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January North American Cup Kicks Off in Louisville

01/19/2013, 8:45am CST
By Nicole Jomantas

Cadet men's foil podium.

(Louisville, Ky.) – Competition began on Friday at the January North American Cup with gold medals awarded in the junior (U20) women’s foil, Y-14 men’s epee and cadet (U17) men’s foil and women’s Saber events at the Kentucky International Convention Center.

A two-time Cadet European Cup Champion, Raymond Chen (Dallas, Texas) completed the rare feat of beginning the day with a top seed, holding it after pools and winning gold with his title in the cadet men’s foil competition.

Sixteen-year-old Chen, who represented Team USA at the 2012 Cadet World Championships, is currently the top-ranked cadet foil fencer in the United States and finished the pools on Friday with a perfect, 6-0, record.

Chen nearly lost his bid for gold, however, when he found himself in a close semifinal bout with 15-year-old Matthew Branman (Villanova, Pa.)

With the score tied at 12 at the break, the two exchanged touches, but Chen scored the final point to win the bout, 15-14.

In the gold medal final, Chen led his opponent, three-time Cadet European medalist James Sands (New York City, N.Y.), 12-5, in the first period and scored three unanswered points to win the bout, 15-12.

The reigning Y14 National Champion, Riya Dave (Ardsley, N.Y.) advanced to her first cadet gold medal final after defeating Tara Hassett (Beaverton, Ore.), 15-6, in the semifinals.

In the gold medal bout, Anastasia Ivankoff (Los Angeles, Calif.) kept the bout close with a tied score at five in the first period. Dave scored three of the next four touches, however, to take an 8-5 lead at the break.

Dave controlled the second period, however, as she built a 12-6 lead before winning the bout, 15-8, to claim her first cadet title.

The junior women’s foil title came down to a family battle between sisters Mona and Mai Shaito.

Although both sisters represent Lebanon, the family lives in Garland, Texas and the two are sophomores at Ohio State.

Mona, a London Olympian, won her semifinal bout over Notre Dame freshman Niki McKee (Valley Stream, N.Y.), 15-6, and Mai defeated 15-year-old Quinn Crum (Providence, R.I.), 15-4.

Eighteen-year-old Mona began the bout aggressively and took a 12-8 lead over 20-year-old Mai at the end of the first period.

With Mona up, 14-5, Mai staved off her sister’s win briefly as she scored three more touches to take the score to 14-8. Mona picked up the final score midway through the second period and won the bout, 15-8.

In the Y-14 men’s epee event, 14-year-old Robin Cheong (San Antonio, Texas) met Jonathan Piskovatskov (Houston, Texas) in his first Y14 NAC medal bout.

Fencing Piskovatskov for gold, Cheong led the bout, 11-7, after the first period. Piskovatskov scored three straight single touches in the next period to come within a point of his opponent.

After both fencers scored off a double touch, Cheong picked up two more singles to win the bout, 15-12.

Competition continues on Saturday with the schedule as follows:

Saturday, Jan. 19
8:30 a.m.
Junior Men’s Epee
Y-14 Women’s Saber


12:30 p.m.
Cadet Men’s Saber


2 p.m.
Junior Women’s Epee
Y-14 Men’s Foil


Click here for complete results.


Top eight results are as follows:


Junior Women’s Foil
1. Mona Shaito (LIB)
2. Mai Shaito (LIB)
3. Quinn Crum (Providence, R.I.)
3. Niki McKee (Valley Stream, N.Y.)
5. Kaila Budofsky (New York City, N.Y.)
6. Iman Blow (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
7. Jennifer Yamin (Allendale, N.J.)
8. Jessie Laffey (Glen Ridge, N.J.)

Cadet Women’s Saber
1. Riya Dave (Ardsley, N.Y.)
2. Anastasia Ivanoff (Los Angeles, Calif.)
3. Tara Hassett (Beaverton, Ore.)
3. Maia Chamberlain (Menlo Park, Calif.)
5. Lillian Chu (Saratoga, Calif.)
6. Sarah Merza (Wayne, N.J.)
7. Gabrielle Tartakovsky (Livingston, N.J.)
8. Jessica Whang (Westfield, N.J.)

Cadet Men’s Foil
1. Raymond Chen (Dallas, Texas)
2. James Sands (New York, N.Y.)
3. Matthew Branman (Villanova, Pa.)
3. Axel Kiefer (Versailles, Ky.)
5. Aiden Ahn (Los Angeles, Calif.)
6. Jan Maceczek (Marlboro, N.J.)
7. Sam Barmann (Barrington, R.I.)
8. George Haglund (Califon, N.J.)

Y-14 Men’s Epee
1. Robin Cheong (San Antonio, Texas)
2. Jonathan Piskovatskov (Houston, Texas)
3. Sean Wilson (Houston, Texas)
3. Travis Amsbaugh (Port Charlotte, Fla.)
5. Thomas Petrosewicz (Richmond, Texas)
6. Charles Horowitz (Los Angeles, Calif.)
7. Isaac Shelanski (Washington, D.C.)
8. Stephen Kimatian (Richfield, Ohio)

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