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North American Cup Day 2 Results

11/13/2011, 11:36am CST
By No Author

(Austin, Texas) – Seventeen-year-old Jessica O’Neill-Lyublinsky (North Salem, N.Y.) fell just shy of qualifying for the 2010 and 2011 Junior World Teams and the epee fencer came to the North American Cup at the Austin Convention Center on Saturday determined to reach the podium in the second domestic qualifying event of the season.

“I really want to make the World Team this season and I’m working really hard for it,” O’Neill-Lyublinsky said. “Last year I missed the World Team by like three points and by about the same amount the year before that, so I really want to make it this year.”

After going undefeated in the pools and earning a sixth seed for the table of 256 in the junior (U20) women’s epee, O’Neill-Lyublinsky was rarely challenged during the six bout wins she needed to advance to the finals against 2009 Cadet World silver medalist and two-time Junior World Team member Katharine Holmes (Washington, D.C.)

“Since the first touch I knew I was fencing very well. All of my DE bouts were 10 and under, so I knew I was very strong,” O’Neill-Lyublinsky said. “I was trying not to overthink things, though, because that happened to me at another tournament. I went 6-0 in the pools and I was like ‘I’m gonna win today!’ and then I lost so now I was just focusing on one touch at a time and then I was in the finals.”

Holmes also was coming off a solid day, including a 14-7 win over her 2011 Junior World Teammate Audrey Abend (New York City, N.Y.) in the table of 32.

With O’Neill-Lyublinsky ahead by a touch late in the third period, Holmes scored again to tie the score at 10 and send the bout into overtime – a situation O’Neill-Lyublinsky was familiar with.

“Last year, every single tournament I went to overtime, so I’m pretty used to it, but most of those I lost, so I just didn’t want a repeat of last year!” she said.

Although Holmes won priority, O’Neill-Lyublinsky scored the first touch to win the gold medal, 11-10.

“I’m so happy!” said O’Neill-Lyublinsky who jumped in the air and cried tears of joy after the win. “I’ve been consistently been top eight, but this is the first one I’ve won since I was Y14 and it feels so amazing to have won.”

In junior men’s epee, 16-year-old Alexander Eldeib (Burke, Va.) entered the tournament as the top-ranked fencer in both cadet (U17) and junior events.

Although Eldeib went undefeated in the pools, he received a 10th seed to start the day in a field of 218 fencers.

After six wins in the tables, Eldeib advanced to the finals where he defeated Joseph Rafidi (Hidden Hills, Calif.), 15-11, to earn his second NAC win of the season after taking gold in the U20 event at the January NAC in Dallas.

The win follows top-16 finishes at the NAC in Richmond three weeks ago and at the Moedling Cadet European Cup in Austria the following week.

“Early on in the day I was rushing a little bit, but I pulled it together by the last bout. Over the summer I was training a lot and then I took a month or so off because I didn’t have any competitions and that’s what really motivates me,” Eldeib said. “And then I had Richmond which was ok and then I did a little bit better in Austria and so the past week and a half or so I’ve been really trying to work harder when I fence and being more active in general instead of being passive.”

Eldeib said juggling schedules for both junior and cadet tournaments is difficult, but that he enjoys the challenge.

“I have tournaments the next five weekends and then I have winter break. And I took the SATs last weekend, but I had tournaments the two weekends before that, so keeping both the cadet and junior international schedules is always tough,” he said. “Some of my teachers have had me in the past, so they know I travel and they had my sister before that and she traveled, too, so they’re kind of used to it.”

Although fencing trips often involve the all-too-familiar cycle of hotel-fencing venue-hotel, Eldeib said he enjoys the opportunity to see the world.

“Obviously fencing is fun, but I really like seeing different places and I like going to Europe a lot. I’m German. My mother’s an immigrant, actually, and before I started fencing internationally I hadn’t been to Germany in a long time. I used to go pretty frequently when I was little, but now it’s good to get back to see friends and family I haven’t seen in several years,” he said.

In the cadet men’s saber event, 16-year-old Michael Costin (Culver City, Calif.) advanced to his second straight NAC final after winning the silver medal in Richmond last month.

