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Aksamit and Pryor Take Division I NAC Titles in Virginia Beach

01/19/2014, 11:30pm CST
By Nicole Jomantas

Division I women's saber gold medalist Monica Aksamit.

Division I men's epee podium. Photo credit: Michael Aufrichtig.

(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – After top-eight results at the first two North American Cups of the season, 2009 Senior World Team member Monica Aksamit (Matawan, N.J.) added a gold to her collection with a win in the Division I women’s saber event at the January NAC in Virginia Beach on Saturday.

Aksamit, who is attempting to qualify for her second Senior World Team, was seeded seventh in the direct elimination rounds and earned a bye into the table of 64 where she defeated Canadian Paige Manel, 15-9.

In the table of 32, Aksamit held on for a 15-13 win over Cordelia Avery (New York City, N.Y.) and took her next bout, 15-10, against 2013 Junior World Team Champion Francesca Russo (Wayne, N.J.)

Aksamit faced her former Penn State teammate, Nicole Glon (State College, Pa.), in the quarter-finals and controlled the bout for a 15-4 victory.

Aksamit’s next opponent was her Manhattan Fencing Center teammate, Emma Baratta (Brooklyn, N.Y.) A four-time All-American at Columbia, Baratta was fencing in her first major competition since the Antalya World Cup nearly a year ago. Although she qualified for her first NAC semifinal since 2009, it was Aksamit who took the win, 15-7.

On the other side of the bracket, 2013 Junior World silver medalist and Harvard freshman Adrienne Jarocki (Middle Village, N.Y.) advanced to her second Division I NAC gold medal final after upsetting London Olympian Dagmara Wozniak (Avenel, N.J.), 15-6, in the semis.

Although Jarocki and Aksamit are both frequent medalists on the NAC circuit, this was the first time the two have fenced in a NAC direct elimination round. Aksamit controlled the bout to defeat top-seeded Jarocki, 15-9.

Faced with the difficult decision of traveling with his U.S. teammates to the first men’s epee tournament of the senior international season or competing in the January NAC, U.S. Olympic Training Center resident athlete Jason Pryor (Colorado Springs, Colo.) chose to travel to Virginia Beach as he attempts to qualify for his second Senior World Team.

The choice paid off when Pryor won his second Division I NAC title in just over a year.

Seeded first out of the pools, Pryor was nearly upset by Tommi Hurme (Brooklyn, Texas) in the table of 128, but escaped the bout with a 14-13 win.

Pryor won his next bout over Lorenzo Casertano (New York City, N.Y.), 15-10, and defeated 2012 Junior World Team member and MIT senior Joey Rafidi (Hidden Hills, Calif.), 15-9, in the table of 32.

After a 15-8 win over Penn senior Joseph Isaac (Morris Plains, N.J.), Pryor edged his 2013 Senior World teammate, Adam Watson (Richford, Vt.), 15-14, to advance to the quarters.

Pryor won his next two bouts by 15-9 scores against Omar Elgeziry (EGY) and Jonathan Yergler (Long Island City, N.Y.)

In the gold medal final, Pryor defeated Anton Piskovatskov (Houston, Texas), 15-11.

In the wheelchair men’s foil competition, former World Champion Tareq Alqallaf (KUW) won his second gold medal of the weekend. Following his epee final with Penn sophomore David Xu (Staten Island, N.Y.) on Friday, the two were fencing for gold again on Saturday and Alqallaf won the bout, 15-4.

The wheelchair women’s foil competition also included a rematch of Friday’s final from the epee event.

While former veteran fencer Catherine Thomas (Atlanta, Ga.) won the final bout on Friday, it was 14-year-old Lauryn DeLuca (Parma, Ohio) who won the foil final by a score of 15-10.

Margaret Lu (Greenwich, Conn.), a four-time Junior World medalist and Columbia sophomore, won her second junior foil NAC title of the season.

Seeded ninth out of the pools, Lu defeated Desree Ortega-Furgeson (Wyoming, Mich.) in the table of 64 and Xiao-Qing Tsai (Salt Lake City, Utah), 15-7, in the table of 32.

