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U.S. Olympic Team and Staff Selected for London Olympic Games

04/16/2012, 1:30am CDT
By Nicole Jomantas

(Virginia Beach, Va.) – At the conclusion of the Division I National Championships in Virginia Beach on Sunday, the last of 20 positions on the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team were finalized and the staff for Team USA was selected.

Athletes selected for each of these positions will be nominated to the U.S. Olympic Committee and are subject to confirmation by the USOC.

As the only nation to qualify a full team of 16 athletes to compete in both individual and team events in London, Team USA also will include four replacement athletes – one for each of the team events (men’s and women’s foil, women’s epee and men’s saber).

Team USA includes three returning Olympic medalists and four World Championship medalists and a total of nine athletes who competed or served as replacement athletes for past Olympic Teams.

Two-time Olympic Champion Mariel Zagunis (Beaverton, Ore.) qualified to compete for her third straight gold medal in women’s saber. Since women’s saber has been introduced to the Olympic program in 2004, Zagunis has won two individual Olympic and World Championship titles as well as two team gold medals at the Worlds.

Since women’s saber will not include a team event, a maximum of two individual positions were allotted per country and Zagunis will be joined by Dagmara Wozniak (Avenel, N.J.) A replacement athlete in 2008, Wozniak has been ranked in the top 16 in the world for the past year in the individual world rankings.

Men’s epee also will only be held as an individual event. Soren Thompson (New York City, N.Y.) and Seth Kelsey (Colorado Springs, Colo.) qualified for their second and third Olympic Teams respectively due to their world rankings. Thompson and Kelsey were both members of the U.S. Men’s Epee Team that won a gold medal on Saturday at the World Team Championships – the first ever for a U.S. Men’s Fencing Team at the senior level.

The U.S. Men’s Saber Team produced an upset in 2008 to win a silver medal and two members of the 2008 team have returned for their chance at gold. Tim Morehouse (New York City, N.Y.) and James Williams (New York City, N.Y.) will fence with Daryl Homer (New York City, N.Y.) who is currently ranked 14th in the world. Jeff Spear (Wyantskill, N.Y.) is the team replacement athlete. The foursome won a silver medal at the Moscow World Cup last month – the first podium finish for a U.S. Men’s Saber Team at a World Cup since 2005.

The youngest member of the U.S. Olympic Team will be Lee Kiefer (Lexington, Ky.)who will turn 18 less than two months before the Opening Ceremony is held in July. Kiefer was the youngest individual medalist at the 2011 Senior World Championships and is aiming for an Olympic medal at her first Games. Nzingha Prescod (Brooklyn, N.Y.) and Nicole Ross (New York City, N.Y.) won gold together at the 2009 Junior World Championships alongside Kiefer and both athletes have had success at the senior level where Prescod won a silver medal at the Pan American Games in 2011 and Ross finished in the top 16 at the Senior World Championships. After serving as a replacement athlete at the 2008 Olympic Games, Doris Willette (San Francisco, Calif.)will return for her second Games in the position.

The U.S. Men’s Foil Team may be young, but all four athletes have placed in the top five on the World Cup or World Championship circuit. Seventeen-year-old Alexander Massialas (San Francisco, Calif.) is following in the footsteps of his father, Greg Massialas, a three-time Olympian and the head coach of the men’s team. Alexander won his first Division I National title at 15-years-old and has earned bronze medals at two Senior World Cups in the past year. Standing on the podium with Alexander in Paris in January was 19-year-old Race Imboden (Brooklyn, N.Y.) who finished eighth at his first Senior World Championships in October. Twenty-three-year-old Miles Chamley-Watson (Philadelphia, Pa.) was ranked as high as #2 in the world last season after placing fifth at the 2010 Senior World Championships – an event where Gerek Meinhardt (San Francisco, Calif.) won bronze as a 20-year-old. An Olympian in Beijing as well, Meinhardt will be the replacement athlete for Team USA in London.

The U.S. Women’s Epee Team broke through the World Cup ranks in March when Team USA won silver at the St. Maur World Cup in France. Top-ranked Courtney Hurley (San Antonio, Texas) traveled to Beijing in 2008 to watch her older sister Kelley Hurley (San Antonio, Texas) compete at the last Games. This time, Courtney has earned the top position for Team USA and Kelley also will be on the team as a replacement athlete. Thirty-one-year-old Maya Lawrence (Teaneck, N.J.) earned a top-32 at the Senior World Championships where she defeated an Olympic medalist to earn her best career finish at the event and help solidify her position on Team USA. At just 21-years-old,Susie Scanlan (St. Paul, Minn.) won a silver medal at the World University Games with the Hurley sisters in 2011 and shot up the rankings when she placed 16th at the Budapest World Cup.

