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Junior Olympic Fencing Championships Concludes with Naming of Final Five Junior and Cadet World Teams

02/21/2012, 12:00pm CST
By No Author


(Salt Lake City, Utah) – The Junior Olympic Fencing Championships concluded on Monday with gold medals awarded in three events – cadet men’s saber and women’s epee and junior men’s foil – with Junior and Cadet World Teams named for each of these weapon squads as well as cadet men’s foil and junior men’s saber

When the day began, 16-year-old Andrew Mackiewicz (Westwood, Mass.) knew he had to place ahead of 2011 Cadet World Team member Peter Pak (Roslyn, N.Y.) in order to earn the #3 slot on the team behind Michael Costin (Culver City, Calif.) and Eli Dershwitz (Sherborn, Mass.)

In the table of 16, Dershwitz defeated Pak, 15-7, while Mackiewicz defeated Deniz Berkay (Sands Point, N.Y.), 15-7.

“At the beginning, I was tense and there was too much pressure, but once my teammate knocked out Peter Pak, I was more relaxed,” Mackiewicz said. “In juniors, I was under pressure and I didn’t do so well, so after that I was more relaxed and I did what I usually do.”

Mackiewicz won his next bout against Alistair Delchamps (Birmingham, Ala.), 15-8, and went on to defeat Dershwitz in the semifinals 15-13.

In the gold medal bout, Mackiewicz earned a 15-8 win over Isaac Buchwald (El Granada, Calif.) to qualify for the Cadet Men’s Saber World Team.

In addition to Mackiewicz, Dershwitz and Costin, three alternates also were named to the team. Pak,  Jonah Shainberg (Rye, N.Y.) and Buchwald were named the first, second and third alternates, respectively.

The Junior Men’s Saber Team also was named on Monday following the conclusion of both the junior event in Salt Lake on Saturday as well as a Junior World Cup that was held on Sunday in Budapest.

The junior team includes Dershwitz, Costin and Alexander Ryjik (Alexandria, Va.) Team alternates are John Hallsten (Sacramento, Calif.), Buchwald and Will Spear (Wyantskill, N.Y.)

Robert Nunziato (New York City, N.Y.) won his first ever Junior Olympic title in the junior men’s foil.

The 19-year-old won five straight bouts to advance to the semifinals where he defeated Axel Kiefer (Lexington, Ky.), 15-5, just two days after Kiefer won the cadet foil event.

Fencing for gold, Nunziato defeated 2011 Cadet World Team member Nobuo Bravo (San Francisco, Calif.), 15-6, to earn the title.

Both the Junior and Cadet Men’s Foil Teams were named on Monday as well.

All three members of the junior team competed in La Coruna, Spain at a Senior World Cup this weekend and were unable to compete in the Junior Olympics.

Race Imboden (Brooklyn, N.Y.) and Alexander Massialas (San Francisco, Calif.) both earned bronze medals at the Paris Foil World Cup last month and will be returning to the Junior Worlds to defend Team USA’s 2011 gold medal in the event. The third team member, Michael Dudey (Bellaire, Texas) finished 20th at the Paris event and will be competing on his first Junior World Team.

Team alternates include 2011 Cadet World Team member Jerry Chang (Mountain View, Calif.), Turner Caldwell (San Francisco, Calif.) and Michael Woo (Wayne, N.J.)

The Cadet Men’s Foil Team includes Kiefer, Stephen Mageras (Darien, Conn.) and Raymond Chen (Dallas, Texas). Team alternates are Spicer Emge (Los Angeles, Calif.), Jeffrey Chen (Cupertino, Calif.) and Drew Johnston (Whitehouse Station, N.J.)

In the cadet women’s epee event, 16-year-old Amanda Sirico (Bowie, Md.) won her first cadet title on Monday.

Three bouts into the direct elimination rounds, Sirico upset 2011 Junior and Cadet World Team member Jessie Radanovich (Tollhouse, Calif.) in the tale of 32.

Sirico led by six touches early in the first period, but Radanovich came back to close the gap to 14-12. Sirico closed out the bout, 15-13, and went on to win the tale of 16 against Safaa Ibrahim (Bronx, N.Y.), 15-5.

Sirico won her next two bouts against Charlene Liu (Bridgewater, N.J.), 15-10, and Claire Dinhut (Los Angeles, Calif.), 15-13, before defeating Victoria Wines (Mahopac, N.Y.), 15-6, in the gold medal final.

“This is my first gold other than Div IA at Nationals last year, so I was just really excited and really happy I didn’t mess up the last bout,” Sirico laughed. “I just reminded myself to focus on my game. I had a few harder bouts before the final that so it gave me time to prepare for being nervous.

Although Sirico is now the fifth-ranked cadet women’s epee fencer in the country, she is new to the weapon after having switched from foil just three years ago.

“I fenced five years of foil. One of my older coaches, he asked me if I wanted to try it and when I did it was the difference between not making the cut in foil and making top eight in epee,” Sirico explained. “I really like the game of it, though – tricking people and trying to get as many touches as possible without being touched.”

For the Siricos, fencing is a family sport as Amanda’s 14-year-old Brooke Sirico is a nationally ranked saber fencer and 11-year-old Meghan Sirico fences all three weapons.

Parents Cynthia and Thomas Sirico met while fencing at the University of Texas El Paso.

“My parents met in college fencing so I’ve been fencing pretty much my entire life. I was always at fencing clubs and they always took us to tournaments, so, when I was about 10 I went to my first foil tournament and it was a ton of fun,” Amanda said. “It’s something we can do to have family time too. My dad’s in the military, so, when he’s home we can all go fencing together.”

The Cadet Women’s Epee Team was named on Sunday and includes 2011 Junior and Cadet World Team members Radanovich and Audrey Abend (New York City, N.Y.) as well as Wines.

Madeline Kehl (Valencia, Calif.), Amanda Sirico and Maria Alejandra Trumble (Cambridge, Mass.) are the team alternates.

Top eight and U.S. results are as follows:

Cadet Men’s Saber
1. Andrew Mackiewicz (Westwood, Mass.)
2. Isaac Buchwald (El Granada, Calif.)
3. Michael Costin (Culver City, Calif.)
3. Eli Dershwitz (Sherborn, Mass.)
5. Ian Jones (Dana Point, Calif.)
6. Jacob Soltysiak (Chicago, Ill.)
7. Alistair Delchamps (Birmingham, Ala.)
8. Jonah Shainberg (Rye, N.Y.)

Cadet Women’s Epee
1. Amanda Sirico (Bowie, Md.)
2. Victoria Wines (Mahopac, N.Y.)
3. Claire Dinhut (Los Angeles, Calif.)
3. Jennifer Horowitz (Los Angeles, Calif.)
5. Madeline Kehl (Valencia, Calif.)
5. Kasia Nixon (Los Angeles, Calif.)
7. Mason Speta (Chicago, Ill.)
8. Charlene Liu (Bridgewater, N.J.)

Junior Men’s Foil
1. Robert Nunziato (New York City, N.Y.)
2. Nobuo Bravo (San Francisco, Calif.)
3. Ira Schlosberg (Bellaire, Texas)
3. Axel Kiefer (Lexington, Ky.)
5. Jarred Gou (Saratoga, Calif.)
6. Justin Lee (Montville, N.J.)
7. Barrett Weiss (Barrington, R.I.)
8. Jeffrey Miller (Centennial, Colo.)

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