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USA Fencing Names Teams for 2013 Senior World and Pan American Championships

06/10/2013, 4:30pm CDT
By Nicole Jomantas

Mariel Zagunis (left) will be aiming to add to her collection of 10 Senior World medals in Budapest. Photo credit: Serge Timacheff / FIE /

(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – Following one of Team USA’s most successful seasons on the World Cup circuit, USA Fencing is pleased to announce the team that will compete at the Senior World and Pan American Championships.

The Pan American Championships will be held from June 16-21 in Cartagena, Colombia and the Senior World Championships will take place in Budapest, Hungary from Aug. 5-12.

Fifteen members of the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team will return to the world stage this summer, including three members of the U.S. Women’s Epee Team that won bronze in London – Maya Lawrence (Teaneck, N.J.), Courtney Hurley (San Antonio, Texas) and Kelley Hurley (San Antonio, Texas). The trio will be joined by two-time Junior World Team medalist Katharine Holmes (Washington, D.C.) who will be fencing on her first senior team.

Two-time Olympic Champion Mariel Zagunis (Beaverton, Ore.) has fenced in the individual saber finals of every Senior World Championships since 2009. The 10-time Senior World medalist won back-to-back titles in 2009 and 2010 and took silver at the last individual Senior Worlds in 2011.

Two of Zagunis’s teammates from the 2011 and 2012 World Championships will return to the team where the squad is aiming to win a third straight medal after taking bronzes both years.

A five-time Senior World Team member, Dagmara Wozniak (Avenel, N.J.) fenced at the Olympic Games for the first time in London where she finished eighth – one win away from the medal rounds – and is currently ranked sixth in the world. Ibtihaj Muhammad (Maplewood, N.J.) broke through to win her first individual World Cup medal in March where she took silver behind Zagunis at the Bologna event.

Zagunis, Muhammad and Wozniak have made up the core of a team that began the season with three bronze medals on the World Cup circuit and won gold last month at the Absolute Fencing Gear® Korfanty World Cup in Chicago with first time team member Eliza Stone (Chicago, Ill.).

Following its fourth-place finish in London, the U.S. Men’s Foil Team has had unprecedented success this season with four team and six individual medal finishes.

The squad opened the season with a gold medal win – the first podium finish ever for the program – at the Paris World Cup in January and went on to win silvers at the next three tournaments to move into the #2 ranking in the world.

All four members of the London team are back in action this season with Gerek Meinhardt (San Francisco, Calif. / #4), Alexander Massialas (San Francisco, Calif. / #8) and Race Imboden (Brooklyn, N.Y. / #9) all ranked in the top 10 in the world. Miles Chamley-Watson (Philadelphia, Pa.) is ranked 19th and has the potential to break into the top 16 with a solid result in Cartagena.

Meinhardt, a bronze medalist at the 2010 Senior Worlds, won bronze at the La Coruna World Cup in February and took silvers at the Venice and Tokyo Grand Prix events in March and May, respectively.

Massialas fenced in just six of the eight international events this season due to collegiate conflicts, but he won bronze in La Coruna and silver at the St. Petersburg Grand Prix. With just three Grand Prix events per season, Team USA had a fencer in each of the gold medal finals.

After winning four three team medals, Imboden claimed his first individual title in Havana last week – a win that marked the first time a U.S. men’s foil fencer stood on top of the podium at a World Cup since 1999.

The U.S. Women’s Foil Team features three returners from London – Lee Kiefer (Lexington, Ky.), Nzingha Prescod (Brooklyn, N.Y.) and Nicole Ross (New York City, N.Y.) – as well as four-time Junior World medalist Margaret Lu (Greenwich, Conn.) who will be fencing at her first Senior Worlds.

As a team, the women’s foil squad earned its best World Cup result ever in February when the ladies placed fourth in Tauberbischofsheim.

Individually, both Kiefer and Prescod are ranked in the top eight in the world.

Kiefer won bronze at the last Senior Worlds in 2011 as a 17-year-old and placed fifth at the Games in London. Although she has only fenced four senior international events this season, Kiefer picked up top-eight results at the Marseille Grand Prix in May and the St. Petersburg World Cup in March and is now ranked sixth in the world.

