Akhi Spencer-El fencing for gold at the 2000 Division I Nationals. Photo Credit: Getty Images.
(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – USA Fencing is pleased to announce that three athletes and two coaches have been selected by the USA Fencing membership to enter the USA Fencing Hall of Fame in 2020.
Olympians Akhi Spencer-El (Harlem, N.Y.) and Steve Mormando (Dover, N.J.) and former National Team member Justin Tausig (Hastings on Hudson, N.Y.) will be inducted as athletes with Gerald Cetrulo (Newark, N.J.) and Tony Orsi (Rutherford, N.J.) being honored as coach members.
The Class of 2020 will be honored during a ceremony at the 2020 USA Fencing National Championships in Louisville, Ky.
Spencer-El represented Team USA at the 2000 Olympic Games after winning the first of two back-to-back individual Division I National Championships in 2000. The No. 1 junior men’s saber fencer in the world in 1998, Spencer-El won silver at the 1999 Pan American Games and holds six National Championship team titles as a member of the Peter Westbrook Foundation team. Spencer-El now coaches for PWF and the Fencers Club as well as the saber coach for Columbia University.
Mormando competed in men’s saber at three straight Olympic Games, fencing for Team USA in 1984, 1988 and 1992 and won individual gold at the 1991 Pan American Games as well as team silvers in 1983, 1987 and 1991. Mormando also won the 1987 individual National Championship as well as 12 titles in the team event and has served as a coach at New York University for more than 38 years.
Tausig was a member of the U.S. Men’s Epee National Team from 1997-2002, including four appearances at the Senior World Championships in 1997, 1998, 1999 and 2002. Tausig was one of the first U.S. men’s epee fencers ever to win an individual medal on the World Cup circuit and also reached the podium with Team USA. Tausig is now a sport and performance consultant who helps athletes improve their mental game.
Both Cetrulo and Orsi will be inducted into the hall of fame posthumously.
Cetrulo served as the fencing coach at Seton Hall University where he founded the team in 1937 and led the squad to three intercollegiate titles in four years. Cetrulo went on to coach the Barringer High School Team to 23 state team titles. Among Cetrulo’s students were 1948 Olympic team bronze medalist Dean Cetrulo, 1948 Olympian Gus Prokop and 1936 Olympian Bill Pecora.
Orsi founded the Santelli Fencing Academy, named in honor of his childhood coach and Olympic Champion Giorgio Santelli, where he coached many of USA Fencing’s great athletes, including Olympian Lee Shelley and World Championship finalist Donna Stone.