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Team USA Wins Junior and Cadet Pan Am Medal Count with 25 Podium Finishes

03/06/2019, 8:45am CST
By Kristen Henneman

Team USA's men's epee, men's saber and women's epee squads won all three team events on Saturday. Photo Credit: Brandon Dyett.

(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – A delegation of more than 40 U.S. athletes brought home 25 medals from the Junior and Cadet Pan American Championships in Bogotá, Colombia Feb. 26-March 3, winning 10 of the 18 golds, including five of the six team events.

2019 Junior and Cadet Pan American Championships Results

The total ranks first among all countries with Canada taking second with 16.

Candreva Leads Women's Epee to Triple Gold

Greta Candreva (second from left) and Karolina Nixon (second from right) won gold and bronze in junior women's individual epee. Photo Credit: Brandon Dyett.

Three of those golds came from 2017 Junior World team bronze medalist Greta Candreva (Katonah, N.Y.), who swept the cadet and junior events and helped Team USA to gold in the team event.

Her first time competing as an individual at the Junior and Cadet Pan Ams, Candreva’s first gold came in the individual junior event.

She easily controlled her first two direct elimination bouts, cruising past Karen Dominguez (MEX), 15-6, and Christina Zozulya (CAN), 15-9.

After a 15-10 victory over Montserrat Viveros (PAR) in the quarter-finals, Candreva faced teammate Karolina Nixon (Los Angeles, Calif.) for a shot at gold.

Nixon started her day 6-0 in pools to take the No. 2 seed, and bested Daniela Reyes Carreras (PUR), 15-8, before edging out Karina Dyner Villa (CRC), 12-11, and Victoria Vizeu (BRA), 15-12.

The semifinal between the two members of Team USA went down to the wire with Candreva taking a narrow 12-11 win. She then went on to win gold with a 15-9 victory over Danierys Maya (VEN), 15-9.

In the cadet competition, Candreva earned a bye to the table of 16 with a 4-1 pool record and held all four opponents to single digits.

With a 15-9 victory over Grace Hu (CAN) and a 15-6 win against teammate Husisian Hadley (Oakton, Va.), Candreva guaranteed a medal. Her dominance continued in the semis as she blazed past Maria Del Mar Nusa Vasquez (COL), 15-3.

In a rematch from the table of 16 of the junior event two days before, Candreva fenced Zozulya and defeated the Canadian by nearly an identical score at 15-8, sweeping the women’s épée golds.

Candreva teamed up with her 2019 Junior World teammates – Nixon, Lola Constantino (Warren, N.J.) and 2018 Cadet World silver medalist Emily Vermeule (Cambridge, Mass.) – in the junior team event with the squad winning gold for the third consecutive year.

Facing Venezuela in the quarter-finals, the two teams were tied after three bouts, but Team USA didn’t drop a bout the rest of the way for a 45-31 victory.

In the semis, the United States defeated Colombia, 45-22, winning or tying eight of the nine bouts. Vermeule went +16 on the match and didn’t give up a single point in her three bouts.

Team USA faced a 10-8 deficit after two bouts against Canada in the final, but Vermeule switched the momentum with a 7-2 victory in the third to give Team USA a 15-12 lead. From there, Team USA won five of the next six rounds with Candreva closing the match to secure the top step of the podium, 45-33.

Saber Scores Seven by U.S. Women

Aleksandra Strzalkowski (cadet bronze), Ryan Jenkins (junior bronze), Alexis Anglade (junior bronze) and Chloe Fox-Gitomer (junior silver) each won individual medals as well as silver in team. Photo Credit: Brandon Dyett.

Women’s saber brought home a total of seven medals, including three in the individual junior event where Chloe Fox-Gitomer (Portland, Ore.) claimed silver and Ryan Jenkins (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.) and Alexis Anglade (Alpharetta, Ga.) secured bronze.

Fox-Gitomer, a 2018 Senior Pan American Championship bronze medalist, earned her second career individual medal at the Junior Pan Ams.

