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North American Cup D Day 1 Results

03/12/2011, 10:28am CST
By USA Fencing

(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – Fifteen-year-old Catherine Bouwkamp (Fishers, Ind.) will tell you that her specialty is saber – the discipline in which she placed sixth at the 2010 Wheelchair Worlds and 15th in the able-bodied U12 division at the 2009 Summer Nationals.

But with women’s saber not being contested at the 2012 Paralympic Games, Bouwkamp’s opportunity to realize her dream of becoming a Paralympian will have to come in either the epee or foil events.

On Friday, Bouwkamp had the chance to demonstrate her skills in the wheelchair foil division at the North American Cup D at the Cobo Convention Center in Detroit, Mich. where wheelchair fencing divisions were contested alongside events in the veteran, Division II and Division III categories.

After two rounds of pools, Bouwkamp won her semifinal bout against Sonia Fogal (Flowood, Miss.), 15-3, to advance to the finals against Paralympian Sylvia Morel (CAN).

The bout would be their third of the day with Bouwkamp winning one in the pools, 5-4, and Morel taking the other, 5-3.

Bouwkamp took an early lead in the final, 5-2, but Morel made a comeback and assumed a 11-8 lead over her own before the break.

“I was just kind of like ‘I just need a break for a second’ and my coach was like ‘Look at what she’s doing and figure out what you can do that’s opposite that’ so I did what I could to adapt,” Bouwkamp said.

After the break, Bouwkamp scored the next three touches to tie the score at 11 and went on to win, 15-13.

“I think I did well, but there’s a lot of things that I’ve come to see I need to work on. It’s nice having Sylvia here from Canada so I can see what’s going on in other countries rather than just the United States,” she said.

Bouwkamp, who was born with fibular hemimelia – a condition in which the muscles in her right leg never fully developed – has been competing in the sport for seven years with her first five years being in able-bodied competition.

“The muscles in my right leg will always be much weaker than the muscles in my left leg and, when I was born, my leg was two and a half inches shorter than the other one. So at the time I was approached for wheelchair fencing, I had a limb that was shorter than the other one, I was basically missing a muscle in my leg and I had club foot, flat foot which means my ankle doesn’t rotate whatsoever and that foot’s two shoe sizes smaller than the other one. I was still on the national points list as a Y10 fencer, but as I got older, everyone got better and I was getting farther and farther behind.”

Bouwkamp’s experience as an able-bodied fencer helped her earn quick success on the international wheelchair scene where she won World Cup bronzes in saber and epee in 2010.

“The national wheelchair coach approached me once when I was fencing an able-bodied competition and basically just said that my disabilities would allow me to compete in wheelchair fencing if I ever wanted to try it and so I thought it would give me a leg up and would be an interesting thing to try and so now here I am,” said Bouwkamp who is one of the top candidates to qualify to represent Team USA at the 2012 Paralympic Games

Two-time Paralympian Mario Rodriguez (Ventura, Calif.) advanced to the finals of the men’s wheelchair foil division where he faced former World Champion Tariq Alqallaf (KUW).

Alqallaf started the bout strong, reeling off seven unanswered touches, but Rodriguez made a comeback and closed the gap to 8-10. The more experienced Alqallaf was not about to be beaten, however, and earned the win with a score of 15-9.

In the veteran (40+) division, 60-year-old Drew Ridge (Warminster, Pa.) may have been one of the oldest epee competitors, but he fenced well against the younger competitors, earning a win over 42-year-old Tomas Nonnenmacher (Meadville, Pa.), 10-5, in the semifinals to advance to the finals against 42-year-old John Tinmouth (New York City, N.Y.) who Ridge defeated 10-7.

A cancer surgeon, Ridge began fencing nine years ago when he said “my son wanted to fence and I had to drive him there, so I figured I might as well learn to fence myself.”

Now a three-time Veteran World Team member, Ridge will compete on Saturday in the 60-69-year-old veteran epee division to earn a berth on his fourth World Team.

In the veteran (40+) women’s foil, Ursula Szpak (Trophy Club, Texas) won five pool bouts to earn an 11th seed in the direct elimination round. Szpak defeated Lynn Botelho (Indiana, Pa.), 10-5, in the final to win her first North American Cup title.

Competition on Friday also included both Division II and Division III events.

Andrew Scheuermann (Merritt Island, Fla.) won his first NAC title in a 116-person Division II men’s foil field. Scheuermann won gold with a 15-8 victory over James Hu (West Bloomfield, Mich.) who was competing in front of a hometown crowd.

A top-16 finisher at the 2008 NCAA Championships, Emma Buckingham (Carrboro, N.C.) won her first NAC title in the Division II women’s epee with a 5-4 final victory over 13-year-old Madeline Antekeier (Houston, Texas).

In the Division III men’s saber, 14-year-old Blake Murphy (Atlanta, Ga.) earned his first NAC podium finish with a gold medal after a final victory over Anatolie Senic (Royle Oak, Mich.), an assistant fencing coach at nearby Wayne State University.

