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Meinhardt, Abend and Streets Close November NAC in Virginia Beach with Gold

11/13/2012, 11:30am CST
By Nicole Jomantas

Gerek Meinhardt (left) defeated Miles Chamley-Watson in the Division I men's foil gold medal final. 

(Virginia Beach) – The last time Gerek Meinhardt (San Francisco, Calif.) was in Virginia Beach, his berth on the 2012 London Olympic Team was on the line.

Meinhardt met the challenge in April where he won his second USA Fencing Division I National Championship men’s individual foil title.

On Monday, the two-time Olympian returned to the Virginia Beach Convention Center for another gold medal with his win at the November North American Cup.

Seeded sixth after the pools, Meinhardt didn’t give up more than seven touches to any of his first three opponents in the direct elimination table.

Following Lebanon Olympian Zain Shaito’s upset of Meinhardt’s teammate, Alexander Massialas (San Francisco, Calif.), 15-14, in the table of 16, Meinhardt defeated Shaito, 15-2, in the quarter-finals.

In the semifinals, Meinhardt led from start to finish against 2012 Junior World Team Champion Jerry Chang (Mountain View, Calif.) and took the bout, 15-6.

Meinhardt’s 2012 Olympic Teammate Miles Chamley-Watson (Philadelphia, Pa.) advanced to the gold medal bout at his first fencing event since finish fourth with Team USA in London.

Although bouts between the two are always close, Chamley-Watson broke out to an 8-2 lead during the first minute.

Meinhardt scored three straight touches and went on to tie the score at 11 by the break.

With the score tied again at 13, Chamley-Watson scored again, but Meinhardt took the next touch for a 14-14 tie.

Meinhardt closed out the win, 15-14, during the next exchange to earn his second gold medal of the year.

“It feels great to win again. I lost barely in St. Louis to Alexander, 15-14,” Meinhardt said of the October NAC. “I had a similar touch today against Miles today to tie it at 14-14 and I was like ‘I can’t lose again the exact same way’ so I was happy to get that last touch and be able to win this tournament.”

Although the two train on opposite sides of the country and the bout was intense throughout, Meinhardt maintained that he and Chamley-Watson are good friends and he enjoys the competition.

“We’re so close. It’s great. When there’s controversial calls we’ll just stand out and talk to each other. It’s all in good fun and we’re both happy to be back and to have done so well,” he said.

After the London Games, Meinhardt took some time off from fencing, but has returned to practice for both the NAC season as well as the upcoming NCAA season where he and his Olympic teammates – Chamley-Watson, Massialas and Race Imboden (Brooklyn, N.Y.) – will be among the top contenders for the NCAA title.  

“I took a short break after London and my coaches at Notre Dame were really understanding. They worked with Greg, my coach back home, so I was able to take a nice break,” Meinhardt said. “Even though I took a break from fencing, I jumped right back into school at Notre Dame two days after we got back from London, so I’ve just been working hard at school and I started back to practice before St. Louis.”

The junior women’s epee event came down to two members of the team that won bronze at the Junior World Championships in April.

Audrey Abend (New York City, N.Y.) met her two-time Junior World Teammate Kat Holmes (Washington, D.C.) in the gold medal final and looked to have won the bout when Holmes scored a touch late in the final minute to tie the score at 14.

“At first I was like ‘Ahhh! Why did I do that?’ but then I tried to think about what I did wrong and what I did right in the last touch since it was one up, one down and then tried to focus on that,” Abend said.  “I was really tired, so I was just trying to shake my legs out in between every point and keep myself in it.

Halfway through the one-minute sudden death overtime period, Abend scored a single touch to win the bout.

Abend and Holmes will both return to competition this weekend at the first Junior Epee World Cup of the season in Bratislava.

In the junior men’s individual saber event, 2011 Junior Olympic Champion Kaito Streets (Redwood City, Calif.) and 2012 Junior World silver medalist Eli Dershwitz (Sherborn, Mass.) were tied at 14 touches each in the gold medal bout when Streets picked up the 15th touch to take the title.

B-Leaf, the quartet from Canada, won the senior women’s team foil final over the Boston Fencing Club, 45-23.

B-Leaf’s Alanna Goldie, Eleanor Harvey, Kelleigh Ryan and Jenny Zhao took the gold and BFC’s Juliet Hewes (Lexington, Mass.), Hali Nelson (Brookline, Mass.), Monica Weindling (Belmont, Mass.) and Christine Yao (Lexington, Mass.) finished with the silver.

Visit for complete results.

Top eight results are as follows:

Division I Men’s Individual Foil
1. Gerek Meinhardt (San Francisco, Calif.)
2. Miles Chamley-Watson (Philadelphia, Pa.)
3. David Willette (San Francisco, Calif.)
3. Jerry Chang (Mountain View, Calif.)
5. Turner Caldwell (San Francisco, Calif.)
6. Robert Nunziato (New York City, N.Y.)
7. David Gomez Tanamachi (MEX)
8. Zain Shaito (LIB)

Junior Women’s Individual Epee
1. Audrey Abend (New York City, N.Y.)
2. Kat Holmes (Washington, D.C.)
3. Courtney Dumas (Shaker Heights, Ohio)
3. Amanda Sirico (Bowie, Md.)
5. Anna Van Brummen (Houston, Texas)
6. Victoria Wines (Mahopac, N.Y.)
7. Isabel Ford (Salem, Ore.)
8. Giana Vierheller (Pittsburgh, Pa.)

Junior Men’s Individual Saber
1. Kaito Streets (Redwood City, Calif.)
2. Eli Dershwitz (Sherborn, Mass.)
3. Geoffrey Loss (Laguna Beach, Calif.)
3. Shaul Gordon (CAN)
5. Fares Arfa (CAN)
6. Jeffrey Dalli (San Carlos, Calif.)
7. Isaac Buchwald (San Carlos, Calif.)
8. Ian Jones (Laguna Hills, Calif.)

Senior Women’s Team Saber
1. B-Leaf
2. Boston Fencing Club


Tag(s): News  Gerek Meinhardt  Miles Chamley-Watson