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Team USA Named for Senior World Championships

07/26/2011, 5:35am CDT
By No Author

(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – USA Fencing is pleased to announce that 25 athletes have been named to the team that will compete at the Senior World Championships, Oct. 8-16 in Catania, Italy.

Following the success of Team USA’s sweep of all 12 gold medals at the Pan American Championships in Reno two weeks ago, the U.S. squad will be competing in the largest qualifying event for the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

Athletes, who were selected based on their rankings on the USA Fencing Senior Point Rankings at the conclusion of the 2010-2011 World Cup season in June, will compete for Olympic qualification points in both individual and team events for women’s epee, men’s saber and men’s and women’s foil. As men’s epee and women’s saber will not be contested as team events in London, these events will be held in Catania, but will not count towards Olympic qualification.


Two-time Olympic Champion Mariel Zagunis (Beaverton, Ore.) followed her Beijing title with back-to-back individual gold medals at the World Championships in 2009 and 2010. Zagunis is seeking her third straight individual World title – a feat which would make her the first saber fencer ever to do so and the first woman across any weapon since 1950.

Zagunis will be joined by her 2010 teammates Ibtihaj Muhammad (Maplewood, N.J.), Dagmara Wozniak (Avenel, N.J.) and Daria Schneider (New York City, N.Y.) in the team event.

The team finished fourth together last year after a loss to France in the bronze medal bout, but has earned two bronze medals on the World Cup circuit this season with wins at the Istanbul World Cup in March and the New York World Cup in June.

Although a gold in the team event would mark the third World title in the team event for Zagunis, Muhammad, Wozniak and Schneider are each looking for her first World medal in either team or individual competition.

The U.S. Men’s Saber Team includes two members of the team that won silver at the 2008 Olympic Games – Tim Morehouse and James Williams, both of New York City. All four members of the 2010 Senior World Team, including Morehouse and Williams as well as Daryl Homer (New York City, N.Y.) and Ben Igoe (Staten Island, N.Y.) will be back at the Worlds again with the goal of improving on the team’s 13th place finish in 2010. Competing at his second Worlds in 2010, 21-year-old Homer placed 12th last year and is one of Team USA’s best hopes for a podium finish in October. Jeff Spear (Wyantskill, N.Y.), who competed on the gold-medal winning U.S. Team at the Pan Ams in Reno, will serve as a replacement athlete for the team.


In 2010, then-19-year-old Gerek Meinhardt (San Francisco, Calif.) won bronze at the World Championships in the men’s foil event. A 2008 Olympian, Meinhardt was the first U.S. men’s foil fencer ever to medal at the Worlds. Meinhardt’s 2010 teammate, Miles Chamley-Watson (Philadelphia, Pa.) was ranked #2 in the world earlier this season and is looking for a medal in Catania after placing fifth last year. Seventeen-year-old Alexander Massialas (San Francisco, Calif.) will be competing at his third Senior Worlds alongside Meinhardt and Chamley-Watson. The two-time Cadet World Champion had his most successful senior season this year where he won a bronze at the Seoul Foil World Cup in May. Eighteen-year-old Race Imboden (Brooklyn, N.Y.) won gold with Massialas in the team event at the Junior Worlds in April and will be competing on his first Senior World Team after winning gold at the Pan Am Championships two weeks ago.

After a ninth-place finish at the 2009 Senior Worlds, the U.S. Men’s Foil Team have steadily improved this season the squad is currently ranked fifth in the world after top-five finishes at the Havana and Bonn World Cups and a seventh-place result at the Seoul World Cup.

Without a doubt, the U.S. Women’s Foil Team will be one of the youngest squads in Catania as the team includes two members of the 2011 Junior World Team that won a silver medal in April. A replacement athlete for the team that won a silver medal in Beijing, 23-year-old Doris Willette (Lafayette, Calif.) is the veteran of the team with four past World Teams to her credit. At 17-years-old, two-time Pan American Champion Lee Kiefer (Lexington, Ky.) will be competing on her third Senior World Team with both Willette and reigning Junior World Champion Nzingha Prescod (Brooklyn, N.Y.) Twenty-two-year-old Nicole Ross (New York City, N.Y.) will be competing on her second Senior World Team after finishing eighth in the team event in 2010 with Willette, Kiefer and Prescod.