The Division III women’s saber final featured two fencers who both placed in the top 32 last month at the Junior Olympics in Dallas. Fifteen-year-old  Sarah Dzielski (Rochester, N.Y.) was undefeated during the day going into her final bout against 16-year-old Petra Khan (Beaverton, Ore.) In one of Dzielski’s closest bouts of the day, she earned the win, 15-13.

Competition continues on Saturday with the schedule as follows:

8:30 a.m.
Division III Men’s Foil
Division II Men’s Saber
Wheelchair Men’s Saber
Division III Women’s Epee

1:30 p.m.
Veteran (50-59) Men’s Epee
Veteran (60-69) Men’s Epee
Veteran (70+) Men’s Epee)
Veteran (50-59) Women’s Foil

2 p.m.
Veteran (60-69) Women’s Foil
Veteran (70+) Women’s Foil

2:30 p.m.
Wheelchair Women’s Saber

3 p.m.
Division II Women’s Saber

3:30 p.m.
Veteran Team Men’s Foil

Click here for complete results. 

Top-eight results for each division are as follows:

Wheelchair Women’s Foil
1. Catherine Bouwkamp (Fishers, Ind.)
2. Sylvia Morel (CAN)
3. Sonia Fogal (Flowood, Miss.)
3. Sonya Perduta (Phoenix, Ariz.)

Wheelchair Men’s Foil
1. Tariq Alqallaf (KUW)
2. Mario Rodriguez (Ventura, Calif.)
3. Ryan Estep (Florence, Miss.)
3. Corbin Beu (Phoenix, Ariz.)
5. Dennis Aspy (Woodstock, Ga.)
6. Ken McGaha (Douglasville, Ga.)
7. Lance Ivey (Glendale. Ariz.)
8. Richard Zengler (Norcross, Ga.)

Veteran Men’s Epee
1. John Ridge (Warminster, Pa.)
2. John Tinmouth (New York City, N.Y.)
3. David Arthurs (CAN)
3. Tomas Nonnenmacher (Meadville, Pa.)
5. John Varney (Issaquah, Wash.)
6. Mark Nixon (Los Angeles, Calif.)
7. Robert Cochrane (Lake Worth, Fla.)
8. Dale Karolak (Brighton, Mich.)

Veteran Women’s Foil
1. Ursula Szpak (Trophy Club, Texas)
2. Lynn Botelho (Indiana, Pa.)
3. Leslie Marx (Durham, N.C.)
3. Margaret Fagan (New York City, N.Y.)
5. Rebecca Schneider(Culver, Ind.)
6. Monica Morrison (Seattle, Wash.)
7. Bonnie Hennig (Simsbury, Conn.)
8. Tania Diaz (Lilburn, Ga.)

Veteran Women’s Epee Team
1. Northwest Fencing Center
2. Nor’Easters
3. REC’N
4. Fencing Academy of Nevada
5. Danny’s Angels

Division II Men’s Foil
1. Andrew Scheuermann (Merritt Island, Fla.)
2. James Hu (West Bloomfield, Mich.)
3. Connor Weinstein (Beaverton, Ore.)
3. Jeffrey Nielsen (West Point, N.Y.)
5. Jonathan Mui (New Hope, Pa.)
6. Antoine Simonnet (FRA)
7. Nicolas Graziano (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
8. Connor Heaton (Cincinnati, Ohio)

Division II Women’s Epee
1. Emma Buckingham (Carrboro, N.C.)
2. Madeline Antekeier (Houston, Texas)
3. Olivia Weiss (Pittsburgh, Pa.)
3. Hermina Monroe (Belleville, Mich.)
5. Lara Masters (Philadelphia, Pa.)
6. Sophie Caplin (Earlysville, Va.)
7. Renee Glasser (Melville, N.Y.)
8. Marie Lawson (Silver Spring, Md.)

Division III Men’s Saber
1. Blake Murphy (Atlanta, Ga.)
2. Anatolie Senic (Royle Oak, Mich.)
3. Matthew Laks (Dix Hills, N.Y.)
3. Evan Philpot (Chapel Hill, N.C.)
5. Joseph Davis (St. Louis, Mo.)
6. Mark Lessner Jr.  (Highlands Ranch, Colo.)
7. Curtis Wilson (Rochester, N.Y.)
8. Royce Wang (San Jose, Calif.)

Division III Women’s Saber
1. Sarah Dzielski (Rochester, N.Y.)
2. Petra Khan (Beaverton, Ore.)
3. Madalyn Macarr (Glendale, Calif.)
3. Lillian Chu (Saratoga, Calif.)
5. Tracy Dion (Gainesville, Fla.)
6. Maya Hunter (Portland, Ore.)
7. Monica Herrera (Gainesville, Fla.)
8. Kayleigh Gray (Gainesville, Fla.)

Tag(s): News  Catherine Bouwkamp  Drew Ridge  Ursula Szpak