miriam Grady (Broomfield, Colo.), Saanchi Kukadia (Manhasset, N.Y.), Ariana Mangano (Colts Neck, N.J.) and Tatijana Stewart (Ogden, Utah) earned a bye into the table of 16 as the No. 4 seed.
Facing the Czech Republic, Team USA got off to a quick start as Mangano won the first bout, 5-1, and Grady extended the lead after the third to 15-8. With a 33-27 advantage with two bouts remaining, the Czech Republic took the final two bouts, but the U.S. held on, 45-43.
In the quarter-finals, the Americans edged out Ukraine, 39-35. Down 7-6 after the first two bouts, Team USA claimed victories in four of the next five to take a 26-23 lead. With the same score entering the final bout, Mangano put up 13 touches to secure the victory.
The U.S. fenced top-seeded France in the semifinals, winning or tying eight of the nine bouts for a 45-27 win and a place in the finals.
The route to gold would have to go through Italy, a team composed of the top three (and four of the top eight) fencers in the world rankings, including the gold medalist from the individual competition in Federica Isola.
The Italians would prove to be too much to handle as they won eight of the nine bouts for a 45-29 victory.
In the individual competition on Saturday, three members of Team USA earned top-32 results.
Giana Vierheller (Pittsburgh, Penn.), who ranks No. 1 in the USA Fencing Junior Rolling Point Standings and No. 7 in the world rankings, earned a bye into the table of 128, where she overcame Zofia Janelli (ITA), 15-11.
In the 64, Vierheller controlled her bout against Solent Masseray (SUI), 15-6, but lost in the following round to 2015 Cadet World Champion Alexandra Predescu (ROU), 15-11.
Grady, who came home with a team medal at her first Junior World Cup, posted a 15-9 victory over Lili Buki (HUN) in the 128 before besting Kukadia in the 64, 15-12.
However, in the 32 Grady drew the top-ranked fencer in the world and the bronze medalist at last season’s Junior World Championships, Isola, and came up short, 15-11.
Claiming her best result on the circuit with a 29th place finish, Hanna Lee (Las Vegas, Nev.) defeated Talida Enache (ROU), 15-10, in the 128.
After taking out her teammate Caroline Nixon (Los Angeles, Calif.), 11-9, Lee dropped her table of 32 bout to two-time Cadet Worlds bronze medalist Renata Petri (HUN), 15-11.
In addition to Kukadia and Nixon, four other Americans finished in the top 64: Claire Beddingfield (Pacific Palisades, Calif.), Mangano, Emily Vermeule (Cambridge, Mass.) and Chloe Daniel (Sierra Madre, Calif.)
Top eight and U.S. results are as follows:
Burgos Women’s Team Epee Junior World Cup
Burgos Women’s Individual Epee Junior World Cup
1. Federica Isola (ITA)
2. Dar Hecht (ISR)
3. Kinga Nagy (HUN)
3. Anastasia Soldatova (RUS)
5. Alexandra Predescu (ROU)
6. Renata Petri (HUN)
7. Ekaterina Tarasova (RUS)
8. Milen Bavuge Khabimana (RUS)
21. Giana Vierheller (Pittsburgh, Pa.)
22. Miriam Grady (Broomfield, Colo.)
29. Hanna Lee (Las Vegas, Nev.)
33. Caroline Nixon (Los Angeles, Calif.)
34. Claire Beddingfield (Pacific Palisades, Calif.)
38. Ariana Mangano (Colts Neck, N.J.)
43. Saanchi Kukadia (Manhasset, N.Y.)
46. Emily Vermeule (Cambridge, Mass.)
50. Chloe Daniel (Sierra Madre, Calif.)
98. Rachel Tanibajeva (LIC, N.Y.)
114. Greta Candreva (Katonah, N.Y.)
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