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Patricia Bedrosian Qualifies for 14th Straight Veteran World Team at Summer Nationals

06/30/2012, 9:25am CDT
By USA Fencing

(Anaheim, Calif.) – Some things are a staple of every sports environment – 70-year-old Patricia Bedrosian (Malibu, Calif.) is one of those in veteran fencing.

For as long as the Veteran World Championships have existed for fencers ages 50 and older, Bedrosian has been there. 

On Friday, Bedrosian qualified for her 14th straight Veteran World Championship Team and has already begun planning her trip to Austria to compete with Team USA in Krems in October.

“It’s very exciting. I love to travel. I live for traveling and doing it and fencing at the same time is just a bonus. I’ve gotten to know my teammates through the years and we get along quite well. I just look forward to it every year and I’m sure if I didn’t make it one year, I’d probably cry,” Bedrosian laughed after winning the veteran women’s +70 epee event at the USA Fencing National Championships at the Anaheim Convention Center.

Competing against her teammates from past Veteran World Teams, Bedrosian won her semifinal bout by a score of 10-5 against Ellen O’Leary (Decatur, Ga.) – a saber fencer who won silver at the 2011 Veteran Worlds in the 60-69 event.

In the gold medal bout, Bedrosian fenced Bettie Graham (Washington, D.C.) – her teammate at nine past Veteran Worlds and a bronze medalist in 2011.

Though Bedrosian appreciates the camaraderie of veteran fencing, she was quick to clarify that her friendships with her teammates ended when they got onto the strip.

“We’re friendly and affectionate with one another, but that gets wiped clean when you’re on the strip,” Bedrosian said. “We all want to win. Everyone understands. There’s no silliness and giggling when you’re competing. It’s all business.”

Getting down to business quickly, Bedrosian won the bout and the National Championship, 10-6. Bedrosian, O’Leary, Graham and bronze medalist Diane Reckling (White Plains, N.Y.) all qualified to fence at the Veteran Worlds.

In addition to the pure competition, Bedrosian said she loves fencing in particular because it’s a combat sport.

“There’s something about the combat that I’ve always liked. Back in the day, as they say, there weren’t too many combat things women could get involved in. I took up jujitsu when I was 51 which was another combat thing that women were welcome to do and I stayed with that for seven years. I got a brown belt, but eventually I had to stop because my knees were saying ‘you can either fence or you can throw big men over your shoulder, but you can’t do both,’ so I stuck with the fencing,” said Bedrosian who first took up the sport in a physical education class at Valley College in Van Nuys, Calif.

Bedrosian’s teammates in the other age groups for both women’s epee and men’s foil also were selected on Friday.

In the women’s 50-59 epee event, 49-year-old Cristina Ford (Salem, Ore.) won her first ever National title with a 9-8 victory over Louise Leighton (Mishawake, Ind.), but Ford, the mother of highly ranked junior Isabel Ford (Salem, Ore.), fell short of qualifying for the U.S. Team as team selection is based on the best two results of the domestic season that includes Summer Nationals as well as the March North American Cup that was held in Cincinnati and the December NAC in Kansas City.

Janice Midgley (Tinton Falls, N.J.), who finished 20th on Friday, earned her trip to Krems through two bronze medal finishes at the previous NACs. Beth Slikas (Newport, Ore.) won gold at the December NAC which, combined with her eighth place result in Anaheim, gave her the second position on the team. A 2011 Veteran World Team member, Valerie Asher (Bethesda, Md.) placed 17th at the Nationals, but qualified for the team due to silver medal and fifth-place results in March and December, respectively.

By the end of the competition, a tie in the rankings set the stage for a fence-off for the fourth slot between Marianne Bosco (Harvest, Ala.) and Ellen Finnegan (West Roxbury, Mass.) – each of whom were vying for her first trip to the Veteran Worlds. Bosco won the fence-off, 10-7, and Finnegan was named the first alternate to the team.

