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Veteran Men’s Epee and Women’s Saber Teams Named at Summer Nationals

06/24/2014, 8:30am CDT
By Nicole Jomantas

Vet 50-59 women's saber world team members (L-R): Rachelle Arama, Lydia Mazorol, Chaz Smith and Robin Pernice. Photo Credit: Nicole Jomantas

(Columbus, Ohio) – Twenty-three athletes earned berths on the 2014 Veteran World Championship Team on Monday at the USA Fencing National Championships at the Columbus Convention Center.

As Summer Nationals is the final team qualification tournament of the season, the top four athletes in the national team rankings for the veteran 50-59, 60-69 and +70 age groups were named to the team that will compete at the Veteran World Championships in October.

While some might have considered 2012 Veteran World 50-59 saber medalist Chaz Smith (Placerville, Calif.) to be a near lock for a return trip to the Vet Worlds, Smith skipped the April North American Cup which means she would need a solid result in Columbus to go with her silver medal finish at the December NAC.

Indeed, Smith won her opening bout over Beth Vance (Clarkston, Mich.), 10-7, and defeated Cathleen Randall (Watertown, Mass.), 10-4, in the semis.

In the gold medal final, Smith led her bout against 2011 Veteran World medalist Lydia Mazorol (Simi Valley, Calif.), 5-3, at the break and finished with a five-touch run in the second period to win the bout, 10-3.

Mazorol, who won gold at the April NAC and silver in December, solidified her position on the team with a silver medal.

Smith and Mazorol will be joined on the 50-59 women’s saber squad by 2013 Veteran World Team member Robin Pernice (Carlisle, Mass.) and first-time team member Rachelle Arama (Phoenix, Ariz.).

Two-time Veteran World medalist Jeannine Bender (Arlington, Va.) won her first National Championship title to secure her position on a 60-69 women’s saber squad that is made up of four previous Vet World medalists.

Bender, who won bronze in 2012 and silver in 2013 at the Veteran Worlds, defeated former Vet World medalists Jude Offerle (Winnetka, Ill.) and Linda Dunn (Indianapolis, Ind.) by 10-3 and 10-4 scores, respectively, to advance to the gold medal final.

Bender led the final bout against Jennette Starks-Faulkner (Middletown, Conn.), 6-2, in the second period, but Starks-Faulkner, a three-time Veteran World medalist in foil, scored four straight to tie the bout at six. Bender regrouped, however, and scored four more to win the bout, 10-6.

Bender’s teammates at the Veteran Worlds will include Dunn who won silver at the 2012 Veteran Worlds and former Veteran World Champions Jane Eyre (Swedesboro, N.J.) and Delia Turner (Philadelphia, Pa.)

Although the veteran women’s +70 women’s saber event was not contested in Columbus due to a lack of entries, three athletes were named to the Veteran World Team in that event based on their previous NAC results this season: 2012 Veteran World Champion Ellen O’Leary (Decatur, Ga.), 2010 Veteran World Champion Louisa Felty (Louisville, Ky.) and 2013 Veteran World Team member Catherine Radle (Atlanta, Ga.)

Fencing in his first national veteran competition, Marek Stepien (Orland Park, Ill.) took gold in the 50-59 epee event. The 1992 Polish Olympian defeated Frank Mingione (Lexington, Ind.), 10-6, in the table of 64 and Bryan Baer (Greenwood Village, Colo.), 10-2, in the 32.

Stepien knocked two athletes out of contention for the Vet World Team with wins over 1983 Pan Am Games Team member Tim Glass (Deerfield, Ill.), 10-1, and 2011 Veteran World Team member Rick Watrall (Mahwah, N.J.), 10-6.

After a 10-6 semifinal victory over John Varney (Issaquah, Wash.), Stepien defeated Jeffrey Hudson (Glendale, Ohio), 10-3, in the gold medal final.

Because this was Stepien’s first major veteran event, he did not have a high enough point total for the season to qualify for the 2014 Veteran World Team.

Hudson, who placed third at the April NAC, did earn a spot on the team alongside fellow first-time team members Varney and Doug Thistlethwaite (Norco, Calif.) and 2009 Veteran World Champion Walter Dragonetti (Elyria, Ohio).

A bronze medalist at the December and April NACs, Chuck Alexander (Escondido, Calif.) won his second Veteran National Championships just two months after turning 60.

Alexander defeated Mark Raush (Syracuse, N.Y.), 10-2, in the table of 32 and won his next two bouts by 10-5 scores against Bill Winget (Carmel, Ind.) and Thomas Lutton (Cupertino, Calif.)

