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Skyla Powers Places Eighth at Junior World Championships

04/02/2011, 10:18am CDT
By No Author

(Amman, Jordan) – Team USA’s youngest athlete to compete at the Junior World Championships in Jordan on Saturday earned the top finish for the Americans as 15-year-old Skyla Powers (Atlanta, Ga.) placed eighth in the women’s saber division.

Following her 10th place finish at the Cadet World Championships on Wednesday, Powers won two of her five pool bouts early in the day to qualify for the table of 64 as a #42 seed.

Powers started off the direct elimination table with a 15-11 win over Xinting Yu (CHN), who placed fifth at the Cadet Worlds, and a 15-6 victory over Jessica Davies (GBR).

In the table of 16, Powers took a commanding lead against Anja Musch (GER) as she ended the first period, 8-1.

Musch came back in the second period, but could only bring the score to within five touches and Powers won the bout, 15-10.

Fencing in front of a large Italian contingent, Powers and Martina Petraglia (ITA) were tied at 11 in the quarter-finals, but Petraglia fed off the cheers of “Molto bene!” from her supporters and earned four straight touches to win the bout, 15-11. Powers placed eighth in the division while Petraglia went on to win bronze.

Competing after an 18th place finish in the Cadet division, Francesca Russo (Wayne, N.J.) went 4-1 in the pools and entered the direct elimination as a #13 seed.

The seed would hold true for Russo who placed 13th overall.

Russo defeated Filza Syabila Jamaluddin (MAS), 15-6, in the first bout to qualify for the table of 32.

With the score tied at 13 against Gabrielle Page (CAN) in the table of 32 and her family cheering  loudly, Russo came back to win the bout, 15-13.

Russo’s next round was another close one as she consistently held the score against eventual silver medalist Yana Egorian (RUS) to within two touches, but lost the bout, 15-13.

After a perfect 6-0 result in the pools, Lian Osier (Battle Ground, Wash.) had a bye into the table of 32, but lost her first bout in the direct elimination table to Alexandra Shatalova (RUS). Although Osier was only down by one touch at the break, Shatalova went on a four-touch winning streak to take the bout, 15-8, leaving Osier with a 19th place finish at her second Junior World Championships.

Powers, Russo and Osier will compete again in the team competition on Tuesday.

Osier was one of two fencers from Notre Dame to compete at the Junior Worlds this week, just days after the Fighting Irish earned the NCAA title in Columbus on Sunday.

Also competing at his second Junior Worlds, James Kaull (Washington, D.C.) placed 24th in the men’s epee division in which both he and Edward Kelley (San Antonio, Texas) advanced to the table of 32.

With a 5-1 record in the pools, Kaull had a first-round bye into the table of 64 where he won his bout against Patrick Jorgensen (DEN), 15-10.

In the table of 32, however, Kaull and David Suto (HUN) exchanged touches throughout the bout, but the score was tied at nine. With Suto given priority, the bout went into a one-minute overtime period in which Suto scored the winning touch, leaving Kaull with a 24th place finish.

“I had a game plan and I was about a second and a half from launching my attack and I’m about 85-90% sure that I would have won,” Kaull said. “I think my results don’t reflect how well I fenced. Fencing’s a sport where there’s a lot of variables that go into a tournament and I think I fenced a level like the other two World Cups I finalled in, but things kind of don’t work out sometimes.”

Kelley qualified for direct elimination as the #2 seed and earned a quick win, 15-6, over Mariano Flores Gonzalez (ARG) in the table of 64.

Meanwhile, an all-American match-up in the table of 32 between Kelley and Michael Raynis (Chatsworth, Calif.) was avoided when Raynis lost to eventual silver medalist Ayman Alaa El Din Fayz (EGY), 15-9.

Alaa El Din Fayz then went on to knock Kelley out of contention with a 15-11 victory in the table of 32.

Kaull, Kelley and Raynis will compete together as a team on Tuesday where Kaull has hopes of success for Team USA.

“There’s a lot of teams that do well in the team event, but don’t necessarily have the best individual fencers because team is all about treating 45 touches as one big bout and who has the best macro game plan for how each individual fencer will do within that,” Kaull said. “In the team event, you’re not competing for yourself anymore and how you react to that depends on how you’ll do. We’ve got a great group of guys and we’re really in synch with each other, so I’m looking forward to it.”

The final day of individual junior competition will be held on Sunday with the following fencers competing:

Junior Women’s Epee
Katharine Holmes (Washington, D.C.)
Anna Van Brummen (Houston, Texas)
Audrey Abend (New York City, N.Y.)

Junior Men’s Foil
Alexander Massialas (San Francisco, Calif.)
Race Imboden (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
David Willette (Lafayette, Calif.)

Top-eight and U.S. results are as follows:

Junior Women’s Saber
1. Dina Galiakbarova (RUS)
2. Yana Egorian (RUS)
3. Martina Petraglia (ITA)
4. Anna Marton (HUN)
5. Anna Varhelyi (HUN)
6. Tamara Pochekutova (KAZ)
7. Alexandra Shatalova (RUS)
8. Skyla Powers (Atlanta, Ga.)

13. Francesca Russo (Wayne, N.J.)
19. Lian Osier (Battle Ground, Wash.)

Junior Men’s Epee
1. Philip Marsh (GBR)
2. Ayman Alaa El Din Fayz (EGY)
3. Nikita Glazkov (RUS)
3. Alexander Lahtinen (FIN)
5. Sylvain Maya (FRA)
6. Yevgeniy Makiyenko (UKR)
7. Yuval Shalom Freilich (ISR)
8. Matyas File (HUN)

18. Edward Kelley (San Antonio, Texas)
24. James Kaull (Washington, D.C.)
43. Michael Raynis (Chatsworth, Calif.)

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