In the veteran women’s 60-69 event, Bonnie Aher (Brookfield, Conn.) qualified for Team USA after defeating Cynthia Runyon (Flagstaff, Ariz.), 6-5, in the gold medal bout. Bronze medalistDiane Kallus (Round Rock, Texas) also earned enough points to qualify for the team. Anna Estrada (San Francisco, Calif.) placed sixth, but Estrada’s bronze medals at the last two NACs gave her the fourth position on the team. Elizabeth Kocab (Farmington Hills, Mich.), the reigning Veteran World Champion, did not compete in Anaheim as she had pre-qualified with gold medal wins at both NACs.

Seventy-two-year-old Jim Adams (Rockville, Md.) qualified for his 12th Veteran World Championship Team on Friday in +70 men’s foil. Adams defeated three-time Veteran World Team member David Kosow (Gaithersburg, Md.) in the quarter-finals, 10-2, to secure his slot on the team. Done with qualifying and now able to focus on winning the national title, Adams won his bout in the semis against Earl Shapiro (Stone Mountain, Ga.), 10-4. Adams closed out the day with a win in the final bout over Davis Carvey (Seattle, Wash.), 9-4. Carvey, who just aged into the +70 category this season, qualified for his first Veteran World Team. Bronze medalist Marcel Miernik (Irvington, N.Y.) will compete at his eighth Veteran Worlds. The fourth slot on Team USA went to Edward Sady (Fairfax, Va.) who finished fifth on Friday, but his bronze medal wins at the March and December NACs gave him enough points to qualify for the fourth position on the Veteran World Team.

In the veteran 60-69 men’s foil event, three-time Veteran World medalist Joseph Biebel (Bayside, Wis.) made his seventh Veteran World Team after winning gold on Friday. A former Senior World Team member, Biebel defeated Rinaldo Campana (McLean, Va.), 10-5, in the semifinals and 2011 Veteran World Team member Neal White (Chicago, Ill.), 10-4, for gold. Both Campana and White will join Biebel this fall in Krems. Joseph Streb (Columbus, Ohio)finished ninth on Friday, but a gold medal from the March NAC and silver in December earned him a position on Team USA.

Fifty-seven-year-old Michael Perry (San Diego, Calif.) won gold in the veteran 50-59 foil event, but, since Summer Nationals was his first national event of the season, Perry fell short of qualifying for the Veteran World Team. Going into the final seconds of the bout, Perry had a 9-7 lead over hometown athlete Jamie Douraghy (Los Angeles, Calif.) Douraghy scored again with five seconds on the clock to bring the score to 9-8, but Perry fended off two more attacks to win the national title.  Douraghy’s silver medal win, combined with a bronze from the March NAC, earned him a ticket to his first Veteran Worlds.

By virtue of his two gold medal wins at the March and December NACs, bronze medalist Ed Kaihatsu (Skokie, Ill.) also qualified for the Veteran Worlds. A former Senior World Team member in the 1980s, Kaihatsu will be competing at his third Vet Worlds. Robert Pavlovich (Manhasset, N.Y.), who won bronze on Friday and a silver medal at the December NAC, qualified for his first Veteran World Team. Thomas Lutton (Cupertino, Calif.) earned the fourth slot on Team USA. A seven-time Veteran World Team member, Lutton finished 10th in Anaheim, but he won a silver at the March NAC and finished fifth in December.

The complete roster of Veteran World Teams selected on Friday are as follows:

Veteran Worlds Men’s 50-59 Foil Team
Ed Kaihatsu (Skokie, Ill.)
Robert Pavlovich (Manhasset, N.Y.)
Jamie Douraghy (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Thomas Lutton (Cupertino, Calif.)
Alternate 1: David Drake (San Diego, Calif.)
Alternate 2: Sam Jones (Round Rock, Texas)
Alternate 3: Dale Karolak (Brighton, Mich.)
Alternate 4: Christopher Hagen

Veteran Men’s 60-69 Team
Joseph Biebel (Bayside, Wis.)
Joseph Streb (Columbus, Ohio)
Neal White (Chicago, Ill.)
Rinaldo Campana (McLean, Va.)
Alternate 1: Ray Sexton III (Round Rock, Texas)
Alternate 2: Kenneth Floro (St. Louis, Mo.)
Alternate 3: Bruce Milligan (Savage, Md.)
Alternate 4: Adrian Sessions (Los Altos, Calif.)

