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U.S. Men’s Epee and Women’s Foil Teams Earn Gold at Pan American Games

10/28/2011, 10:58am CDT
By No Author

(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – The U.S. Fencing Team began team competition at the Pan American Games on Thursday with gold medal wins in both the men’s team epee and women’s team foil events. 

The epee team of Seth Kelsey (Colorado Springs, Colo.), Cody Mattern (Colorado Springs, Colo.) and Soren Thompson (New York City, N.Y.) won their quarter-final bout against El Salvador, 45-27, and defeated Chile, 45-26, in the semifinals. 

In the gold medal bout, the three Athens Olympic teammates took on Venezuela – a team led by Ruben Limardo (VEN) who is ranked fifth in the world.

Mattern opened the match against Limardo and outscored the Venezuelan, 1-0, during the first of nine bouts.

“It’s a lot of pressure to be the first person because it really sets the tone,” said Mattern who made his 2011 Pan American Games debut in the team competition. “We’re a strong team though and we came into this competition knowing very specifically that we were going to be patient, focused and disciplined.”

With a 22-16 lead, Kelsey took the strip against Limardo in a rematch of the gold medal individual final in which Kelsey won the bout against Limardo to earn his first Pan American gold.

Kelsey increased the tempo of the bout and racked up 20 touches to Limardo’s nine to clinch the win for Team USA, 42-25.

“As a team, we’ve been training together for a while now, so we knew we had this result in us if we just stuck to our plan,” Kelsey said.

After Kelsey earned his second gold medal of the week, 17-year-old Lee Kiefer (Lexington, Ky.) also claimed her second Pan Am Games title as she led the U.S. Women’s Foil Team to a 45-24 over Canada.

Kiefer, who won bronze at the Senior Worlds two weeks ago, joined with Pan Am Games individual silver medalist Nzingha Prescod (Brooklyn, N.Y.) and Doris Willette (Lafayette, Calif.) to fence the Canadians in the gold medal final for the second time this year.

Prescod opened the bout with a 4-3 lead against Kelleigh Mahon Ryan and the team never looked back as none of the U.S. team members dropped a bout against her Canadian opponent.

With a 40-23 lead going into the final bout, Kiefer ended the match with a 5-1 win over Ryan and Team USA won the bout, 45-24.

“We fence Canada a lot, so we know their style,” said Willette “Throughout the competition, we kept our cool and each of us remembered our key words.”

Competition continues on Friday with the men’s foil and women’s saber team events.

Top eight results are as follows:

Women’s Team Foil
1. USA
2. Canada
3. Venezuela
4. Chile
5. Cuba
6. Puerto Rico
7. Mexico

Men’s Team Epee
1. USA
2. Venezuela
3. Canada
4. Chile
5. Cuba
6. Colombia
7. Mexico
8. El Salvador

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