Prescod became the first U.S. women’s foil fencer ever to win a grand prix when she took gold in Marseille which gave Prescod a career high world ranking of eighth.

The men’s saber team will be led by London Olympians Daryl Homer (Bronx, N.Y.) and Jeff Spear (Wynantskill, N.Y.)

Homer, who placed sixth in London, is the squad’s strongest contender for an individual medal after three top-eight results on the World Cup circuit this season.

Although he fenced in the team competition in London, this will be the first Senior Worlds appearance for Spear who placed second at the Pan Ams in 2012.

Aleksander Ochocki (Linden, N.J.), a 2010 Junior World Team medalist, also will be fencing at his first Senior Worlds.

Two-time Junior World medalist Eli Dershwitz (Sherborn, Mass.) is ranked fifth in the nation after fencing just twice on the senior international circuit this season and earning the second highest finish for an American at the Absolute Fencing Gear® Korfanty World Cup. The 17-year-old qualified for the team after 2008 Olympic silver medalist Tim Morehouse (New York City, N.Y.) announced that he would not be fencing international events for the remainder of the year.

As the reigning World Champions, the U.S. Men’s Epee Team is currently ranked second in the world, but two-time Olympian Soren Thompson (New York City, N.Y.) is the lone returning athlete from the squad that made history in 2012.

Thompson, who is ranked 11th in the world as an individual, will be joined by three first-time Senior World Team members – Alexander Tsinis (Little Neck, N.Y.), Jason Pryor (Colorado Springs, Colo.) and Adam Watson (Richford, Vt.)

Team USA’s cadre for the Pan American Championships is as follows:

Men’s Epee Head Coach
Benoit Bouysset (Colorado Springs, Colo.)

Women’s Epee Head Coach
Ro Sobalvarro (St. Paul, Minn.)

Men’s Foil Head Coach
Greg Massialas (San Francisco, Calif.)

Women’s Foil Head Coach
Amgad Khazbak (Lexington, Ky.)

Men’s and Women’s Saber Head Coach
Ed Korfanty (Portland, Ore.)

Athletic Trainer
Giuseppe Giovatto (Clearwater, Fla.)

The cadre for the Senior Worlds will be named at a later date.

The complete athlete roster for both the Senior Worlds and Pan Ams is as follows:

Men’s Epee
Jason Pryor (Colorado Springs, Colo.)
Soren Thompson (New York City, N.Y.)
Alexander Tsinis (Little Neck, N.Y.)
Adam Watson (Richford, Vt.)

Women’s Epee
Katharine Holmes (Washington, D.C.)
Courtney Hurley (San Antonio, Texas)
Kelley Hurley (San Antonio, Texas)
Maya Lawrence (Teaneck, N.J.)

Men’s Foil
Miles Chamley-Watson (Philadelphia, Pa.)
Race Imboden (New York City, N.Y.)
Alexander Massialas (San Francisco, Calif.)
Gerek Meinhardt (San Francisco, Calif.)

Women’s Foil
Lee Kiefer (Lexington, Ky.)
Margaret Lu (Greenwich, Conn.)
Nzingha Prescod (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
Nicole Ross (New York City, N.Y.)

Men’s Saber
Eli Dershwitz (Sherborn, Mass.)
Daryl Homer (Bronx, N.Y.)
Aleksander Ochocki (Linden, N.Y.)
Jeff Spear (Wynantskill, N.Y.)

Women’s Saber
Ibtihaj Muhammad (Maplewood, N.J.)
Eliza Stone (Chicago, Ill.)
Dagmara Wozniak (Avenel, N.J.)
Mariel Zagunis (Beaverton, Ore.)

Tag(s): News  Eli Dershwitz  Daryl Homer  Courtney Hurley  Kelley Hurley  Race Imboden  Maya Lawrence  Alexander Massialas  Gerek Meinhardt  Ibtihaj Muhammad  Jeff Spear  Soren Thompson  Miles Chamley-Watson  Adam Watson  Dagmara Wozniak  Mariel Zagunis  Lee Kiefer  Nzingha Prescod  Margaret Lu  Kat Holmes  Eliza Stone