Veteran Worlds Men’s +70 Foil Team
Jim Adams (Rockville, Md.)
Davis Carvey (Seattle, Wash.)
Marcel Miernik (Irvington, N.Y.)
Edward Sady (Fairfax, Va.)
Alternate 1: Fritz Chang (Madison, Wis.)
Alternate 2: Earl Shapiro (Stone Mountain, Ga.)
Alternate 3: David Kosow  (Gaithersburg, Md.)
Alternate 4: Gerhard Volkmann (Park Ridge, Ill.) 

Veteran Worlds Women’s 50-59 Epee Team
Janice Midgley (Tinton Falls, N.J.)
Beth Slikas (Newport, Ore.)
Valerie Asher (Bethesda, Md.)
Marianne Bosco (Harvest, Ala.)
Alternate 1: Ellen Finnegan (West Roxbury, Mass.)
Alternate 2: Dianna McMenamin (South Hadley, Mass.)
Alternate 3: Mary Huang (Pasadena, Calif.)
Alternate 4: Louise Leighton (Mishawake, Ind.)

Veteran Worlds Women’s 60-69 Epee Team
Elizabeth Kocab (Farmington Hills, Mich.)
Bonnie Aher (Brookfield, Conn.)
Diane Kallus (Round Rock, Texas)
Anna Estrada (San Francisco, Calif.)
Alternate 1: Cynthia Runyon (Flagstaff, Ariz.)
Alternate 2: Deborah Theriault (Pittsburgh, Pa.)
Alternate 3: Patricia Lutton (Cupertino, Calif.)
Alternate 4: Pam Katz (Buckeye, Ariz.) 

Veteran Worlds Women’s +70 Epee Team
Patricia Bedrosian (Malibu, Calif.)
Bettie Graham (Washington, D.C.)
Diane Reckling (White Plains, N.Y.)
Ellen O’Leary (Decatur, Ga.) 

Two veteran National titles were awarded in age groups that are not eligible for competition at the Veteran World Championships: women’s 40-49 epee and men’s 40-49 foil. 

In the women’s 40-49 epee event, Maria Copelan (Portland, Ore.) won gold over Carola Schmid (Seattle, Wash.), 10-7, in the final bout. 

Levi Szego (Gaithersburg, Md.) won the men’s 40-49 title with a 10-6 victory in his gold medal bout against Kevin Urbain (Lost Altos, Calif.) 

Division III men’s epee and Division II women’s foil national titles also were decided on Friday.

Sixteen-year-old Michael Slonim-Gopman (New York City, N.Y.) earned his first National Championship title when he won gold in the Division III men’s epee event. Slonim-Gopman won his final bout over Max Hubych (Golden, Colo.), 15-12.

In Division II women’s foil event, 14-year-old Jessica Pon (Cupertino, Calif.) defeated 14-year-old Grace Ding (Bolton, Mass.), 9-8, in their overtime gold medal bout.

Competition continues on Saturday at the Anaheim Convention Center where the following events will be contested: 

8 a.m.
Veteran 40-49 Men’s Epee
Veteran +70 Men’s Epee
Division III Women’s Foil
Veteran 40-49 Women’s Saber
Veteran 50-59 Women’s Saber
Veteran 60-69 Women’s Saber

8:30 a.m.
Veteran 50-59 Men’s Epee 

9:30 a.m.
Veteran 60-69 Men’s Epee 

10:30 a.m.
Veteran +70 Women’s Saber 

11:30 a.m.
Division II Men’s Saber 

1 p.m.
Division II Women’s Epee 

2 p.m.
Veteran Team Men’s Foil
Veteran Team Women’s Epee 

Complete results can be found at Top eight results for the Summer Nationals are as follows: 

Veteran Men’s 40-49 Foil
1. Levi Szego (Gaithersburg, Md.)
2. Kevin Urbain (Los Altos, Calif.)
3. Craig Harkins (Chamblee, Ga.)
3. Don Davis (Clarksville, Md.)
5. Richard Weiss (Burke, Va.)
6. Iain Valentine (Windermore, Fla.)
7. Patrick Jones (Oakland, Calif.)
8. John Kissingford (Denver, Colo.) 