She picked up quick 15-5 and 15-9 victories over Anahi Schaa (CHI) and Jessica Yolima Morales Linares (COL) in the table of 32 and 16, respectively.

The 2018 Junior World team silver medalist then followed up a 15-8 win against Crelia Ramos (VEN) in the quarters by outtouching Jenkins, 15-14. However, in the final, Fox-Gitomer lost to Natalia Botello (MEX), the silver medalist at both the 2018 Junior and Cadet Worlds, by a score of 15-5.

Jenkins and Anglade, both members of last year’s Cadet World Team, arrived in Colombia in contention for the final position on the 2019 Women’s Saber Junior World Team. With the first three positions secured by Fox-Gitomer, Tori Johnson (Peachtree City, Ga.) and Nora Burke (New York City, N.Y.), Jenkins entered the tournament fourth in the USA Fencing National Team Point Standings with Anglade needing to finish higher than Jenkins to move into a position on the team.

After going 5-0 in pools, Jenkins easily controlled her table of 32 bout against Maria Leyva Vanegas (COL), 15-3, before outscoring Laurie-Ann Lamothe (CAN), 15-11, and Kim Foon (MEX), 15-10. After her 15-14 loss to Fox-Gitomer, she ended the day with bronze.

Anglade also went 5-0 in pools and posted a 15-8 victory over Sarah Endara (BOL), 15-8, in the 32. She advanced to the final with a 15-5 win against Nathalia Zambrano (VEN) and a 15-13 victory over Esther Bentolila (PAN). Anglade would need one more win for a chance to qualify for the Junior World Team after earning bronze at the Cadet Worlds last year, but she fell to Botello in the semis, 15-7.

The three junior medalists were joined in the team event by cadet Aleksandra Strzalkowski (Littleton, Colo.) Together, the four would win silver for the second straight year after a loss to the Mexican team which was led by Botello.

Team USA quickly secured a place in the final, not dropping a bout in its matches against Venezuela and Canada for 45-22 and 45-20 victories.

Down five in the final against Mexico with three rounds to go, Team USA rallied, winning the sixth and seventh bouts to cut the deficit to two, but Botello edged Fox-Gitomer in the anchor bout, 5-4, to win gold for Mexico at 45-42.

Team USA also won three cadet women’s saber medals with Chloe Gouhin (Blacklick, Ohio) earning silver and Lola Possick (Weehawken, N.J.) and Strzalkowski taking bronze.

The trio earned the top three seeds in pools with all going 6-0 and moving directly to the table of 16.

Gouhin kept her first three opponents to single digits, easily defeating Laurie-Ann Lamothe (CAN), 15-9; Alejandra Badillo (MEX), 15-7; and Strzalkowski, 15-6. However, in the final, Botello handed Gouhin a 15-8 loss.

Botello also eliminated Possick in the semis, 15-7. In Possick’s first two matches, she bested Valentina Beltran Rojas (COL), 15-9, and Pietra Chierighini (BRA), 15-13.

Strzalkowski picked up an easy 15-3 victory over Gabriela Monroy Herrera (COL) in the 16 before overcoming teammate Atara Greenbaum (Boca Raton, Fla.), 15-10, to clinch a medal.

Men's Saber Sweeps Junior Titles

Junior individual medalists Mitchell Saron (silver), Kamar Skeete (gold) and Andrew Johnson (bronze) also won team gold with Christopher Walker and Coach Terrence Lasker. Photo Credit: Brandon Dyett.

The U.S. men’s saber squad also secured four medals and swept the junior golds.

Kamar Skeete (Duluth, Ga.), Mitchell Saron (Ridgewood, N.J.) and Andrew Johnson (Ridgewood, N.J.) went 1-2-3 in the junior event.

Last year’s Cadet Pan American Champion, Skeete went 6-0 in pools to take the No. 1 seed and a bye into the table of 16, where he cruised past Enzo Bergamo (BRA), 15-7. His quarter-final would be much closer as Skeete outtouched Roberto Monsalva (CHI), 15-14, before earning a place in the final with a 15-11 victory over Francois Cauchon (CAN).

