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Five-Peat in Costa Rica

06/04/2014, 5:15pm CDT
By Nicole Jomantas

Women's foil podium (L-R): Kelleigh Ryan (silver), Lee Kiefer (gold), and bronze medalists Nzingha Prescod and Isis Jimenez (VEN). Photo Credit: Carl Borack.

Kiefer Wins Fifth Straight Pan Am Title, Dershwitz Takes Saber Gold

Men's saber podium (L-R): Silver medalist Philippe Beaudry (CAN), gold medalist Eli Dershwitz, and bronze medalists Daryl Homer and Renzo Agresta (BRA). Photo Credit: Carl Borack.

(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – At just 19 years old, London Olympic foil fencer Lee Kiefer (Lexington, Ky.) won her fifth straight individual Pan Am title in San Jose, Costa Rica on Tuesday as she and saber fencer Eli Dershwitz (Sherborn, Mass.) claimed the last two individual gold medals of the tournament.

Kiefer claimed the first seed after finishing 6-0 in the pools and defeated Adriana Camacho (MEX), 15-3, in the table of 16 and Sasia Loretta Van Erven Garcia (COL), 15-11, in the quarters.

Unfortunately, all four U.S. foil fencers found themselves on the same side of the table and the Americans were put in the position of knocking each other out of the tournament.

In the table of 16, Kiefer’s London teammate, Nicole Ross (New York City, N.Y.), fenced their 2013 Senior World teammate, Margaret Lu (Greenwich, Conn.), and took the win, 15-10.

The victory pitted Ross against London Olympian Nzingha Prescod (Brooklyn, N.Y.) in the quarter-finals.

Prescod, a 2009 Pan American Champion, won her first two bouts by 15-3 and 15-4 margins over Melanie Rivera Roid (PUR) and Mariana Daffner (BRA), respectively.

In a rematch of the 2013 National Championship finals, Prescod defeated Ross, 15-7, to secure her fourth straight Pan Am individual medal after taking bronzes in 2011 and 2012 and silver in 2013.

Kiefer and Prescod, who fenced each other for gold at the Pan Ams last year, met in the semis with Kiefer taking the victory, 15-6.

In the finals, Canadian Kelleigh Ryan held a 5-2 lead after the first break. Kiefer tied the bout in the second period at 10, but Ryan scored two late touches to take a 12-10 lead. Kiefer came back in the third to score five unanswered touches and win the gold, 15-12.

Kiefer’s fifth straight individual Pan Am Championship gold medal ties her with Mariel Zagunis (Beaverton, Ore.) for the most consecutive titles won by any athlete in the history of the tournament.

In the men’s saber event, all four U.S. fencers were seeded in the top six after the pool rounds. London Olympian Daryl Homer (Bronx, N.Y.) was seeded second in the table of 64 while Dershwitz, Jeff Spear (Wynantskill, N.Y.) and Andrew Mackiewicz (Westwood, Mass.) were fourth, fifth and sixth, respectively.

Dershwitz held both of his opponents to single-digit scores when he defeated Jose Quintero (VEN), 15-2, and Rafael Wester Reyes (DOM), 15-8.

All four U.S. fencers advanced to the quarter-finals where Dershwitz defeated Spear, a 2012 Olympian, by a score of 15-9.

Fencing at his first Pan Ams, Mackiewicz fell one touch shy of a medal after his 15-14 loss to Philippe Beaudry (CAN).

Homer, who won gold at the 2011 Pan Ams, defeated Julian Ayala (MEX), 15-10, in the quarters. Homer lost his next bout, 15-9, to Beaudry and finished the day with a bronze.

Dershwitz advanced to the gold medal final in his second Pan Am Championships after a 15-12 semifinal win over Renzo Agresta (BRA).

Dershwitz dominated the first half of his final bout against Beaudry whom he led, 8-3, and fenced a tactical second period to stay ahead and win the bout, 15-9.

The win is the first senior individual international medal for Dershwitz who won gold at the Division I National Championships in April and stood on the podium at the last three Junior World Championships.

The team competition will begin on Wednesday with the following athletes fencing in the men’s foil and women’s epee events:

Women’s Team Epee
Katharine Holmes (Washington, D.C.)
Courtney Hurley (San Antonio, Texas)
Kelley Hurley (San Antonio, Texas)
Amanda Sirico (Bowie, Md.)

Men’s Team Foil
Miles Chamley-Watson (New York City, N.Y.)
Race Imboden (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
Gerek Meinhardt (San Francisco, Calif.)
David Willette (Lafayette, Calif.)

Click here to view complete men’s saber results.

Click here to view complete women’s foil results.

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

Men’s Individual Saber Pan American Championships
1. Eli Dershwitz (Sherborn, Mass.)

2. Philippe Beaudry (CAN)
3. Renzo Agresta (BRA)
3. Daryl Homer (Bronx, N.Y.)
5. Jeff Spear (Wynantskill, N.Y.)
6. Andrew Mackiewicz (Westwood, Mass.)

7. Fares Arfa (CAN)
8. Julian Ayala (MEX)

Women’s Individual Foil Pan American Championships
1. Lee Kiefer (Lexington, Ky.)
2. Kelleigh Ryan (CAN)
3. Isis Jimenez (VEN)
3. Nzingha Prescod (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
5. Nataly Michel (MEX)
6. Nicole Ross (New York City, N.Y.)
7. Tais Rochel (BRA)
7. Saskia Loretta Van Erven Garcia (COL)

12. Margaret Lu (Greenwich, Conn.)

Tag(s): News  Eli Dershwitz  Daryl Homer  Jeff Spear  Lee Kiefer  Nzingha Prescod