Lu defeated Rebecca Stanford (Brooklyn, N.Y.), 15-5, to advance to the quarter-finals.

Lu’s quarter-final opponent was Jackie Dubrovich (Riverdale, N.J.) – Lu’s teammate at Columbia and on the last three Junior World teams.

The two fenced to overtime in the Division I gold medal final of the December NAC with Dubrovich taking the win. This time, Lu won the bout, 15-8.

She went on to defeat 2013 Cadet World medalist Sabrina Massialas (San Francisco, Calif.), 15-12, in the semis.

In the gold medal final, Lu defeated 2013 Junior Olympic Champion Quinn Crum (Providence, R.I.), 15-11.

Fencing in the first senior team event of the weekend, the Peter Westbrook Foundation won gold in the men’s saber competition.

Zaheer Booth (New York City, N.Y.), Idris Mitchell (Newark, N.J.), Khalil Thompson (Teaneck, N.J.) and Marty Williams Jr. (Bridgepoint, Conn.) defeated the Lilov Team, 45-36, in the semifinals and NYU’s team of Quinn Burgunder (Catham, N.J.), Andrew Kelly (South Orange, N.J.) and Alexander Martini (Ho-Ho-Ku, N.J.), 45-39, in the gold medal final.

UC San Diego won the bronze medal match, 45-40 over Lilov Team with Bryson Abilay (San Diego, Calif.), Drew Dickinson (El Dorado Hills, Calif.), Peter Meckling (Centennial, Colo.) and Travis Tibbitts (Santa Barbara, Calif.) placing third.

Click here to view complete results.

Top eight results are as follows:

Division I Men’s Epee
1. Jason Pryor (Colorado Springs, Colo.)
2. Anton Piskovatskov (Houston, Texas)
3. Yeisser Ramirez (Bronx, N.Y.)
3. Jonathan Yergler (Long Island City, N.Y.)
5. Ace Eldeib (Burke, Va.)
6. Graham Wicas (Newtown Square, Pa.)
7. Adam Rodney (New York City, N.Y.)
8. Omar Elgeziry (EGY)

Division I Women’s Saber
1. Monica Aksamit (Matawan, N.J.)
2. Adrienne Jarocki (Middle Village, N.Y.)
3. Emma Baratta (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
3. Dagmara Wozniak (Avenel, N.J.)
5. Sage Palmedo (Portland, Ore.)
6. Nicole Glon (State College, Pa.)
7. Gracie Stone (Chicago, Ill.)
8. Lena Johnson (Peachtree City, Ga.)

Wheelchair Men’s Foil
1. Tareq Alqallaf (KUW)
2. David Xu (Staten Island, N.Y.)
3. Curtis Lovejoy (College Park, Ga.)
3. Curt Oswalt (Von Ormy, Texas)
5. Josh Russell (Mendenhall, Miss.)
6. Alexander Xue (Plainsboro, N.J.)
7. John Berret Jr. (Madison, Miss.)

Wheelchair Women’s Foil
1. Lauryn DeLuca (Parma, Ohio)
2. Catherine Thomas (Atlanta, Ga.)
3. Ellen Geddes (Johnston, S.C.)
3. Patricia Dykes (San Antonio, Texas)
5. Mia Ives-Rublee (Durham, N.C.)
6. Ellery Gilbert (Douglasville, Ga.)

Junior Women’s Foil
1. Margaret Lu (Greenwich, Conn.)
2. Quinn Crum (Providence, R.I.)
3. Sabrina Massialas (San Francisco, Calif.)
3. Iman Blow (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
5. Jackie Dubrovich (Riverdale, N.J.)
6. Jessie Laffey (Glen Ridge, N.J.)
7. Samantha Viqueira (Maplewood, N.J.)
8. Carlexa Fevry (New York City, N.Y.)

Senior Men’s Team Saber
1. Peter Westbrook Foundation
2. NYU
3. UC San Diego
4. Lilov Team
5. SON 1
6. Return of the J.E.D.I.
7. Cambridge Fencing Center

Tag(s): News  Monica Aksamit  Jackie Dubrovich  Curtis Lovejoy