In the final, Skeete faced Saron – his teammate from last year’s bronze medal-winning Junior World Team. Saron was on a roll heading into the final, holding his first four opponents to single digits to guarantee his second career individual Junior Pan Am medal: Emiliano Barra (CHI), 15-3; Juan Bacha (ARG), 15-7; Angelo Chiara (CAN), 15-5; and Johnson, 15-8.

Fencing for gold, Skeete came out on top in a close bout, 15-13.

En route to bronze, Johnson posted a 15-5 victory over Mauricio Peraza (MEX) in the 32 and a 15-7 win against Andrew Wei (CAN) in the 16. In the quarters, he held off 2017 Cadet World silver medalist Christopher Walker (Atlanta, Ga.) by a score of 15-12.

Skeete, Saron, Johnson and Walker represented Team USA in in the junior team event, winning gold for the second straight year.

With three members returning from last year’s team in Skeete, Saron and Walker, the United States claimed a come-from-behind victory against Venezuela.

Down two going into the third bout, Johnson won his bout, 10-3, to give Team USA a 15-10 lead. Venezuela climbed back within one after the fifth, but Team USA won or tied the last four for a 45-37 victory.

Led by Skeete, who was +9 in the semis, Team USA built a 30-22 lead over Mexico in the final with three bouts remaining. Mexico won two of the final three rounds, but Saron closed strongly at 5-3 against Cauchon to win the match, 45-40.

Team USA came out strong against Canada, claiming a 15-6 lead, but Chiara won the fourth to bring Canada within two. Saron responded, building the lead back up to five that advantage would hold for gold, 45-40.

Men's Foil Five-Peat

Marcello Olivares, Ethan Gassner, Ashton Daniel and Kenji Bravo won gold in the men's foil team event. Bravo and Olivares also won individual gold and bronze. Photo Credit: Brandon Dyett.

Like men’s saber, the United States also swept the junior golds in men’s foil.

The junior men’s foil team, made up of Kenji Bravo (San Francisco, Calif.), Marcello Olivares (Cooper City, Fla.), Ethan Gassner (San Francisco, Calif.) and Ashton Daniel (Cupertino, Calif.) won gold for the fifth straight year. The U.S. junior men’s foil team has now stood on the top step of the podium at every Junior Pan American Championships since the team events were introduced in 2015.

The squad dominated it opening bout with a 45-8 rout over Venezuela. Team USA earned a shutout in five bouts and all members of Team USA who competed tallied an indicator of at least +8. Daniel led the United States at +19.

In the semifinals, Team USA fell into a 20-15 hole after four rounds, but Bravo, who was +14 on the match, won the fifth, 10-2, to regain a lead at 25-22. The United States won the final four bouts, including two 5-0 victories, to advance to the final, 45-25.

Facing Chile in the final, Team USA continued its stride, winning eight of nine bouts for a 45-23 victory with Bravo as anchor.

In the individual competition, Bravo became a back-to-back Junior Pan Am Champion and the sixth straight U.S. foil fencer to bring home gold.

The 2018 Cadet World Champion was sharp from the beginning, going 6-0 in pools to take the No. 2 seed and giving up just one point in his table of 32 bout against Alejandro Toro (PUR).

After a 15-7 victory over Jose Ignacio McGoff Medero (PUR), Bravo posted wins over two Canadians to reach the final, besting Brian Li (CAN), 15-11, and Blake Broszus (CAN), 15-9.

Facing a two-time Cadet Pan Am silver medalist in Augusto Antonio Servello (ARG), Bravo controlled the bout, cruising to a 15-7 victory.

The men’s foil event also held one final position on the Junior World Team on the line with Olivares and Daniel each in contention for the fourth position on Team USA alongside Bravo and 2017 Junior World Team Champions Nick Itkin (Los Angeles, Calif.) and Geoffrey Tourette (Cupertino, Calif.)

