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Junior Women’s Epee Team Named at Junior Olympic Fencing Championships

02/19/2012, 12:00pm CST
By Nicole Jomantas

(Salt Lake City, Utah) – In a weekend in which athletes and parents can be found poring over spreadsheets to see where they are in the rankings to qualify for the Junior and Cadet World Championships, 17-year-old Anna Van Brummen (Houston, Texas) came into the tournament with the ultimate advantage – she had already qualified.

Following a gold medal win at the January North American Cup in Portland and a silver medal finish two weeks ago at the Gothenburg Junior World Cup, Van Brummen had secured her slot as the #1 athlete in the junior women’s epee rankings before the Junior Olympic Fencing Championships began on Friday.

“There was a lot less pressure today.  I wasn’t concerned about the points or anything. It was good to be able to just fence for the sake of fencing and do my best,” said Van Brummen who will compete in Moscow from March 31 – April 8.

Van Brummen advanced to the gold medal bout after one-touch wins against Courtney Dumas (Shaker Heights, Ohio), 14-13, and Ashley Severson (Franklin Lakes, N.J.), 15-14, in the quarter and semifinals, respectively.

In the gold medal bout, Van Brummen had a one-touch lead over Audrey Abend (New York City, N.Y.), 8-7, but soon grew her lead to 12-8 before winning the bout, 15-11.

“My big thing is that I tend to rush. I just want to run down the strip and get the touch so I’ve been trying to prepare a little more,” Van Brummen said.

Van Brummen, who finished fifth as a cadet in 2011 and eighth as a junior, will be competing at her second Junior Worlds with Abend and Kat Holmes (Washington, D.C.) who finished sixth.

“It was very overwhelming last year, but I feel a little more confident this time,” Van Brummen said. “I’ve just focused on improving my fencing and want to fence my best and see how it goes.”

Severson, Isabella Barna (Portland, Ore.) and Aleina Edwards (Los Angeles, Calif.) are the first, second and third alternates, respectively.

In the junior men’s saber event, John Hallsten (Sacramento, Calif.) advanced to the semis after defeating Rienzi Gokea (Rye, N.Y.), 15-8.

Hallsten won his semifinal bout against top-ranked cadet Eli Dershwitz (Sherborn, Mass.), 15-13.

The gold medal bout pitted Hallsten against his Hristov-Csikany Fencers teammate Kaito Streets (Redwood City, Calif.) who won this event in 2011.

Hallsten built a 13-9 lead and went on to win the bout, 15-11.

“I didn’t expect this, especially after how I did in pools,” said Hallsten who was seeded 69th in the table of 128 after a 3-3 result in the pools. “I just wanted to stay focused and I never looked past anybody to the next bout.”

As club teammates, Hallsten said he and Streets have fenced each other in competitions countless times.

“We’ve been fencing each other for eight years and I’ve fenced him so many times in local tournaments, but the last time we fenced in a national final was probably when we were Y12 in Miami,” Hallsten said. “We’ve fenced each other so often that you never know who’s gonna win. Neither of us was going to do much of anything differently than what we’re used to at the club.  He was gonna fence how he fences and I fence how I fence.”

Although the junior men’s saber event is a selection tournament for the 2012 Junior World Team, one additional tournament – the Budapest Junior World Cup – will be held on Sunday where athletes can gain ranking points. Accordingly, the team will be named on Monday after the results are received from Budapest.

Fifteen-year-old Axel Kiefer (Lexington, Ky.) won his third cadet title of the season in the men’s foil event after taking gold at the July and November North American Cups and the Halle Cadet European Cup in November.

After edging Darren Mei (Foster City, Calif.), 15-13, in the quarter-finals, Kiefer won his semifinal bout against Spicer Emge (Los Angeles, Calif.), the #4-ranked cadet in the United States, by a score of 14-8.

In the gold medal bout, Kiefer defeated Jeffrey Chen (Cupertino, Calif.), 12-5.

