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Gerek Meinhardt and Courtney Hurley Defend Pan Am Titles

06/02/2014, 3:00pm CDT
By Nicole Jomantas

Women's Epee Podium (L-R): Kat Holmes, Courtney Hurley, Anna Van Brummen and Isabel Di Tella (ARG). Photo Credit: Carl Borack

Men's Foil Podium (L-R): Alexander Massialas, Gerek Meinhardt, Guilherme Toldo (BRA) and Felipe Guillermo Saucedo (ARG), Photo Credit: Carl Borack.

(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – Team USA opened the Pan American Championships with two all-American finals as foil fencer Gerek Meinhardt (San Francisco, Calif.) and epee fencer Courtney Hurley (San Antonio, Texas) led the Americans to a five-medal haul in San Jose, Costa Rica on Sunday.

Meinhardt, who won Pan Am titles in 2007 and 2013, entered the event as the No. 2-ranked fencer in the world and posted a 6-0 result in the pools to take the third seed in the direct elimination bouts.

After a bye into the table of 32, Meinhardt defeated Nicholas Gaviria (COL), 15-5, and won his next bout, 15-10, over 2010 Pan Am Champion Antonio Leal (VEN).

In the quarter-finals, Meinhardt fenced 2014 Seoul World Cup medalist Ghislain Perrier (BRA) who had just upset two-time Pan American Champion and London Olympian Race Imboden (Brooklyn, N.Y.), 15-7, in the table of 16.  

Meinhardt led Perrier, 8-3, at the break during their quarter-final bout and gave up just three more touches to win the bout, 15-6. Meinhardt controlled his semifinal bout as well and won the bout against Guilherme Toldo (BRA), 15-8, to set up a gold medal bout against his London Olympic teammate Alexander Massialas (San Francisco, Calif.)

Earlier in the day, Massialas won his table of 32 bout against Victor Leon (BRA), 15-5, and took the next round, 15-9, against Daniel Gomez (MEX).

Massialas fenced 2013 Senior World Champion Miles Chamley-Watson (New York City, N.Y.) in the quarter-finals and defeated his London teammate, 15-12. Massialas went on to qualify for the finals after defeating Felipe Guillermo Saucedo (ARG), 15-10.

Massialas led the gold medal final bout, 10-9, at the break and exchanged touches with Meinhardt during the first 30 seconds of the next period. With the score tied at 12, Meinhardt took three straight to win the bout, 15-12.

Ranked No. 6 in the world after her silver medal win at the Havana Grand Prix last week, Hurley entered the direct elimination rounds as the 17th seed after a 4-2 result in the pools.

Hurley dominated her first opponent, Dayana Martinez (VEN), 15-5, and edged top seed Maria Martinez (VEN), 15-14, to advance to the quarter-finals against her older sister Kelley Hurley (San Antonio, Texas).

The bout would mark the first time the sisters, who won bronze together as teammates in London, have fenced each other in international competition since the 2013 Pan Ams where Courtney won their semifinal, 15-14.

Courtney would take the win again this year by a 15-12 score, knocking her older sister out of medal contention.

In the semifinals, Hurley built a 10-6 lead over two-time Junior World team medalist Anna Van Brummen (Houston, Texas) after the first period. Van Brummen scored twice to cut Hurley’s lead to 10-8. After a pair of doubles, Van Brummen scored again to set the score at 12-11. Hurley replied with three straight singles to win the bout, 15-11.

Although she was fencing for just the second time at the Senior Pan Ams, two-time Junior World medalist Katharine Holmes (Washington, D.C.) qualified for the gold medal final against Hurley again after taking silver in 2013.

Holmes qualified for the quarters after a 15-10 win against Gecny Gudiel (GUA) and a 14-7 victory over Eliana Lugo (VEN).

Holmes upset 2010 Senior World medalist Nathalie Moellhausen (BRA), 9-8, and drew Isabel Di Tella (ARG) in the semis. The bout would be a rematch of their quarter-final at the 2013 Junior Worlds which Di Tella won to claim bronze. This time, Di Tella scored first and held a 1-0 lead after the first period was called for passivity. With the score tied at three late in the second, Holmes scored two quick touches to take a 5-3 lead at the start of the third. Holmes outscored Di Tella, 10-9, in a fast-paced final period to finish the bout, 15-12.

In the gold medal final, Hurley led Holmes, 8-4, after the first period. After three quick singles by Hurley, Holmes got on the board with one of her own. Hurley scored three of the next four to win the bout, 15-6.

Competition continues on Monday with the following athletes fencing in men’s epee and women’s saber:

Men’s Individual Epee
Andras Horanyi (Colorado Springs, Colo.)
Jason Pryor (Colorado Springs, Colo.)
Adam Watson (Richford, Vt.)
Jonathan Yergler (Long Island City, N.Y.)


Women’s Individual Saber
Ibtihaj Muhammad (Maplewood, N.J.)
Eliza Stone (Chicago, Ill.)
Dagmara Wozniak (Avenel, N.J.)
Mariel Zagunis (Beaverton, Ore.)

Tag(s): News  Courtney Hurley  Kelley Hurley  Race Imboden  Alexander Massialas  Gerek Meinhardt  Anna van Brummen  Miles Chamley-Watson