Veteran Men’s 50-59 Foil
1. Michael Perry (San Diego, Calif.)
2. Jamie Douraghy (Los Angeles, Calif.)
3. Ed Kaihatsu (Skokie, Ill.)
3. Robert Pavlovich (Manhasset, N.Y.)
5. Philippe Bennett (New York City, N.Y.)
6. Sam Jones (Round Rock, Texas)
7. Stephen Gross (Fairfax, Va.)
8. Chris Hagen (Brooklyn Center, Minn.) 

Veteran Men’s +70 Foil 
1. James Adams (Rockville, Md.)
2. Davis Carvey (Seattle, Wash.)
3. Marcel Miernik (Irvington, N.Y.)
3. Earl Shapiro (Stone Mountain, Ga.)
5. Edward Sady (Fairfax, Va.)
6. Fritz Chang (Madison, Wis.)
7. Gerhard Volkmann (Park Ridge, Ill.)
8. David Kosow (Gaithersburg, Md.) 

Veteran Men’s 60-69
1. Joseph Biebel (Bayside, Wis.)
2. Neal White (Chicago, Ill.)
3. Rinaldo Campana (McLean, Va.)
3. Brian Harper (Gainesville, Fla.)
5. Bruce Milligan (Savage, Md.)
6. Ray Sexton III (Round Rock, Texas)
7. Adrian Sessions (Los Altos, Calif.)
8. Dan McCarthy (Poughkeepsie, N.Y.) 

Veteran Women’s 40-49 Epee
1. Maria Copelan (Portland, Ore.)
2. Carola Schmid (Seattle, Wash.)
3. Sabina Chernis (Houston, Texas)
3. Sandra Marchant (Prospect, Conn.)
5. Sally Gifford (Washington, D.C.)
6. Carrie Warlaumont (Portland, Ore.)
7. Jennifer Devore (Seattle, Wash.)
8. Marcia Pierce (Richmond, Ky.) 

Veteran Women’s 50-59 Epee 
1. Cristina Ford (Salem, Ore.)
2. Louise Leighton (Mishawake, Ind.)
3. Ellen Finnegan (West Roxbury, Mass.)
3. Leslie Taft (Palm Desert, Calif.)
5. Cynthia Ameli (Las Vegas, Nev.)
6. Cristina Gordet (Somerville, Mass.)
7. Marianne Bosco (Harvest, Ala.)
8. Beth Slikas (Newport, Ore.) 

Veteran Women’s 60-69 Epee 
1. Bonnie Aher (Brookfield, Conn.)
2. Cynthia Runyon (Flagstaff, Ariz.)
3. Kay Rubin (Waban, Mass.)
3. Diane Kallus (Round Rock, Texas)
5. Patricia Lutton (Cupertino, Calif.)
6. Anna Estrada (San Francisco, Calif.)
7. Pam Katz (Buckeye, Ariz.)
8. Claire Hanamoto (Sacramento, Calif.) 

Veteran +70 Women’s Epee
1. Patricia Bedrosian (Malibu, Calif.)
2. Bettie Graham (Washington, D.C.)
3. Ellen O’Leary (Decatur, Ga.)
4. Diane Reckling (White Plains, N.Y.) 

Division III Men’s Epee
1. Michael Slonim-Gopman (New York City, N.Y.)
2. Max Hubych (Golden, Colo.)
3. Jake Lee (Basking Ridge, N.J.)
3. William Ho (New York City, N.Y.)
5. Albert Reiss (Short Hills, N.J.)
6. Antonio Fuda (Spring Lake, N.J.)
7. Alexander Elwers (San Diego, Calif.)
8. Richard Kim (Kommack, N.Y.) 

Division II Women’s Foil 
1. Jessica Pon (Cupertino, Calif.)
2. Grace Ding (Bolton, Mass.)
3. Elsa Stoff (Fair Haven, N.J.)
3. Myrka Boyd (Corinth, Texas)
5. Anya Michaelsen (Crozet, Va.)
6. Teresa McBryan (Phoenix, Ariz.)
7. Joanne Carminucci (Brewster, N.Y.)
8. Jessica Wu (Palo Alto, Calif.)

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