Alexander edged four-time Veteran World Team member Arnold Messing (Brooklyn, N.Y.), 10-9, to advance to the finals against Michael McDarby (Fort Johns, N.Y.)

In the gold medal final, Alexander and McDarby took a passivity call at 0-0 to advance the bout to the final period where Alexander needed less than two minutes to outscore McDarby, 10-3.

Alexander’s gold medal qualified him for his fifth Veteran World Team where he will join a cast of previous medalists, including Bob Cochrane (Lakeland, Fla.), Drew Ridge (Warminster, Pa.) and Jere Bothelio (San Jose, Calif.)

Jonathan Jefferies (Alameda, Calif.) won his second major domestic title of the season when he followed his December NAC victory with a gold medal in the +70 men’s epee championships on Monday.

Competing in his first season after aging up to +70, Jefferies was the top seed out of pools and earned a bye into the quarter-finals where he defeated Bob Baldwin (Palatine, Ill.), 10-5. After an 8-7 win over three-time Veteran world medalist Jim Adams (Rockville, Md.), Jefferies defeated Ruben Grigoryan (Brooklyn, N.Y.), 10-5, to win gold.

Jefferies and Adams qualified for the Veteran World Team with former Vet World Team members Peter Calderon (Plainsboro, N.J.) and Mark Henry (Potomac, Md.)

National Champions were also crowned in the veteran 40-49 men’s epee and women’s saber events, although these categories are not contested at the Veteran Worlds.

A 2000 Olympian in modern pentathlon, Velizar Iliev (San Antonio, Texas) successfully defended his 2013 National Championship title in 40-49 epee with a 10-6 win in the final bout over Kashi Way (Rockville, Md.)

Dawn Wilson (Louisville, Ky.) followed her silver medal win at the April NAC with a gold in the 40-49 women’s saber event where she defeated Frauke Berman (New York City, N.Y.), 10-8.

After finishing in the top eight last year, 18-year-old Logan Spear (West Linn, Ore.) won his first National Championship title in Division II men’s saber. Spear defeated 20-year-old Nathan Brickman (Framingham, Mass.), 15-12, in the gold medal final.

Thirteen-year-old Megan Eno (Salem, Ore.) began the tournament as the 82nd seed in the Division II women’s epee event, but finished fifth out of pools and went on to advance to the gold medal final where she defeated 19-year-old Jerica Vie (Phoenix, Ariz.), 15-9.

Eighteen-year-old Kirsten Denman (Yellow Springs, Ohio) followed her silver medal in Division II foil on Sunday with a gold in the Division III foil event on Monday.

Denman held off a late comeback against 18-year-old Erin Dietsche (Long Valley, N.J.) to win their final bout, 14-13.

Competition at the USA Fencing National Championships and July North American Cup continues through July 3 in Halls D and E at the Columbus Convention Center. Admission is free and open to the public.

Click here to view complete results.

Veteran World Team rosters are as follows:

Veteran 50-59 Men’s Epee World Team
Doug Thistlethwaite (Norco, Calif.)
Jeffrey Hudson (Glendale, Ohio)
Walter Dragonetti (Elyria, Ohio)
John Varney (Issaquah, Wash.)

Veteran 60-69 Men’s Epee World Team
Chuck Alexander (Escondido, Calif.)
Bob Cochrane (Lakeland, Fla.)
Drew Ridge (Warminster, Pa.)
Jere Bothelio (San Jose, Calif.)

Veteran +70 Men’s Epee World Team
Jonathan Jefferies (Alameda, Calif.)
Jim Adams (Rockville, Md.)
Peter Calderon (Plainsboro, N.J.)
Mark Henry (Potomac, Md.)

Veteran 50-59 Women’s Saber World Team
Lydia Mazorol (Simi Valley, Calif.)
Robin Pernice (Carlisle, Mass.)
Chaz Smith (Placerville, Calif.)
Rachelle Arama (Phoenix, Ariz.)

Veteran 60-69 Women’s Saber World Team
Jane Eyre (Swedesboro, N.J.)
Delia Turner (Philadelphia, Pa.)
Jeannine Bender (Arlington, Va.)
Linda Dunn (Indianapolis, Ind.)

Veteran +70 Women’s Saber World Team
Ellen O’Leary (Decatur, Ga.)
Catherine Radle (Atlanta, Ga.)
Louisa Felty (Louisville, Ky.)

