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Courtney and Kelley Hurley Go 1-2 in Epee at Division I Nationals in Portland

04/17/2011, 12:00pm CDT
By Nicole Jomantas

(Portland, Ore.) – It’s become a familiar scene in women’s epee – sisters Kelley and Courtney Hurley fencing against each other in the finals of nearly every major national tournament.

Three of the four North American Cups during the last year have included all-Hurley finals with 22-year-old Kelley winning the North American Cup C in Dallas in January while 20-year-old Courtney took the North American Cup A title in Cincinnati in October and the North American Cup F gold in Virginia Beach last April.

Courtney advanced through the pools to the table of 64 at the Division I National Championships on Sunday where she had a first-round bye and won her next two bouts to qualify for the table of eight.

In the quarter-finals, Courtney only gave up four touches to Isis Washington (Parsippany, N.J.) before defeating Holly Buechel (New York City, N.Y.), 15-9, in the semifinals.

“It felt like a really short day because I only had four bouts before the finals, but I think I fenced really well, so I’m happy,” she said.

On the other side of the draw, Kelley narrowly escaped the table of eight as she won her quarter-final, 11-10, against 2010 Senior World Team member Lauren Willock (New York City, N.Y.)

In the semi, however, Kelley easily defeated 2009 Senior World Team member Susannah Scanlan (Astoria, N.Y.), 15-7, to face her sister in the finals.

Kelley joked with a fan before their final bout that the two had fenced each other millions of times and the sisters chatted and laughed both before the bout and during the breaks between periods.

Courtney led throughout the bout, but Kelley came back to tie the score at 14. With one more touch needed for either sister to win the gold, Courtney scored again and successfully defended her 2010 National title.

“We fence in the finals all the time, but 14-14? We haven’t done that in a long time and I just kept thinking ‘don’t screw this up!’” Courtney laughed later.

Courtney said the 1-2 finish gave them each enough ranking points to virtually guarantee the Hurleys berths on 2011 Senior World Team. Although only 20-years-old, Courtney has competed five times at the Senior Worlds with her sister.

“I can’t imagine it any other way because our parents both used to fence and it’s kind of a whole family business,” Courtney said.

In addition to travelling and competing on the senior circuit, Courtney and Kelley competed on four Junior World Championship Teams together, including the 2008 team in which Kelley won the individual gold and the two led the United States to the team title.

With the London Olympic Games less than 500 days away, Courtney said her next goal is to compete on the world’s largest stage with Kelley who competed for Team USA in Beijing.

“When we won the Junior World Championships, it was the best experience to be able to share it with your family. To go to the Olympics would be such a big accomplishment and to share it with your family is great. I can’t wait,” Courtney said.

In the Division I Men’s Team Foil Championships, two teams from the Northwest Fencing Center competed for gold with the NWFC #1 team taking the win over NWFC #2, 45-23.

NWFC #1 included Simon Abram (Beaverton, Ore.), Christopher Colley (Portland, Ore.) and Thomas Hutton (Tigard, Ore.) while NWFC #2 consisted of Gregory Mitberg (Beaverton, Ore.), Redford New (Forest Grove, Ore.) and Connor Weinstein (Beaverton, Ore.)

The wheelchair women’s foil division involved a repeat of the podium finishers from the epee competition that was held on Saturday as 15-year-old Cat Bouwkamp (Fishers, Ind.) earned her second gold of the weekend – sweeping the women’s wheelchair divisions for the second year in a row.

After a close final on Saturday, Bouwkamp took a commanding lead over Sonya Perduta (Phoenix, Ariz.) of 14-1 after the first period. Perduta scored the first touch of the second period, but Bouwkamp earned the final score to win the bout, 15-2.

Sonia Fogal (Flowood, Miss.) won the bronze after a semifinal loss to Perduta, 15-6.

In the men’s foil final, three-time Paralympian Gerard Moreno (Los Angeles, Calif.) followed his saber gold medal on Friday with a second title. Moreno defeated 2010 Wheelchair World Championship Team member Ryan Estep (Florence, Miss.), 15-12, to win the gold medal final.

Darryl Weiss (Santee, Calif.) and Corbin Beu (Phoenix, Ariz.) each won bronze.

Competition in the Division I Nationals concludes on Monday with the schedule as follows:

Monday, April 18
8:30 a.m.
Division I Men’s Foil

1 p.m.
Division I Women’s Team Epee

Top eight results are as follows:

Division I Women’s Epee
1. Courtney Hurley (San Antonio, Texas)
2. Kelley Hurley (San Antonio, Texas)
3. Susannah Scanlan (St. Paul, Minn.)
3. Holly Buechel (New York City, N.Y.)
5. Lauren Willock (Astoria, N.Y.)
6. Ashley Severson (Franklin Lakes, N.J.)
7. Cassidy Luitjen (New York City, N.Y.)
8. Isis Washington (Parsippany, N.J.)

Division I Men’s Team Foil
1. Northwest Fencing Center #1
2. Northwest Fencing Center #2

Wheelchair Women’s Epee
1. Cat Bouwkamp (Fishers, Ind.)
2. Sonya Perduta (Phoenix, Ariz.)
3. Sonia Fogal (Flowood, Miss.)

Wheelchair Men’s Epee
1. Gerard Moreno (Los Angeles, Calif.)
2. Ryan Estep (Florence, Miss.)
3. Darryl Weiss (Santee, Calif.)
3. Corbin Beu (Phoenix, Ariz.)
5. Lance Ivey (Glendale, Ariz.)



Tag(s): News  Catherine Bouwkamp  Courtney Hurley  Kelley Hurley