Kelley Hurley fenced 2016 Olympic Team Champion Ana Popescu (ROU) in the quarter-finals in Budapest. Photo Credit: Augusto Bizzi
(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – 2018 World Team Champion Kelley Hurley (San Antonio, Texas) defeated a two-time Senior World medalist en route to her second straight top-eight finish of the season at the Budapest Grand Prix.
Now ranked No. 7 in the world, Hurley was exempt from the preliminary rounds and faced Amalia Tataran (ROU) in the table of 64 on Sunday. Down 10-8 in the second period, Hurley scored five straight touches and went on to win, 15-13.
Hurley faced a similar situation in her table of 32 bout against Barbara Rutz (POL), falling behind 8-7 in the second. The four-time Pan American Champion would give up just two more points during the bout, finishing the second period on a 3-0 run and using another 3-0 run in the final period for a 15-10 victory.
In the table of 16, Hurley fenced 2017 World Championship bronze medalist Olena Kryvytska (UKR), who defeated Hurley in the 32 in Leipzig on her way to a medal. In their first bout since then, Hurley rattled off six straight points to start the second period to break a 3-3 tie and control the bout, 15-7.
One win away from a medal, Hurley used another 6-0 run against 2018 Senior World silver medalist Ana Maria Popescu (ROU) to secure an early lead. Popescu cut the deficit to one going into the third, 6-5, and tied the score at 11 with just over 30 seconds remaining. Tied at 13 at the end of regulation, Popescu went for the quick touch in overtime, scoring two seconds in, 14-13, and giving Hurley a sixth-place finish.
Ranked right behind her sister in the world rankings at No. 8, 2018 World bronze medalist Courtney Hurley (San Antonio, Texas) claimed a top-16 finish in Budapest, her best international result of the season.
In the table of 64, Hurley used a 7-1 in the second to overcome Sera Song (KOR), 15-9. After a 15-10 victory over Malinka Hoppe Montanaro (CAN), Hurley hoped to match her sister and reach the quarter-finals, but fell behind early against two-time Senior World Team Champion Violetta Kolobova (RUS) and lost, 15-6.
With one month until the Senior World Championship Team is named at the Division I National Championships in Salt Lake City, Kelley and Courtney Hurley have locked their spots on their 14th and 12th Senior World Teams, respectively.
Kat Holmes (Washington, D.C.), who was on the 2018 World Championship team with Kelley and Courtney Hurley, and Anna Van Brummen (Houston, Texas) each finished in the top 32.
Holmes made quick work of Day 1, going 5-1 in pools before cruising past Karolina Mrochem (POL), 15-4, and Kelly Boone (NED), 15-8.
Against 2009 World bronze medalist Anfisa Pochkalova (UKR) in the table of 64, Holmes took a quick 6-1 lead and went on to a 15-6 victory.
In the 32, Holmes took a one-point lead over Popescu at the end of the first period. Popescu reversed the deficit to take a one point lead entering the final period and Holmes was unable to complete the comeback, falling, 15-12.
Van Brummen also went 5-1 in pools and advanced to Day 2 with 15-12 victories over teammate Francesca Bassa (Houston, Texas) and Nadine Stahlberg (GER).
Tied at 13 Anna Mroszczak (POL) in the table of 64, Van Bummen took two single lights to win, 15-13.
In the table of 32, Van Brummen fenced 2016 Olympic bronze medalist Yiwen Sun (CHN). Van Brummen fell behind 5-1 and was unable to recover, losing, 15-10.
Holmes currently ranks third in the USA Fencing Senior Women’s Epee Team Point Standings with Kasia Nixon (Los Angeles, Calif.), who earned a top-64 finish in Budapest, in fourth. Isis Washington (Parsippany, N.J.) and Van Brummen are still in contention in fifth and sixth.
In the men’s event, Jake Hoyle (New York, N.Y.) earned Team USA’s best finish with 13th.
Entering the tournament with bronze medals at each of his last two international events, No. 7 Hoyle earned two clutch victories to reach the table of 16.
In the table of 64 against Peter Szenyi (HUN), Hoyle faced a 12-11 deficit with five seconds remaining in the bout and tied the score with .16 on the clock. The 2018 World Team member then needed just eight seconds to take the victory in overtime, 13-12.
Down 12-11 once again against Niko Vuorinen (FIN) in the 32, Hoyle scored two straight single lights, but Vuorinen evened the score at 14. Nevertheless, Hoyle secured the final touch for his second one-point victory of the day.
However, in the 16 Hoyle suffered a 15-10 loss to 2018 World Team Champion Max Heinzer (SUI).
One of Hoyle’s teammates on the 2018 World Team, Curtis McDowald (Jamaica, N.Y.), finished in the top 32 in Budapest.
McDowald also secured a one-point victory in the table of 64. With his back up against the wall against Alexandre Bardenet (FRA) at 14-13, McDowald earned two single lights to move into the 32, where he lost to Pavel Sukhov (RUS), 15-6.
Both Hoyle and McDowald have clinched their positions on the Senior World Championship Team, their second. James Kaull (New York, N.Y.) and Alex Tsinis (Little Neck, N.Y.) rank third and fourth, respectively, with just over 50 points separating them. Ben Bratton (New York, N.Y.) sits in sixth, 555 points out of fourth.
Bratton, a two-time World Championship team medalist, earned his best result on the circuit since the 2017 Pan American Championships with a top-64 finish.
After going 5-1 in pools, Bratton reached Day 2 with a 15-8 victory over Marco Brinkmann (GER) and a 15-11 win over Paul Allegre (FRA).
In the table of 64, Bratton couldn’t keep his momentum going, falling to Wojciech Lubieniecki (POL), 15-10.
Top eight and U.S. results are as follows:
Budapest Men’s Épée Grand Prix
1. Kazuyasu Minobe (JPN)
2. Andrea Santarelli (ITA)
3. Tibor Andrasfi (HUN)
3. Max Heinzer (SUI)
5. Bogdan Nikishin (UKR)
6. Bas Verwijlen (NED)
7. Pavel Kukhov (RUS)
8. Andras Redli (HUN)
13. Jake Hoyle (New York, N.Y.)
17. Curtis McDowald (Jamaica, N.Y.)
45. Ben Bratton (New York, N.Y.)
77. Cooper Schumacher (Forest Hills, N.Y.)
84. Soren Thompson (New York, N.Y.)
107. Alex Tsinis (Little Neck, N.Y.)
121. James Kaull (New York, N.Y.)
200. Adam Rodney (New York, N.Y.)
242. Gabe Canaux (Montclair, N.J.)
250. Samuel Koch (San Francisco, Calif.)
277. Dylan Nollner (New York, N.Y.)
303. Alen Hadzic (West Orange, N.J.)
Budapest Women’s Épée Grand Prix
1. Ana Maria Popescu (ROU)
2. Young Mi Kang (KOR)
3. Injeong Choi (KOR)
3. Coraline Vitalis (FRA)
5. Violetta Kolobova (RUS)
6. Kelley Hurley (San Antonio, Texas)
7. Pauline Brunner (SUI)
8. Sheng Lin (CHN)
11. Courtney Hurley (San Antonio, Texas)
28. Kat Holmes (Washington, D.C.)
32. Anna Van Brummen (Houston, Texas)
36. Kasia Nixon (Los Angeles, Calif.)
63. Emily Vermeule (Cambridge, Mass.)
108. Isis Washington (Parsippany, N.J.)
129. Victoria Mo (Irvine, Calif.)
160. Francesca Bassa (Houston, Texas)
198. Katie Angen (New York, N.Y.)
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