With 2018 Cadet Word silver medalist Olivares fourth in the National Team Point Standings and Daniel sixth going into the tournament, Daniel would need his first career international podium to be in contention for the slot.

With both athletes advancing to 16 after opening round wins, only Olivares would advance, securing a medal and his position on Team USA while Daniel dropped his bout to Brian Li (CAN), 15-7.  

The No. 4 seed out of pools, Olivares claimed 15-5 victories over Juan Carlos Delgado Llamas (MEX) in the 32 and David Ospina Ladron de Guevara (COL) before overcoming Niklas Holland (CAN), 15-10.

The 2017 Cadet Pan Am Champion nearly created another All-American final, but came up short in the semis to Servello, 15-10, and took home bronze.

Women's Foil Returns for Third Straight Team Title

Skylar Knight, Helen Tan and Paige Luong won junior gold in women's team foil. Tan also won both junior and cadet individual silvers. Photo Credit: Brandon Dyett.

Taking gold for the third straight year, Helen Tan (Coppell, Texas), Skylar Knight (Palo Alto, Calif.) and Paige Luong (Millbrae, Calif.) didn’t drop a bout in their quarter-final or semifinal, besting Peru, 45-21, and Brazil, 45-18. Tan led Team USA against Peru with a +13 indicator while Luong was +11 against Brazil.

In the final, Tan anchored Team USA to a 45-37 win over Canada. A top-eight finisher on the senior circuit this year, Jessica Guo gave the Canadians a 10-5 lead after the second bout, but the United States rebounded to secure a 25-16 advantage after five, which would be enough for gold.

Tan would win two more medals during her time in Bogotá, earning silver in the junior and cadet events where she would fence Guo in both finals.

After quick 15-5 and 15-6 victories over Jessica Munoz (MEX) and Milena Chies (BRA) to reach the quarter-finals in the junior event, Tan outtouched Anabella Acurero Gonzalez (VEN), 15-14.

A 15-10 victory over Katina Proestakis (CHI) gave Tan a berth into the final, where she lost to Guo, 15-8.

In the cadet event, Tan earned the No. 1 seed out of pools at 6-0 and advanced to the semis with 15-5 victories over Sara Camacho (MEX) and Talia Calazans (BRA). Tan defeated Annie Lin (CAN), 15-10 in the semis before losing to Guo by the same score that she did in the junior competition, 15-8.

Men's Epee Doubles with Junior Team and Cadet Golds

Ethan Kushnerik and Spencer Vermeule won gold and bronze in cadet men's epee. Photo Credit: Brandon Dyett.

Men’s épée came home with four medals, including gold in the junior team event for the third straight year.

Isaac Herbst (Houston, Texas), Justin Haddad (Bethesda, Md.), Jonathan Piskovatskov (Houston, Texas) and Cedric Mecke (New York, N.Y.) opened the competition with a 45-28 victory over Venezuela.

Down 13-12 after three, Team USA won or tied the remaining six bouts, including two 5-0 shutouts in the seventh and eighth to shut the door on a Venezuelan comeback.

Led in the semis by Piskovatskov, who recorded a +10 indicator, the United States won seven of nine bouts to defeat Argentina, 45-30.

The gold medal match against Brazil would see a close bout with Team USA winning by one. Close throughout, Brazil took a 28-27 lead with two bouts remaining. Herbst won the eighth to regain the lead at 33-30. Piskovatskov anchored the bout, holding off Alexandre Camargo (BRA) for a 40-39 victory.

Herbst also stood on the podium in the individual event, taking bronze at his first Junior Pan Ams.

The 2018 Cadet World Team member controlled his table of 32 bout against Ignacio Perez Contreras (ARG), 15-8, before defeating two teammates. Herbst edged out Mecke, 15-13, and Piskovatskov, 15-11, but lost to Camargo in the final, 15-10.

Cadet men’s épée also had two on the podium as Ethan Kushnerik (Brooklyn, N.Y.) secured gold and Spencer Vermeule (Cambridge, Mass.) earned bronze.

