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Four Junior World Teams Named on Third Day of Junior Olympic Fencing Championships

02/20/2012, 12:00pm CST
By No Author

(Salt Lake City, Utah) – Sixteen-year-old Garrett McGrath (Maricopa, Ariz.) earned his second gold medal of the weekend on Sunday when he won the cadet (U17) men’s epee event at the Junior Olympic Fencing Championships in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The only athlete to earn double gold in individual events, McGrath claimed his first title on Friday in the junior (U20) men’s epee.

The win, combined with McGrath’s bronze medal at the Gothenburg Cadet European Cup in Sweden two weeks ago, solidified McGrath’s #2 slot in the National Team Point Rankings and qualified him for the team that will compete at the Cadet World Championships in Moscow next month.

“I really just fence for fun. Everyone asked if I was going to fence today since I’d already qualified and a lot of people don’t and that’s ok, but I like to fence tournaments. This is why I fence and these are a lot of fun,” McGrath said.  

Going into the gold medal finals against Nicholas Hanahan (Indianapolis, Ind.), McGrath hadn’t given up more than 10 touches to a single opponent all day and opened the bout quickly with a 5-2 lead.

“I fenced Nick in Austin in juniors. He’s very fast and he’s really in your face, but his arm is really wide. When he does a parry, it’s huge. I like to disengage and go around people and I saw he was really favoring his six today and I used that to get a few touches really quick at the beginning,” McGrath said.

Hanahan recovered and came within a touch of McGrath as he brought the score to 6-5.

“He started doing a little more distance and so I had to work with that, but then I ended up doing the same thing again at the end. I never really gave him a chance to change that and I didn’t want it to get to the one minute break because I know his coach was going to tell him what was going on. He was flustered and I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to close it out,” McGrath said.

McGrath gave up just one more touch as he went on to win the bout, 15-6.

“A lot of my bouts go that way. It’s usually pretty close in the beginning and then there’s a moment where I figure out the opponent and then I usually go on some kind of streak and then I pull away and win,” he said.

McGrath will compete in Moscow with teammates Alexander Eldeib (Burke, Va.) and Spencer Amann (Westminster, Colo.)

Conor Shepard (Colleyville, Texas), Anton Piskovatskov (Houston, Texas) and Inaki de Guzman (Fairfas) are the team’s first, second and third alternates, respectively.

Although this season was McGrath’s first on the international circuit, he earned top eight finishes in each of the three Cadet European Cups, including his bronze in Sweden, and he said he will be training hard for his first Cadet Worlds.

“I ask people ‘do you want to qualify for Worlds to go to Worlds or do you want to qualify to do well?’ You can’t just qualify and then give up because you made the team,” McGrath said. “This is just a means to an end over there. The real tournament is Moscow and I want to do well.”

A year ago, 16-year-old Adrienne Jarocki (Middle Village, N.Y.) competed at her first Junior Olympics where she finished 21st as a cadet and 10th as a junior.

Since then, the former ballroom dancer and 2008 Miss Pre-Teen New York, has won three gold medals at major national events, including junior and cadet titles at the November North American Cup and gold in the junior women’s saber event at the Junior Olympics on Sunday.

Jarocki advanced to the gold medal bout after five straight wins in the direct elimination table.

In the gold medal bout, Jarocki fenced 2009 Cadet World medalist Nicole Glon (State College, Pa.) for the first time ever.

“I’ve never fenced her before, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I tried to be confident and change what I was doing every single touch so I wasn’t predictable at all,” Jarocki said.

The strategy worked and Jarocki closed out the bout, 15-9.

Although she has been competing for just over two years, Jarocki said fencing internationally has helped fast track her experience level.

“It’s been intense, but fun. I think I was at a tournament almost every single weekend in January so I think that’s kind of taken the place of all the experience I missed previously,” said Jarocki who won a silver medal at the Cadet European Cup in London and bronze at the Sunstate Mechanical Junior World Cup in Phoenix last month.

Jarocki’s junior gold medal moved her into the #5 cadet ranking in the United States and earned her a slot as the second alternate to the Cadet World Team.

The Cadet Women’s Saber Team was named on Sunday and includes 2011 Junior and Cadet World Team members Francesca Russo (Wayne, N.J.) and Skyla Powers (Atlanta, Ga.) and first-time team member Sage Palmedo (Portland, Ore.) who won a silver medal in the cadet event on Friday. Lena Johnson (Peachtree City, Ga.) and Erica Zhao (Plano, Texas) were named as the first and third alternates, respectively.

