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Team USA Adds Four More Medals at Pan Ams

06/03/2014, 3:30pm CDT
By Nicole Jomantas

Women's saber podium (L-R): Mariel Zagunis, Maria Belen Perez Maurice (ARG), Dagmara Wozniak and Ibtihaj Muhammad. Photo Credit: Carl Borack.

Bronze medalist Jason Pryor with USA Fencing President Don Anthony and Coach Benoit Bouysset. Photo Credit: Carl Borack.

(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – Team USA was well-represented on the podium at the Pan American Championships on Monday in San Jose, Costa Rica with three medal wins in women’s saber and a fourth in men’s epee.

Two-time Olympic Champion Mariel Zagunis (Beaverton, Ore.) entered the Pan Ams having been undefeated since 2009 when she claimed the first of five straight individual titles.

After an undefeated run in pools, Zagunis was tied for the first seed in the direct elimination tables with Maria Belen Perez Maurice (ARG).

Zagunis earned a bye into the table of 16 where she defeated Eileen Grench (PAN), 15-5, and went on to win her next bout against Rossy Felix Lara (DOM), 15-11.

In the semifinals, Zagunis faced her London Olympic teammate, Dagmara Wozniak (Avenel, N.J.), who took a 15-14 win over 2013 Pan Am silver medalist Eliza Stone (Chicago, Ill.) in the quarter-finals.

While their last bout came down to the end with Zagunis winning their quarter-final last month in Chicago, 15-12, Zagunis controlled the bout against Wozniak for a 15-6 victory in the semifinals. Wozniak finished with a bronze – her third straight podium result at the Pan Ams after taking bronze in 2013 and silver in 2012.

On the opposite side of the table, Muhammad led Maurice, 13-9, but the Argentinian came back to tie the bout at 14 and scored the final touch for a 15-14 win.

In the gold medal final, Maurice jumped out to a 4-1 lead which Zagunis shrank to 8-7 for the Argentinian by the break. Zagunis kept the score within a touch during the second period and had the bout tied at 13 before Maurice scored twice to win the bout, 15-13.

This marks the ninth straight individual Pan Am Championship medal for Zagunis who has finished in the top three at this tournament every year since its inception in 2006.

Men’s epee fencer Jason Pryor (Colorado Springs, Colo.) helped Team USA win a silver in 2013, but Pryor secured his first major international medal with a bronze on Monday.

Seeded second out of the pools, Pryor opened with a pair of 15-13 wins over Santiago Pinto (VEN) and 2013 Pan Am silver medalist Hugues Boisvert-Simard (CAN) to advance to the quarter-finals.

After edging 2010 Pan Am medalist Vincent Pelletier (CAN), 15-14, Pryor advanced to the semifinals against Francisco Limardo (VEN).

Limardo led the bout, 4-0, late in the first period but Pryor picked up a single and a double to cut Limardo’s lead to 5-2.

With Limardo still leading, 10-8, at the start of the third, Pryor scored two singles to tie the bout at 10. After two double touches to take the score to 12, Limardo earned the single touch that would win the bout during the next exchange and doubled out to take the bout, 15-14.  

Pryor’s teammates were each eliminated in the table of 32.

Adam Watson (Richfield, Vt.), Jonathan Yergler (Long Island City, N.Y.) and Andras Horanyi (Colorado Springs, Colo.) each went 5-1 and all three earned top-eight seeds and byes through the table of 64.

In the table of 32, Watson lost to Hector Maisonet (PUR), 15-12. Yergler dropped his bout to Richard Grunhauser (BRA), 15-8, and Horanyi lost to Marc-Andre Leblanc (CAN), 15-10.

Competition continues on Tuesday with the following athletes fencing in the men’s saber and women’s foil events:

Women’s Individual Foil
Lee Kiefer (Lexington, Ky.)
Margaret Lu (Greenwich, Conn.)
Nzingha Prescod (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
Nicole Ross (New York City, N.Y.)

Men's Individual Saber
Eli Dershwitz (Sherborn, Mass.)
Daryl Homer (Bronx, N.Y.)
Andrew Mackiewicz (Westwood, Mass.)
Jeff Spear (Wynantskill, N.Y.)

Click here to view complete men’s epee results.

Click here to view complete women’s saber results.

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

Pan American Individual Men’s Epee Championships
1. Francisco Limardo (VEN)
2. Nicolas Ferreira (BRA)
3. Kelvin Canas (VEN)
3. Jason Pryor (Colorado Springs, Colo.)
5. Vincent Pelletier (CAN)
6. Marc-Andre Leblanc (CAN)
7. Alessandro Taccani (ARG)
8. Hector Maisonet (PUR)

18. Adam Watson (Richfield, Vt.)
19. Jonathan Yergler (Long Island City, N.Y.)
21. Andras Horanyi (Colorado Springs, Colo.)

Pan American Individual Women’s Saber Championships
1. Maria Belen Perez Maurice (ARG)
2. Mariel Zagunis (Beaverton, Ore.)
3. Dagmara Wozniak (Avenel, N.J.)
3. Ibtihaj Muhammad (Maplewood, N.J.)
5. Eliza Stone (Chicago, Ill.)

6. Alejandra Benitez (VEN)
7. Rossy Felix Lara (DOM)
8. Julieta Toledo (MEX)

Tag(s): News  Andras Horanyi  Ibtihaj Muhammad  Adam Watson  Dagmara Wozniak  Mariel Zagunis  Margaret Lu  Eliza Stone