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Veterans Take on the World in Bulgaria Beginning Tuesday

09/30/2013, 10:15pm CDT
By Nicole Jomantas

Wang Yung (left) won gold in the 60-69 men's saber event at the 2011 Veteran World Championships.

(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – Team USA began arriving in Varna, Bulgaria over the weekend to prepare for the Veteran World Championships which begin on Tuesday and conclude on Sunday.

Sixty-three athletes will represent Team USA in categories for fencers age 50-59, 60-69 and +70.

On the heels of the 2012 Vet Worlds when Team USA won 14 medals, the 2013 team includes 10 former Vet World Champions and 12 athletes who won medals at the 2012 Vet Worlds in Krems, Austria

One of Team USA’s strongest squad’s is, undoubtedly, the women’s saber team which boasts four former Vet World Champions and six medalists.

While the 50-59 team lost one of its best fencers when Jane Eyre (Swedesboro, N.J.) aged out, the 60-69 squad could be poised for a multi-medal haul as Eyre, a two-time Vet World Champion, is joined by three-time Vet World Champion Delia Turner (Philadelphia, Pa.) as well as Jeannine Bender (Arlington, Va.) who took bronze last year as a 50-59 fencer and Linda Dunn (Indianapolis, Ind.) who won silver in the 60-69 event.

In the +70 women’s saber competition, Ellen O’Leary (Decatur, Ga.) could make history as the first U.S. woman ever to successfully defend a Vet World title. O’Leary dominated her competitors in 2012 when she won her first gold medal after six previous trips to the podium in the 60-69 foil and saber events during previous years. One of O’Leary’s top competitors will be Louisa Felty (Louisville, Ky.) who won gold in this event in 2010 and took silver twice as a +60 fencer.

In the men’s saber events, Team USA is highlighted by two former Vet World Champions. Fencing at just his second Vet Worlds Will Milne (Redwood City, Calif.) won gold in the 50-59 event and will return this year to defend his title. Josh Runyan (San Diego, Calif.) did not compete at the 2012 Vet Worlds, but the 2011 silver medalist will be vying for a chance at a second Vet World medal in Bulgaria.

Wang Yung (Bellevue, Wash.) won gold as a 60-69 fencer in 2011 and took bronze last year as part of a three-medal finish for Team USA in which his teammates Joseph Streb (Columbus, Ohio) and David Seuss (Charlestown, Mass.) who won silver and bronze, respectively.

A three-weapon fencer, Ray Sexton III (Round Rock Texas) won gold in the 50-59 saber in 1999 and has won seven more medals since his Vet World debut. This year, Sexton III moved up to the +70 category where he could be a medal threat in epee, foil and saber.

The men’s and women’s foil squads each include multiple returning medalists.

In the women’s 50-59 foil competition, Anne-Marie Walters (Parkland, Fla.) has medaled at each of the last four Vet World Championships and is aiming for her first title. Her teammate, Jennette Starks-Faulkner (Middletown, Conn.) is a three-time Vet World medalist who last stood on the podium in 2011 when she won silver in Croatia.

Jude Offerle (Winnetka, Ill.) won her second Vet World medal with a silver last year and leads the 60-69 foil squad in experience with eight past Vet World appearances.

Although O’Leary is known best as a saber fencer, she won bronze as a +60 foil fencer in 2007 and could be one to watch in the +70 event as well. Her teammate, Patricia Bedrosian (Malibu, Calif.) took bronze in 2012 and 2005 and is the only women’s fencer on the team to have fenced at 15 straight Vet World Championships.

The men’s foil squads include past medalists in both the 60-69 and +70 events.

A 2003 Vet World Champion as a 50-59 foil fencer, Joseph Biebel (Bayside, Wis.) followed his gold medal with silvers in 2005 and 2008 and is in his second season in the 60-69 event.

The +70 foil team is led by Sexton, who won his last foil medal at the 2005 Vet Worlds, and Jim Adams (Rockville, Md.) who has claimed five Vet World medals, including four in foil with his most recent coming at the 2012 Vet Worlds. Eight-time Vet World Team member Marcel Miernik (Irvington, N.Y.) reached the podium for the first time in 2010 when he won silver in his second +70 event.

Women’s epee fencer Elizabeth Kocab (Farmington Hills, Mich.) accomplished the rare feat of winning gold in her final year of eligibility as a 50-59 athlete in 2011 and came back in 2012 to take bronze in the 60-69 event. Kocab’s teammate, Jann Ream (Iowa City, Iowa), will be one to watch as well. Ream is returning to international competition for the first time since winning bronze in 2004.

The +70 women’s epee squad also boasts a returning medalist in Bettie Graham (Washington, D.C.) who took bronze at the 2011 Vet Worlds. 

In the men’s epee competition, former medalists Drew Ridge (Warminster, Pa.) and Bob Cochrane Jr. (Lake Worth, Fla.) are both returning to Team USA. Ridge won his first Vet World medal in 2011 and Cochrane is a two-time medalist who took bronze in 2009 and silver in 2002.

Kazimieras Campe (Edgewater, Md.), a +70 epee fencer, made history in 1998 when he became the first U.S. fencer ever to win a Vet World title. At 76, Campe will be one of the oldest fencers on the team, but could remain a contender for a return trip to the podium. Sexton has won medals in every weapon and took three consecutive epee bronzes in 2006, 2007 and 2008.

