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Watch Team USA Compete Live from the Pan Am Championships, June 16-18

06/15/2013, 7:15am CDT
By Nicole Jomantas

The U.S. Women's Foil Team will attempt to defend its 2012 gold medal in Cartagena. (L-R): Nicole Ross, Nzingha Prescod, Lee Kiefer and Margaret Lu. Photo Credit: Serge Timacheff / FIE /

(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – Competition will be streamed live from the Pan American Championships in Cartagena, Colombia beginning on Sunday, June 16 and continuing through Tuesday, June 19.

Fencing fans will have the opportunity to cheer on Team USA during the individual events at Team events will be held from June 20-22, but will not be streamed. 

Team USA won not only the overall medal count, but also gold in 10 of 12 events at this event in 2012 and swept all 12 gold medals at the 2011 Pan American Championships. The Americans are expected to contend again for top honors in Colombia with a team that includes 15 members of the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team and 10 athletes who have won individual titles at past Pan Am events.

Two-time Olympic Champion Mariel Zagunis (Beaverton, Ore.) has won gold in women’s saber at the last four Pan American Championships as well as the 2011 Pan American Games. In 2012, she fenced a close final against her teammate, London Olympian Dagmara Wozniak (Avenel, N.J.) and won gold, 15-13. In addition to Zagunis and Wozniak, the U.S. Women’s Saber Team includes 2010 Pan American bronze medalist Ibtihaj Muhammad (Maplewood, N.J.) and first-time team member Eliza Stone (Chicago, Ill.) In the team competition, Zagunis, Wozniak and Muhammad have won two Senior World medals and three Pan American titles together. Stone has fenced the team event twice on the international circuit and played a key role in Team USA winning gold at the Absolute Fencing Gear® Korfanty World Cup last month.

The men’s saber squad is led by Daryl Homer (Bronx, N.Y.) A 2011 Pan American Champion, Homer placed sixth in London and is currently ranked eighth in the world. Homer’s London teammate, Jeff Spear (Wynantskill, N.Y.) won silver at this event in 2012 – his first appearance as a member of the National Team. Aleksander Ochocki (Linden, N.J.) and 17-year-old Eli Dershwitz (Sherborn, Mass.) will be fencing at the Pan Ams for the first time, but both athletes are former Junior World medalists with Dershwitz claiming silver in 2012 and bronze in 2013. The Americans are undefeated in the team competition at the Pan Am Championships, but Homer will not fence team event in Colombia and Spear, Ochocki and Dershwitz will be joined by 2013 Cadet World Team member Jonah Shainberg (Rye, N.Y.)

Much like women’s saber, Team USA has won gold in the women’s individual foil event at every Pan American Zonal Championship since the tournament’s inception in 2006. London Olympians Lee Kiefer (Lexington, Ky.) and Nzingha Prescod (Brooklyn, N.Y.) accounted for the last four titles between them. Prescod won gold in 2009 as a 16-year-old and Kiefer took the last three golds in 2010, 2011 and 2012 with her most recent title coming just two days after Kiefer’s 18th birthday. A 2009 Pan Am bronze medalist, 2012 Olympian Nicole Ross (New York City, N.Y.) also won gold in the team competition with Kiefer and Prescod at the last four Pan Ams. Margaret Lu (Greenwich, Conn.) may be fencing at her first Pan Ams, but the four-time Junior World medalist has earned top-16 results on the World Cup circuit and served as anchor when Team USA defeated Korea, the 2012 Olympic bronze medalists, in Tauberbischofsheim earlier this season.

London Olympian Race Imboden (Brooklyn, N.Y.) made his senior national team debut at the 2011 Pan Ams and won gold as an 18-year-old over his teammate Alexander Massialas (San Francisco, Calif.) Imboden defended his title in 2012 with another final win over Massialas. The two are now both ranked in the top 10 in the world and Massialas has hopes of vying with his teammates for another chance at his first Pan Am title. Both athletes have won medals on the World Cup Circuit this season. Imboden took gold at the Havana World Cup in Cuba three weeks ago and Massialas won bronze at the La Coruna World Cup in February and silver at the St. Petersburg Grand Prix in March. Two-time Olympian Gerek Meinhardt (San Francisco, Calif.) won the first gold at this event for the U.S. Men’s Foil Team when he took the title as a 17-year-old in 2007. Since then, Meinhardt has won silver in 2008 and 2009 and bronzes in 2011 and 2012. Now ranked fourth in the world, Meinhardt has had his best season since winning bronze at the Senior Worlds in 2010 after winning three individual medals on the World Cup circuit this season. London Olympian Miles Chamley-Watson (Philadelphia, Pa.) won his first Division I National Championship in April and the two-time Pan Am bronze medalist is hoping to return to the podium again. As a team, all four athletes were on the squad that won gold in 2011 and 2012. Team USA is currently ranked second in the world after four straight medal wins on the World Cup circuit this season.

Three members of the U.S. Women’s Epee Team that won bronze in London will be back in action at the Pan Ams and each has won individual gold at this event in the past. Maya Lawrence (Teaneck, N.J.) won gold in 2012 on the heels of two-time Olympian Kelley Hurley (San Antonio, Texas) won defeated her younger sister Courtney Hurley (San Antonio, Texas) in the 2011 Pan Am final. It was the younger Hurley, however, who became the first U.S. women’s epee fencer to win this event as an 18-year-old in 2009. The Hurley sisters and Lawrence were also on the squads that won gold in the team competition in 2011 and 2012. This year, they will be joined by Katharine Holmes (Washington, D.C.), a two-time Junior World Team medalist who will be fencing on her first senior national team.

Two-time Olympian Soren Thompson (New York City, N.Y.) has claimed the individual Pan Am title for the last two years, but will face a deep field that will include 2012 Olympic Champion Ruben Limardo (VEN). Thompson and 2012 Pan Am Team member Jason Pryor (Colorado Springs, Colo.) will be joined by two first-time team members: Alexander Tsinis (Little Neck, N.Y.) and Adam Watson (Richfield, Vt.) In 2011, the U.S. Men’s Epee Team won gold at this event for the first time and went on to earn the first ever World Team title for a USA Men’s Fencing Team in 2012. Although Thompson is the only returning member of the 2012 squad, Team USA is hoping to return to the top of the podium.

Competition schedule is as follows (All Times Central):

June 16
9 a.m.
Men’s Individual Epee

Women’s Individual Foil

6 p.m.
Opening Ceremony

June 17
9 a.m.
Men’s Individual Foil

Women’s Individual Saber

June 18
9 a.m.
Women’s Individual Epee

Men’s Individual Saber

June 19
9 a.m.
Women’s Team Foil

Men’s Team Epee

June 20
9 a.m.
Women’s Team Saber

11:30 a.m.
Men’s Team Foil

June 21
9 a.m.
Women’s Team Epee

11:30 a.m.
Men’s Team Saber

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