While the men’s epee team event will not be held in London, Team USA remains one of the strongest teams in the world and will arrive in Catania with the goal of winning gold. In 2010, Olympians Seth Kelsey (Colorado Springs, Colo.) and Cody Mattern (Colorado Springs, Colo.) joined with Ben Bratton (New York City, N.Y.) to the silver medal as the first U.S. Epee Team ever to medal at an FIE World Championships. Athens Olympian Soren Thompson (New York City, N.Y.) took two years off from international competition, but returned this season to win his first Grand Prix medal in Stockholm in May. Ranked as the #3 men’s epee team in the world, Team USA won silver medals at the Tallin and Heidenheim World Cups this spring.

In addition to their quest for a team medal, two members of the U.S. Men’s Epee Team have earned top-eight finishes at past World Championships. Kelsey finished seventh in 2010 while Thompson placed eighth at the 2003 Worlds and seventh at the 2004 Olympic Games.

Led by sisters Courtney and Kelley Hurley (San Antonio, Texas), the U.S. Women’s Epee Team placed 13th at the 2010 Senior Worlds, but Team USA has continued to improve throughout the 2011 World Cup season where the squad placed seventh at both the Doha World Cup in February and the Sydney World Cup in June. Both Hurley sisters have competed at the Senior World Championships every year since turning 15 with 23-year-old Kelley qualifying for her eighth straight team and 21-year-old Courtney fencing on her sixth Senior World Team. The Hurleys will be competing with two veterans of past World Teams: Lindsay Campbell (Brooklyn, N.Y.), a five-time Senior World Team member, and Maya Lawrence (Teaneck, N.J.) who competed on the 2005, 2006 and 2007 Senior World Teams.

Complete team rosters are as follows:

Men’s Foil
Miles Chamley-Watson (Philadelphia, Pa.), 2010 Senior World Championships fifth-place finisher
Alexander Massialas (San Francisco, Calif.), three-time Senior World Team member and two-time Junior World Team Champion
Gerek Meinhardt (San Francisco, Calif.), 2008 Olympian and 2010 Senior World medalist
Race Imboden (Brooklyn, N.Y.), 2011 Junior World Team Champion

Men’s Saber
Daryl Homer (New York City, N.Y.), three-time Senior World Team member
Ben Igoe (Staten Island, N.Y.), three-time Senior World Team member
Tim Morehouse (New York City, N.Y.), 2008 Olympic silver medalist and six-time Senior World Team member
Jeff Spear* (Wyantskill, N.Y.), 2011 Pan American Championship team gold medalist
James Williams (New York City, N.Y.), 2008 Olympic silver medalist and three-time Senior World Team member
*Replacement athlete

Men’s Epee
Ben Bratton (New York City, N.Y.), four-time Senior World Team member
Seth Kelsey (Colorado Springs, Colo.), two-time Olympian and 2010 Senior World Championships seventh-place finisher
Cody Mattern (Colorado Springs, Colo.), 2004 Olympian and seven-time World Team member
Soren Thompson (New York City, N.Y.), 2004 Olympic Games seventh-place finisher and 2003 World Championships eighth-place finisher

Women’s Foil
Lee Kiefer (Lexington, Ky.), three-time Senior World Team member and 2010 Cadet World Champion
Nzingha Prescod (Brooklyn, N.Y.), three-time Senior World Team member and 2011 Junior World Champion
Nicole Ross (New York City, N.Y.), two-time Senior World Team member
Doris Willette (Lafayette, Calif.), 2008 Olympic Team replacement athlete and five-time Senior World Team member

Women’s Saber
Mariel Zagunis (Beaverton, Ore.), two-time Olympic Champion and two-time individual World Champion
Ibtihaj Muhammad (Maplewood, N.J.), two-time Senior World Team member
Dagmara Wozniak (Avenel, N.J.), 2008 Olympic Team replacement athlete and four-time Senior World Team member
Daria Schneider (New York City, N.Y.), three-time Senior World Team member

Women’s Epee
Lindsay Campbell (Brooklyn, N.Y.), five-time Senior World Team member
Courtney Hurley (San Antonio, Texas)
, six-time Senior World Team member and 2008 Junior World Team Champion
Kelley Hurley (San Antonio, Texas), eight-time Senior World Team member and 2008 Junior World Champion (individual and team)
Maya Lawrence (Tea Neck, N.J.), four-time Senior World Team member

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