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Vierheller Wins First Cadet Epee Title in Grenoble, Liu Takes Bronze

11/25/2013, 3:00pm CST
By Nicole Jomantas

(L-R): Coach Sergey Danilov, Coach Lauren Willock, gold medalist Gigi Vierheller, quarter-finalist Madeline Antekeier, bronze medalist Charlene Liu and Coach Yakov Danilenko.

(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – Fifteen-year-old Giana Vierheller (Houston, Texas) won her first international title on Saturday at the Grenoble Epee Cadet European Cup in France.

Fencing in her second season on the cadet international circuit, Vierheller began her climb up the U.S. rankings when she won gold in the U17 event at the October North American Cup.

Vierheller won six straight bouts in the first round of pools and took four of six in the second round to earn the 11th seed in the table of 128.

After a bye into the table of 64, Vierheller fenced 15-year-old Brooke Sirico (Bowie, Md.) and outtouched her teammate, 15-14.

Vierheller defeated Italian Alessia Cocozza, 15-8, in the table of 32 and Camille Nabeth (FRA), 15-10, in the 16.

She remained undefeated and advanced to the quarter-final rounds after a 15-11 win over Federica Isola (ITA) – the top-ranked fencer in the Cadet European standings.

Vierheller’s teammate, 16-year-old Charlene Liu (Bridgewater, N.J.), also was undefeated in the direct elimination bouts and earned five straight wins to give Team USA two automatic berths to the quarters.

Sixteen-year-old Madeline Antekeier (Houston, Texas) lost in the table of 32 to Isola, but won four bouts in the repechage to qualify for the quarters.

Vierheller won her quarter-final bout by a 15-11 margin over Alla Kashaeva (RUS) to set up a semifinal against Liu who defeated Cristina Spiegelburg (SUI), 15-8.

Antekeier finished in fifth place after a 15-11 loss in the quarters to Fanny Depanian (FRA). The result was the second top-eight result of the international season for Antekeier who placed sixth in Klagenfurt last month.

Vierheller defeated Liu, 15-8, in the semifinals and won gold after a 15-9 victory in the finals over Isola.

Both Liu and Vierheller are first-time medalists in individual events on the European circuit.

Vierheller is now the No. 2 fencer in the U.S. cadet women’s epee rankings and is followed by Liu in the third position and Antekeier in fourth. Kasia Nixon (Los Angeles, Calif.), a 2013 Cadet World Team member, remains No. 1 after her ninth-place result in France.

Vierheller, Antekeier, Nixon and Liu fenced together in the team competition on Sunday as USA 1.

The team won three pool matches to earn the top position in the direct elimination tables, but lost in the semifinals to France 1, 45-41.

USA 1 finished fourth after a 45-39 loss to Italy 1 in the bronze medal final.

Team USA’s second team lost three close bouts in pools which meant that Belinda Mo (Irvine, Calif.), Amy Zhao (Cambridge, Mass.), Helen Sakharova (Ridgewood, N.J.) and Amanda Han (Las Vegas, Nev.) dropped into the 13th – 14th place final match.

USA 2 rebounded from the early losses to win the final match, 45-36.

Click here to view complete results.

Top eight and U.S. results are as follows:

Grenoble Individual Epee Cadet European Cup
1. Giana Vierheller (Houston, Texas)

2. Federica Isola (ITA)
3. Fanny Depanian (FRA)
3. Charlene Liu (Bridgewater, N.J.)
5. Madeline Antekeier (Houston, Texas)

6. Alessandra Bozza (ITA)
7. Cristina Spiegelburg (SUI)
8. Alla Kashaeva (RUS)

9. Kasia Nixon (Los Angeles, Calif.)
12. Camille Esnault (Cupertino, Calif.)
13. Belinda Mo (Irvine, Calif.)
20. Amy Zhao (Cambridge, Mass.)
25. Helen Sakharova (Ridgewood, N.J.)
33. Sharon Ra (New City, N.Y.)
35. Farrah Lee-Elabd (San Antonio, Texas)
40. Michelle Nam (New York City, N.Y.)
47. Huda Aldadah (Peoria, Ill.)
51. Brooke Sirico (Bowie, Md.)
52. Barbara Van Benthuysen (The Woodlands, Texas)
53. Amanda Han (Las Vegas, Nev.)
59. Sofya Tkachman (Sugar Land, Texas)
60. Hannah Lawson (Allen, Texas)
82. Taly Yukelson (Cupertino, Calif.)
84. Kenyata Plenty (New York City, N.Y.)
107. Alexandria Micek (Houston, Texas)

Grenoble Team Epee Cadet European Cup
1. Russia 1
2. France 1
3. Italy 1
4. USA 1
5. Italy 2
6. France 2
7. Germany 1
8. Great Britain 1

13. USA 2

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