Kushnerik’s journey to gold began with a 15-5 victory in the 32 over Samuel Junior Mateo Charles Saint Jean (DOM) and a 15-12 win against Luis Caballero (VEN), 15-12.

A 15-10 victory over Pedro Petrich (BRA) guaranteed Herbst a medal and he advanced to the final by besting Vermeule, 15-8.

In the final, Kushnerik earned a confident 15-9 victory over Gerardo Rojas (MEX).

Vermeule gave up just one point in the 32 against Isaac Dorati (PAN) and defeated Félix Casanova (CHI), 15-9, to come within one win of a medal.

He secured that medal with a win over a teammate, overcoming Hugh Milam (Los Angeles, Calif.), 15-10.

2019 Junior and Cadet Pan Am Complete Results

Click here to view complete results.

Top eight and U.S. results are as follows:

Junior Men’s Épée Pan American Championships
1. Ted Vinnitchouk (CAN)
2. Alexandre Camargo (BRA)
3. Isaac Herbst (Houston, Texas)
3. Leandro Sauri (MEX)
5. Fabrizio Lazaroto (BRA)
6. Jorge Alderrama (CHI)
7. Justin Haddad (Bethesda, Md.)
8. Jonathan Piskovatskov (Houston, Texas)

9. Cedric Mecke (New York, N.Y.)

Junior Men’s Team Épée Pan American Championships
1. USA

2. Brazil
3. Chile
4. Argentina
5. Canada
6. Venezuela
7. Colombia
8. Mexico

Cadet Men’s Épée Pan American Championships
1. Ethan Kushnerik (Brooklyn, N.Y.)

2. Gerardo Rojas (MEX)
3. Daniel Ojeda Buitrago (CRC)
3. Spencer Vermeule (Cambridge, Mass.)
5. Justin Haddad (Bethesda, Md.)

6. Nathan Brunet (CAN)
7. Hugh Milam (Los Angeles, Calif.)
8. Pedro Petrich (BRA)

Junior Women’s Épée Pan American Championships
1. Greta Candreva (Katonah, N.Y.)

2. Danierys Maya (VEN)
3. Ariane Leonard (CAN)
3. Karolina Nixon (Los Angeles, Calif.)
5. Montserrat Viveros (PAR)
6. Rosario Diez Del Rio (CHI)
7. Victoria Vizeu (BRA)
8. Betyumil Posada (VEN)

11. Lola Constantino (Warren, N.J.)

Junior Women’s Team Épée Pan American Championships
1. USA

2. Canada
3. Chile
4. Colombia
5. Venezuela
6. Brazil
7. Mexico
8. Puerto Rico

Cadet Women’s Épée Pan American Championships
1. Greta Candreva (Katonah, N.Y.)

2. Christina Zozulya (CAN)
3. Maria Del Mar Nusa Vasquez (COL)
3. Shan Guo Zi (BRA)
5. Victoria Vizeu (BRA)
6. Husisian Hadley (Oakton, Va.)
7. Fernanda Morales (MEX)
8. Audrey Taylor (San Jose, Calif.)

10. Audrey Chu (Palo Alto, Calif.)

Junior Men’s Foil Pan American Championships
1. Kenji Bravo (San Francisco, Calif.)

2. Augusto Antonio Servello (ARG)
3. Blake Broszus (CAN)
3. Marcello Olivares (Cooper City, Fla.)
5. Brian Li (CAN)
6. Gustavo Alarcon (CHI)
7. Leopoldo Alarcon (CHI)
8. Niklas Holland (CAN)

