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Olympic and World Medalists Come to Kansas City for the North American Cup This Weekend

12/08/2011, 11:21am CST
By No Author

(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – More than 1,000 athletes will compete at the December North American Cup at the Kansas City Convention Center in Missouri beginning on Friday and continuing through Monday.

The field will include athletes in Division I, Division II, Veteran and Wheelchair events with past World and Olympic medalists and 2012 Olympic hopefuls vying for medals in the Division I events and qualifying points for 2012 Olympic selection.

Among the athletes fencing in the division I competition are 21 members of the U.S. Team that competed at the Senior World Championships in Catania, Italy in October and three medalists from the both the 2008 Olympic Games and 2011 Senior Worlds.

Tim Morehouse (New York City, N.Y.) and James Williams (New York City, N.Y.) won silver medals together as members of the U.S. Men’s Saber Team in Beijing and are both top contenders to qualify for the London Games as the #1 and #3 men’s saber fencers in the nation, respectively. Morehouse and Senior World teammate Daryl Homer (New York City, N.Y.), the reigning Pan American Champion, faced off in the finals of the Division I National Championships in April and Homer is a top candidate to reach the podium again.

Two members of the women’s saber team that won bronze in Catania also will be competing in Kansas City. Ibtihaj Muhammad (Maplewood, N.J.), the 2009 Division I National Champion, and reigning National Champion Daria Schneider (New York City, N.Y.) will be the first and second seeds in the event, respectively.

Seventeen-year-old foil fencer Lee Kiefer (Lexington, Ky.) was the youngest individual medalist at the Senior Worlds in Catania and hasn’t lost a bout in the U.S. since the Division I Nationals where she lost in the finals to 17-year-old Margaret Lu (Greenwich, Conn.) who won silver with Kiefer and teammates Nzingha Prescod (Brooklyn, N.Y.) and Jacqueline Dubrovich (Riverdale, N.J.) at the Junior World Championships earlier this year. All four women will be competing this weekend with Kiefer and Prescod having the potential for their third match-up in recent months after Kiefer won their gold medal bout at the Pan American Games in Mexico in October. Doris Willette (Lafayette, Calif.), who won silver at the Pan Am Championships in July behind Kiefer, is the third seed in the event. Beijing Olympic silver medalist Emily Cross (New York City, N.Y.) earned three bronzes at the North American Cups last season and is aiming to qualify for her second Olympic Team.

The men’s foil event includes the four top-ranked fencers in the United States – each of whom have earned international medals at the senior level during the past season. Seventeen-year-old Alexander Massialas (San Francisco, Calif.) earned the only men’s foil podium finish at a World Cup this season when he placed third at the event in Seoul in May after taking gold at the Cadet Worlds and in the team event at the Junior Worlds just over a month prior. Second seed Miles Chamley-Watson (Philadelphia, Pa.) struggled during the past international season after placing fifth at the 2010 Senior Worlds, but returned to form at the Olympic Test event last month where he earned a silver medal in London after injuring his hamstring during his final bout against teammate Gerek Meinhardt (San Francisco, Calif.) – a 2008 Olympian and 2010 Senior World bronze medalist who is seeded fourth this weekend. Eighteen-year-old Race Imboden (Brooklyn, N.Y.) won gold in the team event at the Junior Worlds alongside Massialas and has since made a name for himself at the senior level. The third seed in this event, Imboden won both the Division I Nationals and Pan American Championships this year and his eighth-place result at the Senior Worlds was the top finish for a U.S. man in any weapon. With only three slots available on the 2012 Olympic squad, the results from this weekend could separate third from fourth when the final Olympic Team slots are allocated in May.

Two-time Olympic Team member Seth Kelsey (Colorado Springs, Colo.) is the top seed in the men’s epee event in which he will compete against Cody Mattern (Colorado Springs, Colo.) and Ben Bratton (New York City, N.Y.) and – his teammates from the 2010 Senior World Championships where Team USA won the silver medal. Mattern is seeded second in the event with Jimmy Moody (Colorado Springs, Colo.) coming is as the third seed who is looking for his first individual senior NAC podium win.