“I just wanted to finish it out strong.  I knew I only had one more bout and that I could go a lot harder because I didn’t have to save anything for the next one,” said Kiefer who also noted the difficulty of competing at altitude. “You don’t think it’s bad when you first get here, but then you start fencing and it gets further into the day and, yeah, it’s pretty tough.

The Cadet World Team will be named on Monday after the conclusion of the junior event. Kiefer was ranked second going into the weekend with the top three earning berths on the team. If he were to qualify, he would be competing alongside his sister Lee Kiefer (Lexington, Ky.) who won three silver medals at the Junior and Cadet Worlds in 2011 and a bronze medal at the Senior Worlds as a 17-year-old last year.

“I’m just really excited. It would be great to make the team and it would be pretty neat to make it with my sister … and I’d get new sweats which is always pretty cool,” Kiefer laughed.

Competition continues on Sunday with the schedule as follows:

Sunday, February 19
8:30 a.m.
Cadet Men’s Individual Epee
Junior Men’s Team Foil
Junior Women’s Individual Saber

1 p.m.
Cadet Women’s Individual Foil

3:30 p.m.
Junior Women’s Team Epee

Visit for complete results.

Top eight finishers in the individual events are as follows:

Junior Women’s Epee
1. Anna Van Brummen (Houston, Texas)
2. Audrey Abend (New York City, N.Y.)
3. Ashley Severson (Franklin Lakes, N.J.)
3. Jessie Radanovich (Tollhouse, Calif.)
5. Nina Van Loon (Boulder, Colo.)
6. Kat Holmes (Washington, D.C.)
7. Sarah Holst (Central Point, Ore.)
8. Courtney Dumas (Shaker Heights, Ohio)

Junior Men’s Saber
1. John Hallsten (Sacramento, Calif.)
2. Kaito Streets (Redwood City, Calif.)
3. Jonah Shainberg (Rye, N.Y.)
3. Eli Dershwitz (Sherborn, Mass.)
5. Rienzi Gokea (Rye, N.Y.)
6. Jacob Soltysiak (Chicago, Ill.)
7. Chris Ahn (Houston, Texas)
8. Will Spear (Wyantskill, N.Y.)

Cadet Men’s Foil
1. Axel Kiefer (Lexington, Ky.)
2. Jeffrey Chen (Cupertino, Calif.)
3. Thomas Dudey (Bellaire, Texas)
3. Spicer Emge (Los Angeles, Calif.)
5. Daniel Sconzo (Merrick, N.Y.)
6. Darren Mei (Foster City, Calif.)
7. Samuel Moelis (Hewlett, N.Y.)
8. Daniel Holley (Pleasant Grove, Utah)

Medalists in the team events are as follows:

Junior Team Women’s Foil
1. Gutkovskiy Fencing Academy 1

Rebecca Popkin (Ridgewood, N.J.)
Audrey Lee (Saddle River, N.J.)
Jacqueline Dubrovich (Riverdale, N.J.)
Jennifer Yamin (Allendale, N.J.)
Morgan Partridge (Swansea, Mass.)
Caroline Mattos (Columbia, R.I.)
Grace Ding (Bolton, Mass.)
Quinn Crum (Providence, R.I.)
3. Fencing Academy of Westchester
Kimberly Fishman (Hartsdale, N.Y.)
Carly Cohen (Scarsdale, N.Y.)
Edona Sera (Williston Park, N.Y.)
Gabriella Zusin (New York City, N.Y.)

Junior Team Men’s Epee
1. Alliance Fencing Academy I

John Cramerus (Sugar Land, Texas)
Anton Piskovatskov (Houston, Texas)
Lewis Weiss (Houston, Texas)
Joseph Wiley (Houston, Texas)
2. Empire United Fencing 1
Mitchell Revich (Brooklyn, N.Y.
Brian Ro (Scarsdale, N.Y.)
Justin Wan (North Hills, N.Y.)
Albert Xu (Briarcliff Manor, N.Y.)
3. Fencing Sports Academy
Luke Hollenbeck (Fairfax Station, Va.)
Alexander Eldeib (Burke, Va.)
Inaki De Guzman (Fairfax, Va.)

Tag(s): News  Lee Kiefer