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Partridge, Hee and Krueger Earn Junior Olympic Gold

02/19/2014, 3:00am CST
By Nicole Jomantas

Morgan Partridge (right) defeated Quinn Crum in the cadet women's foil gold medal final.

(Portland, Ore.) – Two-time Cadet World Team member Morgan Partridge (Swansea, Mass.) won her first Junior Olympic title on Sunday with her gold medal finish in the cadet women’s foil competition.

Seeded fourth out of the pools, Partridge controlled her first four direct elimination opponents as she held each to single digits scores on her way to qualifying for the semifinals.

Partridge earned a bye into the table of 64 where she defeated Olivia Koslow (San Francisco, Calif.), 15-5.

She went on to defeat Sarah Pak (Upper Saddle River, N.J.), 15-8, in the 32 and Isabella Chung (Greenwich, Conn.), 15-7, in the 16.

After a 15-6 win over Sylvie Binder (Armonk, N.Y.) in the quarter-finals, Partridge’s next opponent would be Iman Blow (Brooklyn, N.Y.) a two-time medalist on the Cadet European Cup circuit this season.

“I’ve lost some bouts to Iman pretty badly and this is the first time that I’ve really fenced my best against her,” said Partridge who won the bout, 15-6. “This time I wasn’t scared and I meditated before the first bout and got myself really focused and kept telling myself to go for one more touch and, before I knew it, it was over.”

In the gold medal final, Partridge fenced Quinn Crum (Providence, R.I.), her close friend and Rhode Island Fencing Academy teammate.

With the score tied at five touches at the break, Partridge went on a five-touch run in the second period to take a 10-5 lead and held Crum to just two more going into the third period to set the score at 13-8.

“I figured out what to do during the break and I started to go for it and stopped holding back because, usually when I take the initiative that’s when I get all my touches,” Partridge said.   

Partridge scored the first touch after the next break and Crum answered with two more before Partridge finished with the final touch to win the bout, 15-10, with five seconds remaining on the clock.

“It feels really good because I haven’t won a tournament in awhile and this is the best fencing I’ve done all season, but I wish Quinn could have won too,” Partridge said of fencing her friend in the gold medal final. “It’s really hard, especially when it’s the final bout, because you want to win so badly, just like you do all the other bouts, but this time it’s the gold medal and I fence her so often it’s hard to know what to do. It’s difficult because it’s like ‘I want to win, but I don’t want to win because I want Quinn to have that too,’ but now I know that I can go this far, so it gives me a lot of confidence for the future.”

At the conclusion of the cadet women’s foil competition, the top three athletes in the USA Fencing National Point Standings were named to the team that will compete at the 2014 Cadet World Championships in April in Plovdiv, Bulgaria.

Two-time Cadet World Team member Sabrina Massialas (San Francisco, Calif.) will attempt to improve on her silver from the 2013 event while Iman Blow (Brooklyn, N.Y.) and Stefani Deschner (Mechanicsville, Va.) will each be competing at the Cadet Worlds for the first time.

Tristan Krueger (Bend, Ore.) entered the Junior Olympics with both an advantage and a disadvantage.

On the plus side, he would be competing in his home state with a huge crowd of supporters from the Northwest Fencing Club.

On the minus, he was fencing at just his second JOs after losing in the table off 256 in 2012.

This time, Krueger got off to a good start quickly with a 5-1 finish in the pools and a 17th seed that gave him a bye into the table of 128 where he defeated Neel Maddineni (Chappaqua, N.Y.), 15-5.

In the table of 64, Krueger won his bout against Ryan Carroll (Atlanta, Ga.), 15-6, and went on to defeat Oliver Shindler (Chicago, Ill.), 15-9.

Krueger upset top-seeded Joshua Cole (Chappaqua, N.Y.), 15-7, in the table of 16 to advance to his first national tournament quarter-final.

After a 15-12 win against Malcolm Miller (New York City, N.Y.), Krueger edged Darius Zacharakis (Houston, Texas), 15-14, in the semis.

While Krueger had controlled many of his early bouts, he soon found the tables turned when Julien Dieck (Larchmont, N.Y.) took an 8-2 lead in the third period of their gold medal final.

Krueger cut Dieck’s lead to 10-7, but had just a minute left to make up the three-touch deficit and finish the bout.

After two doubles and a 12-9 score, each athlete picked up a single to set the score to 13-10.

Krueger scored two more singles, but knew he was running out of time.

“It was 12-13, I was down and there was 30 seconds left and Coach had been yelling at me to just go for it and it was all muscle memory at that point,” Krueger said.

Krueger scored three of the next four touches to win the bout, 15-14, with three seconds on the clock.

“I’d been very defensive today and I had to just totally switch things around for that last period. Something wonderful in my brain that I didn’t know was there and I saw the time that was left and I fleched and it worked,” Krueger said. “I’ve been working hard with Cody and Simon. And it was just the right day at the right time. It’s weird. It’s crazy. It hasn’t even sunk in. I didn’t come in expecting this and it feels wonderful.”