Competition schedule is as follows:

Tuesday, Oct. 1
Men’s 60-69 Epee
Men’s +70 Foil
Women’s +70 Foil
Women’s 50-59 Saber

Wednesday, Oct. 2
Women’s 50-59 Epee
Men’s 50-59 Foil
Men’s 60-69 Saber

Thursday, Oct. 3
Men’s +70 Epee
Women’s 60-69 Epee
Men’s 60-69 Foil
Women’s +70 Saber

Friday, Oct. 4
Men’s 50-59 Epee
Women’s 50-59 Foil
Women’s 60-69 Saber

Saturday, Oct. 5
Women’s +70 Epee
Women’s 60-69 Foil
Men’s 50-59 Saber
Men’s +70 Saber

Sunday, Oct. 6
Men’s Team Epee
Women’s Team Epee
Men’s Team Foil
Women’s Team Foil
Men’s Team Saber
Women’s Team Saber

The U.S. athlete roster is as follows:

Veteran Men’s 50-59 Epee
Timothy Glass (Deerfield, Ill.)
Sean Ameli (Las Vegas, Nev.)
Frank Van Dyke (Las Vegas, Nev.)
Michael Perka (Mountain View, Calif.)

Veteran Men’s 60-69 Epee
Daryl Taylor (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Drew Ridge (Warminster, Pa.)
Robert Cochrane Jr. (Lake Worth, Fla.)
Gary Linton (North Venice, Fla.)

Veteran Men’s +70 Epee
Kazimieras Campe (Edgewater, Md.)
Ray Sexton (Round Rock, Texas)
Peter Calderon (Plainsboro, N.J.)
Marcel Miernik (Irvington, N.Y.)

Veteran Women’s 50-59 Epee
Cristina Ford (Salem, Ore.)
Amy Montoya (Las Vegas, Nev.)
Marcia Pierce (Richmond, Ky.)
Cristina Gordet (Somerville, Mass.)

Veteran Women’s 60-69 Epee
Elizabeth Kocab (Farmington Hills, Mich.)
Bonnie Aher (Brookline, Conn.)
Cynthia Runyon (Flagstaff, Ariz.)
Jann Ream (Iowa City, Iowa)

Veteran Women’s +70 Epee
Patricia Bedrosian (Malibu, Calif.)
Bettie Graham (Washington, D.C.)
Catherine Radle (Suwanee, Ga.)

Veteran Men’s 50-59 Foil
Edward Kaihatsu (Skokie, Ill.)
Christopher Hagen (Brooklyn Center, Minn.)
Sam Jones (Round Rock, Texas)
Jamie Douraghy (Los Angeles, Calif.)

Veteran Men’s 60-69 Foil
Joseph Biebel (Bayside, Wis.)
Thomas Lutton (Cupertino, Calif.)
Joseph Streb (Columbus, Ohio)
Heik Hambarzumian (Anaheim, Calif.)

Veteran Men’s +70 Foil
Jim Adams (Rockville, Md.)
Ray Sexton III (Round Rock, Texas)
Davis Carvey (Seattle, Wash.)
Marcel Miernik (Irvington, N.Y.)

Veteran Women’s 50-59 Foil
Anne-Marie Walters (Parkland, Fla.)
Ursula Szpak (Trophy Club, Texas)
Lynn Botelho (Indiana, Pa.)
Jennette Starks-Faulkner (Middletown, Conn.)

Veteran Women’s 60-69 Foil
Madelon Rosenfeld (New York City, N.Y.)
Jude Offerle (Winnetka, Ill.)
Ruth Dodge (Loudon, N.Y.)
Muriel Cawthorn (Rehoboth, N.Y.)

Veteran Women’s +70 Foil
Patricia Bedrosian (Malibu, Calif.)
Bettie Graham (Washington, D.C.)
Ellen O’Leary (Decatur, Ga.)
Diane Reckling (White Plains, N.Y.)

Veteran Men’s 50-59 Saber
Joshua Runyan (San Diego, Calif.)
Val Kizik (Indianapolis, Ind.)
Will Milne (Redwood City, N.J.)
Dan Corrigan (Phoenix, Ariz.)

Veteran Men’s 60-69 Saber
Joseph Streb (Columbus, Ohio)
David Seuss (Charlestown, Mass.)
Wang Yung  (Bellevue, Wash.)
Garik Gutman (Rockville, Md.)

Veteran Men’s +70 Saber
Ray Sexton III (Round Rock, Texas)
Peter Calderon (Plainsboro, N.J.)
Victor Bianchini (San Diego, Calif.)
Lucas Dobrzanski (Bakersfield, Calif.)

Veteran Women’s 50-59 Saber
Robin Pernice (Carlisle, Mass.)
Heidi Runyan (San Diego, Calif.)
Rita Comes (Palo Alto, Calif.)
Beth Vance (Clarkston, Mich.)

Veteran Women’s 60-69 Saber
Jane Eyre (Swedesboro, N.J.)
Delia Turner (Philadelphia, Pa.)
Jeannine Bender (Princeton, N.J.)
Linda Dunn (Indianapolis, Ind.)

Veteran Women’s +70 Saber
Ellen O’Leary (Decatur, Ga.)
Sherry Green (Portland, Ore.)
Louisa Felty (Louisville, Ky.)
Una Jackson (Hilton Head Island, S.C.)

Tag(s): News  Jane Eyre  Anne-Marie Walters  Joseph Streb  Victor Bianchini  Robin Pernice  Judith Offerle  Linda J. Dunn  Ellen O'Leary