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USA Fencing Team Opens Pan American Games on Monday

08/04/2019, 12:30pm CDT
By Nicole Jomantas

(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – On Monday, the USA Fencing Team will begin competition at the Pan American Games in Lima Peru, less than two weeks after the conclusion of the Senior World Championships with 16 of Team USA’s 18 fencers also competing at the Worlds which concluded in Budapest on July 23. 

The Americans have earned eight medals at the last two Senior Worlds, including the first ever team title in men’s foil for Team USA in Budapest and a third straight podium finish for the women’s foil team who earned bronze.

The Pan American Games is one of the largest sporting events in the world with more than 6,000 athletes from 40+ nations competing in 39 sports.

In Lima, Team USA is highlighted by nine Olympians and nine Senior World Championship medalists:

  • Daryl Homer (Bronx, N.Y. / Men’s Saber), 2016 Olympic silver and 2015 Senior World silver medalist
  • Gerek Meinhardt (San Francisco, Calif. / Men’s Foil), 2016 Olympic team bronze medalist and 2019 Senior World Team Champion
  • Race Imboden (Brooklyn, N.Y. / Men’s Foil), 2016 Olympic team bronze medalist and 2019 Senior World Team Champion
  • Monica Aksamit (Matawan, N.J. / Saber), 2016 Olympic team bronze medalist
  • Lee Kiefer (Lexington, Ky. / Women’s Foil), two-time Olympian and 2018 Senior World Team Champion
  • Kat Holmes (Washington, D.C. / Women’s Epee), 2016 Olympian and 2018 Senior World Team Champion
  • Nicole Ross (New York City, N.Y. / Women’s Foil), 2012 Olympian and 2018 Senior World Team Champion
  • Eli Dershwitz (Sherborn, Mass. / Men’s Saber), 2016 Olympian and 2018 Senior World silver medalist
  • Jackie Dubrovich (Riverdale, N.J. / Women’s Foil), 2019 Senior World team bronze medalist
  • Eliza Stone (Chicago, Ill. / Women’s Saber), 2019 Senior World bronze medalist
  • Jeff Spear (Wynantskill, N.Y. / Men’s Saber), 2012 Olympian

While four athletes fence individual and four compete in team at the Senior World Championships and on the World Cup circuit, at the Pan American Games, just two athletes compete in each of the six individual events (men’s and women’s epee, foil and saber) with three athletes competing in each of the team events.

Competition schedule is as follows:

Monday, Aug. 5
Men’s Individual Epee and Women’s Individual Foil

Tuesday, Aug. 6
Men’s Individual Foil and Women’s Individual Saber

Wednesday, Aug. 7
Men’s Individual Saber and Women’s Individual Epee

Thursday, Aug. 8
Men’s Team Epee and Women’s Team Foil

Friday, Aug. 9
Men’s Team Foil and Women’s Team Saber

Friday, Aug. 10
Men’s Team Saber and Women’s Team Epee  

Kiefer, Dershwitz and Holmes are each returning Pan American Games Champions in the individual event.

Kiefer won women’s foil gold at both the 2011 and 2015 Pan American Games and earned nine straight Pan American Championship titles, dating back to her first appearance at the event as a 16 year old in 2010. Now ranked No. 5 in the world, the 2011 Senior World individual bronze medalist is the most decorated women’s foil fencer in U.S. history with 11 individual World Cup and six Grand Prix medals to her credit as well as serving as anchor for the team that won medals at the last three Senior World Championships, including gold in 2018 as well as silver in 2017 and bronze in 2019.  

Prior to qualifying for his first Olympic Games in 2016, Dershwitz won the 2015 Pan American Games title in at 19 years old. Ranked as the No. 2 men’s saber fencer in the world, Dershwitz won gold at four of the last six Pan American Championships, including back-to-back golds in 2018 and 2019.  

Holmes earned the women’s epee title in her Pan American Games debut in 2015 shortly before qualifying for the 2016 Olympic Games. Team USA’s anchor for the 2018 Senior World Championship title, Holmes earned individual medals at every Pan American Championship from 2013-17.

In the team events, the United States won gold in four events in 2015: men’s and women’s saber, men’s foil and women’s epee.

At the Pan American Championships in June, Team USA won eight individual medals as well as medals in all six team events.

Of Team USA’s 12 individual fencers, 10 have won medals at the Pan American Championships in the last two years, including Imboden who earned his sixth individual Pan Am title in men’s foil this year and Stone who earned her first individual Pan Am gold in women’s saber in June. 

Team USA’s complete athlete roster is as follows, including hometown and current world ranking: 

Men’s Epee
Jake Hoyle (New York City, N.Y. / No. 12)
Curtis McDowald (Jamaica, N.Y. / No. 27)
Team Only: James Kaull (New York City, N.Y. / No. 53)

Women’s Epee
Kat Holmes (Washington, D.C. / No. 31)
Kasia Nixon (Los Angeles, Calif. / No. 56)
Team Only: Isis Washington (Parsippany, N.J. / No. 77)

Men’s Foil
Race Imboden (New York City, N.Y. / No. 2)
Gerek Meinhardt (San Francisco, Calif. / No. 5)
Team Only: Nick Itkin (Los Angeles, Calif. / No. 9)

Women’s Foil
Lee Kiefer (Lexington, Ky. / No. 5)
Jackie Dubrovich (Riverdale, N.J. / No. 23)
Team Only: Nicole Ross (New York City, N.Y. / No. 16)

Women’s Saber
Eliza Stone (Chicago, Ill. / No. 7)
Chloe Fox-Gitomer (Portland, Ore. / No. 58)
Team Only: Monica Aksamit (Matawan, N.J. / No. 101)

Men’s Saber
Eli Dershwitz (Sherborn, Mass. / No. 1)
Daryl Homer (Bronx, N.Y. / No. 16)
Team Only: Jeff Spear (Wynantskill, N.Y. / No. 55)

Team cadre is as follows:

Team Captain
Saul Mendoza (Escondido, Calif.)

Ashley Bruley (Long Beach, Calif.)
Jeremy Summers (Mount Sinai, N.Y.)

Epee Coach
Jason Pryor (South Euclid, Ohio)

Foil Coach
Buckie Leach (South Bend, Ind.)

Saber Coach
Zoran Tulum (Natick, Mass.)

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