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Imboden, Van Brummen and Spear Close Out Portland NAC with Gold

01/17/2012, 12:00pm CST
By No Author

(Portland, Ore.) – One has to wonder if 18-year-old Race Imboden (Brooklyn, N.Y.) has forgotten what it’s like not to be on the top of the podium at an event in the United States.

Now ranked 11th in the world after his top-eight placing at the 2011 Senior Worlds, Imboden has won the last four foil events he has entered in the United States, including the December Division I North American Cup, the November Junior North American Cup, the Pan Am Championships in July and the Division I National Championships in April.

And he added a fifth on Monday when he won gold at the January North American Cup in Portland – the second of three domestic Olympic qualifying events.

Imboden didn’t drop more than seven points in his first three bouts before he met 2010 Senior Worlds fifth-place finisher Miles Chamley-Watson (Philadelphia, Pa.) in the table of 16 – a bout Imboden won, 15-8.

“It sucks because I never like to fence any of my teammates that early, especially Miles who I train with back in New York, but, when it comes down to it, you’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do. He fenced really well all day and I just think today was my day on that one,” Imboden said.

In the medal rounds, Imboden defeated Christopher Colley (Columbus, Ohio), 15-6, in the quarter-finals and 2011 Cadet World Team member Jerry Chang (Mountain View, Calif.), 15-8, in the semis.

In the other semifinal, the bout between Pan Am Games Champion Alexander Massialas (San Francisco, Calif.) and 2010 Senior World medalist Gerek Meinhardt (San Francisco, Calif.) came down to the final touch when the score was tied at 14.

Massialas was given a red card for covering his target with the mask which meant Meinhardt won the hotly contested bout, 15-14.

In the gold medal final, Imboden took a 9-4 lead, but Meinhardt went on a seven-touch run to bring the score to 11-9.  

“I just try to stay calm and relaxed and not try to get too worked up about it because I know Gerek’s good at making comebacks,” Imboden said. “He’s a good competitor. He’s gonna make comebacks like that. If I worry about it, it affects my mental state, so I just try to stay calm and focus on what I need to focus on.”

Imboden tied the score at 11 and Meinhardt picked up the next touch to take a 12-11 lead, but Imboden picked up the next three touches to earn a 14-12 lead. Meinhardt scored again to take the score to 14-13, but Imboden closed out the bout at 15-13.

The win means Imboden has earned gold medals in both of the domestic Olympic qualifying events held so far.

“This being a qualifying event just ups the intensity. You saw people working really hard and some intense bouts today. I think it makes everything more important more key. You’ve gotta love the pressure," Imboden laughed. "The final was a great final and we were both putting out a great effort. I’ve gotta say Gerek fenced an amazing bout. I don’t know how the guy moves that fast."

Imboden went on to note that the NAC was good preparation for the World Cup season which begins in February.

“I got to compete against top guys today. Miles and Gerek are both great fencers and we’ve trained a lot together, so it’s a test before we get into the World Cups,” Imboden said. “I wanna keep improving. This whole year’s been about improving. I’m taking this opportunity to train like a professional and improve myself and that’s all I can ask for.

After his win, Imboden said he wanted to take an opportunity to thank his family for all of their support.

“If I could just give a shout out to my mom and dad and just thank them for everything they’ve done to help me get here, that would be great,” he said.

In the junior (U20) women’s epee division, 2011 Junior and Cadet World Team member Anna Van Brummen (Houston, Texas) won gold and will retain her #1 junior ranking.

Seeded 13th after the pools, Van Brummen won her opening bout against Vanessa Lacas-Warrick (CAN) after a first-round bye.

In the table of 32, Van Brummen defeated her 2011 Junior World teammate Jessie Radanovich (Tollhouse, Calif.), 15-6, to advance to the table of 16 where she won her bout against Louise Fournier (CAN), 15-10.

Neither of Van Brummen’s next two opponents scored double digits in either the quarter-finals or semis as she defeated Courtney Dumas (Shaker Heights, Ohio), 15-7, and Aleina Edwards (Los Angeles, Calif.), 15-8.

In the gold medal final, Isis Washington (Parsippany, N.J.) held the bout close, but Van Brummen earned the win, 15-12.

“I’ve been kind of having a lot of difficulty with training lately, but today I was in the zone and I fenced really well, so I’m happy,” Van Brummen said.

A three-time Junior and Cadet World Team member, Will Spear (Wyantskill, N.Y.) earned his first gold medal at a major event since he took both the U17 and U20 titles at the 2010 Junior Olympics.

After a 4-2 result in the pools, Spear entered the table of 128 with a 31st seed and a bye into the table of 64 where he defeated Steven Moore (CAN), 15-10.

In the table of 32, Spear won his bout against Moore’s teammate Kieran Steer, 15-11, and went on to defeat Charles Copti (Wyckoff, N.J.), 15-7, in the table of 16.

Spear had little difficulty in the medal rounds either as he defeated Steven Yang (Lake Mary, Fla.), 15-8, in the quarters and October U17 NAC Champion Andrew Mackiewicz (Westwood, Mass.), 15-6.

Spear ended his dominant day with a 15-6 win over Daniel Kim (Upper Saddle River, N.J.)

Visit for complete results.

Top eight results are as follows:

Division I Men’s Foil
1. Race Imboden (New York City, N.Y.)
2. Gerek Meinhardt (San Francisco, Calif.)
3. Alexander Massialas (San Francisco, Calif.)
3. Jerry Chang (Mountain View, Calif.)
5. Turner Caldwell (San Francisco, Calif.)
6. Brian Kaneshige (Maplewood, N.J.)
7. Benjamin Parkins (The Woodland, Texas)
8. Christopher Colley (Columbus, Ohio)

Junior Women’s Epee
1. Anna Van Brummen (Houston, Texas)
2. Isis Washington (Parsippany, N.J.)
3. Aleina Edwards (Los Angeles, Calif.)
3. Catherine Lee (Elizabethtown, Ky.)
5. Isabel Ford (Portland, Ore.)
6. Katharine Holmes (Washington, D.C.)
7. Audrey Abend (New York City, N.Y.)
8. Courtney Dumas (Shaker Heights, Ohio)

Junior Men’s Saber
1. Will Spear (Wyantskill, N.Y.)
2. Daniel Kim (Upper Saddle River, N.J.)
3. Andrew Mackiewicz (Westwood, Mass.)
3. Alexander Ryjik (Alexandria, Va.)
5. Shaul Gordon (CAN)
6. Steven Yang (Lake Mary, Fla.)
7. Michael Josephs (Chevy Chase, Md.)
8. Michael Costin (Culver City, Calif.)

Tag(s): News  Anna van Brummen