Following the conclusion of the cadet epee competition, three athletes were named to the Cadet Epee World Team: first-time team members Cole, Justin Yoo (La Verne, Calif.) and Charlie Horowitz (Los Angeles, Calif.)

Following her gold medal win in the cadet women’s saber event on Friday, Malia Hee (Vancouver, Wash.) took the double with a second title in the junior women’s saber competition.

After a bye into the table of 64, Hee won her first three direct elimination bouts by 15-5 scores over Rose Adams (Sacramento, Calif.), Danya Hu (Laguna Niguel, Calif.) and Alyssa Hofilena (Farmingville, N.J.)

Hee defeated Galen Cadley (New York City, N.Y.), 15-7, in the quarter-finals and won her semi bout against Sarah Merza (Wayne, N.J.), the top-ranked cadet fencer in the nation, by a score of 15-8.

Hee broke out with a 5-0 lead against Violet Michel (Cambridge, Mass.) in the gold medal final and held onto a five-touch advantage at the start of the second period with an 8-3 score. Hee held off a late comeback by Michel in the second period to win the bout, 15-13.

Michel’s silver medal finish propelled her into the third position in the U.S. cadet team standings behind Merza and Riya Dave (Ardsley, N.Y.)  who had each secured positions on the team prior to the start of the weekend based on results from earlier in the season. Both the cadet and junior women’s saber teams will be finalized after the conclusion of the Gent Saber World Cup in Belgium on Feb. 22.

In the team competition, Northwest Fencing Center 1 won gold in the junior men’s foil event with a 45-39 win in the final match over San Francisco Fencers Club 1. Rain City Fencing Center defeated Mission, 45-41, to take bronze.

Competition finished on Saturday evening with the junior women’s team epee event in which LAIFC defeated Alliance Fencing Academy 1, 45-38, for gold. Medeo claimed bronze after a 45-33 victory over Boston Fencing Club.

Click here to view complete results.

Top eight results are as follows:

Junior Women’s Saber
1. Malia Hee (Vancouver, Wash.)
2. Violet Michel (Cambridge, Mass.)
3. Sarah Merza (Wayne, N.J.)
3. Tara Hassett (Beaverton, Ore.)
5. Galen Cadley (New York City, N.Y.)
5. Regina O’Brien (Wellesley Hills, Mass.)
7. Madeline Curzon (Wilsonville, Ore.)
8. Jessica Whang (Westfield, N.J.)

Cadet Women’s Foil
1. Morgan Partridge (Swansea, Mass.)
2. Quinn Crum (Providence, R.I.)
3. Iman Blow (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
3. Polly Adler (Scarsdale, N.Y.)
5. Stefani Deschner (Mechanicsville, Va.)
6. Finnula Mageras (Darien, Conn.)
7. Sylvie Binder (Armonk, N.Y.)
8. Samantha Viqueira (Maplewood, N.J.)

Cadet Men’s Epee
1. Tristan Krueger (Bend, Ore.)
2. Julien Dieck (Larchmont, N.Y.)
3. Darius Zacharakis (Houston, Texas)
3. TJ Petrosewicz (Richmond, Texas)
5. Wes Johnson (Pleasant View, Utah)
5. Robin Cheong (San Antonio, Texas)
7. Cole Mallette (Keizer, Ore.)
8. Malcolm Miller (New York City, N.Y.)

Junior Men’s Team Foil
1. Northwest Fencing Center 1
2. San Francisco Fencers Club 1
3. Rain City Fencing Center
4. Mission
5. Fencing Academy of Westchester
6. Jacksonville
7. San Francisco Fencers Club 2
8. Gutkovskiy Fencing Academy 1

Junior Women’s Team Epee
1. LAIFC
2. Alliance Fencing Academy 1
3. Medeo
4. Boston Fencing Club
5. Alliance Team 2
6. Fortune Fencing 1
7. Olympian Fencing Club
8. Fortune Fencing 2

The Cadet World Teams selected on Sunday are as follows:

Cadet Men’s Epee World Team
1. Justin Yoo (La Verne, Calif.)
2. Joshua Cole (Chappaqua, N.Y.)
3. Charles Horowitz (Los Angeles, Calif.)
ALT 1: Esteban Sanchez (League City, Texas)
ALT 2: Robin Cheong (San Antonio, Texas)
ALT 3: Michael Popovici (Katy, Texas)

Cadet Women’s Foil World Team
Sabrina Massialas (San Francisco, Calif.)
Iman Blow (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
Stefani Deschner (Mechanicsville, Va.)
ALT 1: Samantha Viqueira Maplewood, N.J.)
ALT 2: Morgan Partridge (Swansea, Mass.)
ALT 3: Quinn Crum (Providence, R.I.)

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