Following her silver medal finish at the Budapest Junior World Cup in Hungary on Sunday, 2011 Cadet World Team member Margaret McDonald (Atlanta, Ga.) moved into the third position on her first Junior World Team behind Russo and Powers.

Palmedo, Johnson and two-time Junior World Team member Celina Merza (Wayne, N.J.) were named as alternates.

Sixteen-year-old Kaila Budofsky (New York City, N.Y.) made her first ever Junior Olympic medal a gold one when she won the cadet women’s foil event.

Budofsky defeated Jessie Laffey (Glen Ridge, N.Y.), 4-3, in the semifinals to advance to the gold medal bout where she held off a late charge from  2011 Budapest Cadet European Cup medalist Sabrina Massialas (San Francisco, Calif.) to win the bout, 12-10.

“By the end of the day, I was tired and worn out and it was so close and you know you have to push through it to get the gold medal. I just had to keep my head in the game,” Budofsky said.

The Cadet Women’s Foil Team also was named on Sunday and includes Massialas as well as Sara Taffel (New York City, N.Y.) and Morgan Partridge (Swansea, Mass.)

Laffey, Julia Lee (Montville, N.J.) and Miranda Litzinger (Los Gatos, Calif.) were named as the team alternates.

Complete results can be found at

Top eight results are as follows:

Cadet Women’s Foil
1. Kaila Budofsky (New York City, N.Y.)
2. Sabrina Massialas (San Francisco, Calif.)
3. Jessie Laffey (Glen Ridge, N.Y.)
3. Hellary Zhang (Louisville, Ky.)
5. Morgan Partridge (Swansea, Mass.)
6. Sara Taffel (New York City, N.Y.)
7. Ashley Tsue (Overland Park, Kans.)
8. Elyssa Kleiner (San Francisco, Calif.)

Cadet Men’s Epee
1. Garrett McGrath (Maricopa, Ariz.)
2. Nicholas Hanahan (Indianapolis, Ind.)
3. Michael Billinghurst III (Lagrange, Ohio)
3. Ryan Tomlinson (Portland, Ore.)
5. Tycho Toothaker (Portland, Ore.)
6. Inaki De Guzman (Fairfax, Va.)
7. Thibault Philippine (Oakland, Calif.)
8. Porter Hesslegrave (Los Angeles, Calif.)

Junior Women’s Foil
1. Adrienne Jarocki (Middle Village, N.Y.)
2. Nicole Glon (State College, Pa.)
3. Alisha Gomez (Wayne, N.J.)
3. Elizabeth Jug (Moss Beach, Calif.)
5. Sage Palmedo (Portland, Ore.)
6. Anastasia Pineschi (Los Angeles, Calif.)
7. Hee-Kyung Oh (Allendale, N.J.)
8. Erica Zhao (Plano, Texas)

Medalists in the team events are as follows:

Junior Men’s Team Foil
1. Guch (Empire United Fencing)
Harrison Bergman (Lebanon, N.J.)
Willem Koppel  (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
Justin Lee (Montville, N.J.)
Adam Mathieu (Union City, N.J.)
2. Los Angeles International Fencing Center
Aaron Ahn (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Aiden Ahn (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Hanmin Lee (Irvine, Calif.)
Stephen Aman (West Lake Village, Calif.)
3. Daboyyyzz (Empire United Fencing)
David Kong (Rutherford, N.J.)
Jan Maceczek (Marlboro, N.J.)
Harry McGuire (Cos Cob, Conn.)
Alexander Szilagyi (Lloyd Harbor, N.Y.)

Junior Women’s Team Epee
1. Alliance Fencing Academy

Madeline Antekeier (Houston, Texas)
Molly Hudson (Houston, Texas)
Alexandria Micek (Houston, Texas)
Anna Van Brummen (Houston, Texas)
2. Northwest Fencing Center
Isabella Barna (Bend, Ore.)
Isabel Ford (Salem, Ore.)
Rita Somogyi (Portland, Ore.)
3. Northwestern University
Courtney Dumas (Shaker Heights, Ohio)
Sonali Patel (Arlington Heights, Ill.)
Rose Semmel (Philadelphia, Pa.)

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