9. Ethan Gassner (San Francisco, Calif.)
10. Ashton Daniel (Cupertino, Calif.)

Junior Men’s Team Foil Pan American Championships
1. USA

2. Chile
3. Canada
4. Argentina
5. Mexico
6. Puerto Rico
7. Brazil
8. Venezuela

Cadet Men’s Foil Pan American Championships
1. Cesar Colon (PUR)
2. Paulo Morais (BRA)
3. Lorenzo Mion (BRA)
3. Niklas Holland (CAN)
5. Oliver Hu (Lexington, Mass.)
6. Patrick Liu (CAN)
7. Maximiliano Valladares (MEX)
8. Darren Dong (CAN)

11. Ethan Um (Concord, Mass.)
14. William Kelly (Irvine, Calif.)
29. Aaron Kim (Fullerton, Calif.)

Junior Women’s Foil Pan American Championships
1. Jessica Guo (CAN)
2. Helen Tan (Coppell, Texas)
3. Katina Proestakis (CHI)
3. Arantza Inostroza (CHI)
5. Anabella Acurero Gonzalez (VEN)
6. Athina Gonzalez Ciavarella (ARG)
7. Skylar Knight (Palo Alto, Calif.)
8. Alondra Rebolledo (MEX)

9. Paige Luong (Millbrae, Calif.)

Junior Women’s Team Foil Pan American Championships
1. USA

2. Canada
3. Chile
4. Brazil
5. Mexico
6. Venezuela
7. Colombia
8. Peru

Cadet Women’s Foil Pan American Championships
1. Jessica Guo (CAN)
2. Helen Tan (Coppell, Texas)
3. Katina Proestakis (CHI)
3. Annie Lin (CAN)
5. Talia Calazans (BRA)
6. Catherine Wu (CAN)
7. Skylar Knight (Palo Alto, Calif.)
8. Lisa Montecinos (CHI)

9. Juliana Hung (San Francisco, Calif.)
13. Alexandra Jing (West Roxbury, Mass.)

Junior Men’s Saber Pan American Championships
1. Kamar Skeete (Duluth, Ga.)
2. Mitchell Saron (Ridgewood, N.J.)

3. Francois Cauchon (CAN)
3. Andrew Johnson (Ridgewood, N.J.)
5. Christopher Walker (Atlanta, Ga.)

6. Robert Monsalva (CHI)
7. Angelo Chiara (CAN)
8. Hender Medina (VEN)


Junior Men’s Team Saber Pan American Championships
1. USA

2. Canada
3. Puerto Rico
4. Mexico
5. Venezuela
6. Brazil
7. Chile
8. Colombia

Cadet Men’s Saber Pan American Championships
1. Nicholas Dinu (CAN)
2. Fabio Salles (BRA)
3. Matheus Becker (BRA)
3. Bendan He (CAN)
5. Ricardo Lopez (CHI)
6. David Echartea (MEX)
7. Thomas Greenwood (CAN)
8. Shae McFadden (CAN)

11. Inigo Franco Rivera (New York, N.Y.)
13. Stein Portmann (Salt Lake City, Utah)
16. Phillip Chien (New York, N.Y.)
20. Peter Flores (Wilton, Calif.)

Junior Women’s Saber Pan American Championships
1. Natalia Botello (MEX)
2. Chloe Fox-Gitomer (Portland, Ore.)
3. Ryan Jenkins (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.)
3. Alexis Anglade (Alpharetta, Ga.)

5. Kim Foon (MEX)
6. Pietra Chierighini (BRA)
7. Esther Bentolila (PAN)
8. Crelia Ramos (VEN)

17. Tori Johnson (Peachtree City, Ga.)

Junior Women’s Team Saber Pan American Championships
1. Mexico
2. USA
3. Brazil
4. Canada
5. Colombia
6. Chile
7. Venezuela
8. Puerto Rico

Cadet Women’s Saber Pan American Championships
1. Natalia Botello (MEX)
2. Chloe Gouhin (Blacklick, Ohio)
3. Lola Possick (Weehawken, N.J.)
3. Aleksandra Strzalkowski (Littleton, Colo.)

5. Jane Chen (CAN)
6. Alejandra Badillo (MEX)
7. Pietra Chierighini (BRA)
8. Atara Greenbaum (Boca Raton, Fla.)

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