Costin, who also earned bronze at the Konin Cadet European Cup in Poland last month, defeated top-ranked Eli Dershwitz (Sherborn, Mass.), 15-14, in the quarter-finals and fourth-ranked Isaac Buchwald (El Granada, Calif.), 15-12, in the semis.

In the gold medal bout, 2011 Cadet World Team member Peter Pak (Roslyn, N.Y.) led throughout the bout. With a two-point advantage, 14-12, Pak needed just one more touch to win gold, but Costin came back to tie the bout at 14 and score the winning touch to win gold at 15-14.

Three weeks after winning gold in the cadet foil at the Richmond NAC, 14-year-old Brian Howard (Petaluma, Calif.) earned his second title of the season with a win in the Y14 foil.

Howard defeated his Massialas Foundation teammate Jarred Gou (Saratoga, Calif.), 15-12, in the gold medal final and win the third medal of the day for the M Team as Julian Knodt (Palo Alto, Calif.) won bronze after Howard won their semifinal bout, 15-9.

In the Y14 women’s saber, 14-year-old Malia Hee (Vancouver, Wash.) won her second major gold medal of the year after taking the Division III gold at the National Championships in Reno. Hee defeated Sarah Merza (Wayne, N.J.), 15-12, in the gold medal final on the heels of Merza’s silver medal cadet win at the October NAC in Richmond.

Competition continues on Sunday with the schedule as follows:

Sunday, November 13
8:30 a.m.
Junior Men’s Foil
Junior Women’s Saber

11 a.m.
Y14 Women’s Epee

1:30 p.m.
Y14 Men’s Saber

2 p.m.
Cadet Women’s Foil

Click here to view complete results.

Top eight results are as follows:

Junior Men’s Epee
1. Alexander Eldeib (Burke, Va.)
2. Joseph Rafidi (Hidden Hills, Calif.)
3. Ayyub Ibrahim (Bronx, N.Y.)
3. Matthew McGrath (Maricopa, Ariz.)
5. Joseph Wiley (Houston, Texas)
6. Lewis Weiss (Houston, Texas)
7. Gavin Medley (Santa Fe, N.M.)
8. Ricky Eschenbach (Milburn N.J.)

Junior Women’s Epee
1. Jessica O’Neill-Lyublinksy (North Salem, N.Y.)
2. Katharine Holmes (Washington, D.C.)
3. Ashley Severson (Franklin Lakes, N.J.)
3. Courtney Dumas (Shaker Heights, Ohio)
5. Nina Van Loon (Boulder, Colo.)
6. Oksana Samorodov (San Antonio, Texas)
7. Isabella Barna (Bend, Ore.)
8. Molly Hudson (Houston, Texas)

Cadet Men’s Saber
1. Michael Costin (Culver City, Calif.)
2. Peter Pak (Roslyn, N.Y.)
3. Isaac Buchwald (El Granada, Calif.)
3. Bartosz Pukal (Evanston, Ill.)
5. Eli Dershwitz (Sherborn, Mass.)
6. Andrew Mackiewicz (Westwood, Mass.)
7. Jason Meng (Dallas, Texas)
8. Jeffrey Dalli (San Carlos, Calif.)

Y14 Men’s Foil
1. Brian Howard (Petaluma, Calif.)
2. Jarred Gou (Saratoga, Calif.)
3. Julian Knodt (Palo Alto, Calif.)
3. Aaron Ahn (Los Angeles, Calif.)
5. George Haglund (Califon, N.J.)
6. William Upbin (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
7. Matthew Branman (Villanova, Pa.)
8. Umar Masood (Pittsford, N.Y.)

Y14 Women’s Saber
1. Malia Hee (Vancouver, Wash.)
2. Sarah Merza (Wayne, N.J.)
3. Riya Dave (Ardsley, N.Y.)
3. Regina O’Brien (Wellesley Hills, Mass.)
5. Lillian Chu (Saratoga, Calif.)
6. Jessica Rockford (Springfield, N.J.)
7. Brooke Sirico (Bowie, Md.)
8. Jessica Whang (Westfield, N.J.)

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