Team USA staff members are as follows:

Team Leader
Bob Largman (Mendham, N.J.)

Matthew Porter (Pacifica, Calif.)

Athletic Trainer
John Carollo (San Antonio, Texas)

Team Manager 
Courtney Kulick (Colorado Springs, Colo.)

Team Captain / FIE Liaison 
Francisco Martin (Yonkers, N.Y.)

Head Men’s Epee Coach
Sebastien dos Santos (Portland, Ore.)

Head Men’s Foil Coach
Greg Massialas (San Francisco, Calif.)

Head Men’s Saber Coach
Yury Gelman (Brooklyn, N.Y.)

Head Women’s Epee Coach
Roberto Sobalvarro (St. Paul, Minn.)

Head Women’s Foil Coach
Amgad Khazbak (Lexington, Ky.)

Head Women’s Saber Coach 
Ed Korfanty (Portland, Ore.)

Foil Coach
Jed Dupree (New York City, N.Y.)

Nominees for the 2012 U.S. Olympic Fencing Team are as follows:

Men’s Foil
Alexander Massialas (San Francisco, Calif.)
Personal coach: Greg Massialas (San Francisco, Calif.)

Race Imboden (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
Personal coach: Jed Dupree (New York City, N.Y.)

Miles Chamley-Watson (Philadelphia, Pa.) 
Personal coaches: Simon and Irina Gershon (Brooklyn, N.Y.)

Replacement Athlete: Gerek Meinhardt (San Francisco, Calif.)
Personal coach: Greg Massialas (San Francisco, Calif.)

Women’s Foil
Lee Kiefer (Lexington, Ky.)
Personal coach: Amgad Khazbak (Lexington, Ky.)

Nzingha Prescod (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
Personal coach: Buckie Leach (New York City, N.Y.)

Nicole Ross (New York City, N.Y.)
Personal coaches: Simon and Irina Gershon (Brooklyn, N.Y.)

Replacement Athlete: Doris Willette (San Francisco, Calif.)
Personal coach: Greg Massialas (San Francisco, Calif.)

Men’s Saber
Daryl Homer (New York City, N.Y.)
Personal coach: Yury Gelman (Brooklyn, N.Y.)

Tim Morehouse (New York City, N.Y.)
Personal coach: Yury Gelman (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
James Williams (New York City, N.Y.)
Personal coach: Yury Gelman (Brooklyn, N.Y.)

Replacement Athlete: Jeff Spear (New York City, N.Y.)
Personal coach: Aladar Kogler (New York, N.Y.)

Women’s Saber
Mariel Zagunis (Beaverton, Ore.)
Personal coach: Ed Korfanty (Portland, Ore.)

Dagmara Wozniak (Avenel, N.J.)
Personal coach: Yury Gelman (Brooklyn, N.Y.)

Men’s Epee
Soren Thompson (New York City, N.Y.)
Personal coach: Self and Sebastien Dos Santos (Portland, Ore.)

Seth Kelsey (Colorado Springs, Colo.)
Personal coach: Benoit Bouysset (Colorado Springs, Colo.)

Women’s Epee
Courtney Hurley (San Antonio, Texas)
Personal coach: Robert Hurley (San Antonio, Texas)

Maya Lawrence (Teaneck, N.J.)
Personal coach: Daniel Levasseur (St. Maur, France)

Susie Scanlan (St. Paul, Minn.)
Personal coach: Roberto Sobalvarro (St. Paul, Minn.)

Replacement Athlete: Kelley Hurley (San Antonio, Texas)
Personal coach: Robert Hurley (San Antonio, Texas)

Tag(s): News  Daryl Homer  Courtney Hurley  Kelley Hurley  Race Imboden  Maya Lawrence  Alexander Massialas  Gerek Meinhardt  Nicole Ross  Jeff Spear  Soren Thompson  Miles Chamley-Watson  Doris Willette  Dagmara Wozniak  Mariel Zagunis  Lee Kiefer  Nzingha Prescod