Beijing Olympian Kelley Hurley (San Antonio, Texas) and her younger sister Courtney Hurley (San Antonio, Texas), a six-time Senior World Team member, won gold and silver medals at all three major epee championships held in the United States in 2011. Kelley defeated Courtney at the January NAC in Dallas as well as the Pan Am Championships in Reno in July while Courtney won the Division I Nationals and the Pan Am Games. This time, Courtney will enter the tournament as the #1 seed while Kelley is fourth. Maya Lawrence (Teaneck, N.J.), a four-time Senior World Team member, is seeded second. Lindsay Campbell (Brooklyn, N.Y.), the five-time Senior World Team member who won bronze at the Pan Am Championships, is the event’s third seed.

In the wheelchair events, four of the five athletes who have qualified for the 2012 Paralympic Team will be competing in Kansas City, including:

  • Ryan Estep (Florence, Miss.), two-time Wheelchair World Team member
  • Gary Van Der Wege (Kyle, Texas), 2004 Paralympian
  • Mario Rodriguez (Ventura, Calif.), three-time Paralympian
  • Gerard Moreno (Los Angeles, Calif.), three-time Paralympian

The veteran event includes all 17 athletes who won medals at the Veteran Worlds in Croatia in September, including:

  • Elizabeth Kocab (Farmington, Mich.), Veteran 60-69 epee gold medalist
  • Delia Turner (Philadelphia, Pa.), Veteran 60-69 saber gold medalist
  • Wang Yung (Bellevue, Wash.), Veteran 50-59 saber gold medalist
  • Ellen O’Leary (Decatur, Ga.), Veteran 60-69 saber silver medalist
  • Jane Eyre (Woolwich Township, N.J.), Veteran 50-59 saber silver medalist
  • Jenette Starks-Faulkner (Middletown, Conn.), Veteran 50-59 foil silver medalist
  • Jere Bothelio (San Jose, Calif.), Veteran 60-69 epee silver medalist
  • Jim Adams (Rockville, Md.), Veteran +70 epee silver medalist and foil bronze medalist
  • Drew Ridge (Westminster, Pa.), Veteran 60-69 epee bronze medalist
  • Anne-Marie Walters (Parkland, Fla.), Veteran 50-59 foil bronze medalist
  • Lydia Mazorol (Simi Valley, Calif.), Veteran 50-59 saber bronze medalist
  • David Seuss (Charlestown, Mass.), Veteran 50-59 saber bronze medalist
  • John Terninko (Nottingham, N.H.), Veteran +70 saber bronze medalist
  • Ray Sexton III (Round Rock, Texas), Veteran 60-69 foil bronze medalist
  • Joshua Runyan (San Diego, Calif.), Veteran 50-59 saber bronze medalist
  • Bettie Graham (Washington, D.C.), Veteran +70 epee bronze medalist

Click here to view the complete athlete entrant list.

The event competition schedule is as follows (all times approximate):

Friday, Dec. 9
8:30 a.m.
Division I Men’s Foil
Veteran 40+ Epee
Veteran 50-59 Women’s Saber
Veteran 60-69 Women’s Saber
Veteran +70 Women’s Saber

9:30 a.m.
Wheelchair Men’s Epee

Veteran 50-59 Men’s Saber
Veteran 60-69 Men’s Saber
Veteran +70 Men’s Saber

12:30 p.m.
Division II Women’s Epee

2 p.m.
Division I Women’s Foil

Saturday, Dec. 10
8:30 a.m.
Division I Men’s Epee
Division I Women’s Saber
Veteran 40+ Women’s Foil

9:30 a.m.
Wheelchair Men’s Foil

11 a.m.
Veteran 50-59 Women’s Epee
Veteran 60-69 Women’s Epee
Women’s +70 Women’s Epee

12:30 p.m.
Division II Men’s Foil

1 p.m.
Veteran Men’s 40+ Saber

Sunday, Dec. 11
8:30 a.m.
Division I Women’s Epee
Veteran +40 Men’s Foil
Division II Men’s Saber

9:30 a.m.
Wheelchair Men’s Saber

1:30 p.m.
Veteran 50-59 Men’s Epee
Veteran 60-69 Men’s Epee
Veteran +70 Men’s Epee

Monday, Dec. 12
8:30 a.m.
Division I Men’s Saber
Division II Men’s Epee
Veteran Men’s 50-59 Foil
Veteran Men’s 60-69 Foil
Veteran Men’s +70 Foil
Veteran Women’s 50-59 Foil
Veteran Women’s 60-69 Foil
Veteran Women’s +70 Foil

Veteran 40+ Women’s Epee
Division II Women’s Saber

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