Top eight results are as follows:

Veteran 40-49 Men’s Epee National Championships
1. Velizar Iliev (San Antonio, Texas)
2. Kashi Way (Rockville, Md.)
3. Joseph Deucher (Las Vegas, Nev.)
3. Creston Bailey (Escondido, Calif.)
5. Sergey Suponya (East Brunswick, N.J.)
6. Christopher Ault (Spokane, Wash.)
7. Michael LoParco (Houston, Texas)
8. Thomas Turner (Tyngsboro, Mass.)

Veteran 50-59 Men’s Epee National Championships
1. Marek Stepien (Orland Park, Ill.)
2. Jeffrey Hudson (Glendale, Ohio)
3. John Varney (Issaquah, Wash.)
3. Doug Thistlethwaite (Norco, Calif.)
5. Dale Karolak (Brighton, Mich.)
6. Rick Watrall (Mahwah, N.J.)
7. Frank Van Dyke (Las Vegas, Nev.)
8. John Lartz (Winnetka, Ill.)

Veteran 60-69 Men’s Epee National Championships
1. Chuck Alexander (Escondido, Calif.)
2. Michael McDarby (Fort Johns, N.Y.)
3. Arnold Messing (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
3. Drew Ridge (Warminster, Pa.)
5. Jere Bothelio (San Jose, Calif.)
6. Frank Hewitt (Jamul, Calif.)
7. Thomas Lutton (Cupertino, Calif.)
8. James Flint (New Hope, Pa.)

Veteran +70 Men’s Epee National Championships
1. Jonathan Jefferies (Alameda, Calif.)
2. Ruben Grigoryan (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
3. Jim Adams (Rockville, Md.)
3. Mark Henry (Potomac, Md.)
5. Peter Calderon (Plainsboro, N.J.)
6. Ray Sexton III (Round Rock, Texas)
7. Bob Baldwin (Palatine, Ill.)
8. John McGrew (San Ramon, Calif.)

Veteran 40-49 Women’s Saber National Championships
1. Dawn Wilson (Louisville, Ky.)
2. Frauke Berman (New York City, N.Y.)
3. Margaret Arencke (Sulphur Springs, Texas)
3. Sara Nash (Oreland, Pa.)
5. Natalia Oblonsky (New York City, N.Y.)
6. Myriam Gluck (Dublin, Ohio)
8. Claire Chadwick (Charlotte, N.C.)

Veteran 50-59 Women’s Saber National Championships
1. Chaz Smith (Placerville, Calif.)
2. Lydia Mazorol (Simi Valley, Calif.)
3. Cathleen Randall (Watertown, Mass.)
3. Robin Pernice (Carlisle, Mass.)
5. Donna Pepe (Oxford, Conn.)
6. Diane Trice (Silver Spring, Md.)
7. Beth Vance (Clarkston, Mich.)
8. Heidi Runyan (San Diego, Calif.)

Veteran 60-69 Women’s Saber National Championships
1. Jeannine Bender (Arlington, Va.)
2. Jennette Starks-Faulkner (Middletown, Conn.)
3. Delia Turner (Philadelphia, Pa.)
3. Linda Dunn (Indianapolis, Ind.)
5. Annie Mannino (Lebanon, N.J.)
6. Jude Offerle (Winnetka, Ill.)
7. Debra Allen (Ashland, Ore.)
8. Kim Lorang (Schenectady, N.Y.)

Division II Women’s Epee National Championships
1. Megan Eno (Salem, Ore.)
2. Jerica Vie (Phoenix, Ariz.)
3. Xunan Smith (Bend, Ore.)
3. Alissa Hofmann (Cambridge, Mass.)
5. LeeAnn Choy (Basking Ridge, n.J.)
6. Shirley Luong (Rosemead, Calif.)
7. Maggie Snider (Solon, Iowa)
8. Jasmine Lambert (Golden, Colo.)

Division II Men’s Saber National Championships
1. Logan Spear (West Linn, Ore.)
2. Nathan Brickman (Framingham, Mass.)
3. Jarrett Lewis (Montclair, N.J.)
3. Tim Hanley (Medford, Mass.)
5. Greg Puccio (Warren, N.J.)
6. Kevin Gao (Plainsboro, N.J.)
7. Joon Peak (West Harrison, N.Y.)
8. Chad Steadman (West Valley, Utah)

Division III Women’s Foil National Championships
1. Kirsten Denman (Yellow Springs, Ohio)
2. Erin Dietsche (Long Valley, N.J.)
3. Allison Cheng (Palo Alto, Calif.)
3. Elina Moon (Johns Creek, Ga.)
5. Sydney Persing (Livingston, N.J.)
6. Inbar Tivon (Fair Lawn, N.J.)
7. Arianna Russo (Pine Brook, N.J.)
8. Nicole Kogan (New Haven, Conn.)

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