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Fourteen U.S. Athletes Advance in New York

12/13/2014, 9:15pm CST
By Nicole Jomantas

Cadet fencer Tara Hassett went 6-0 in pools to advance to the second day. Photo Credit: Serge Timacheff /

(Brooklyn, N.Y.) – Team USA will have a total of 14 entrants in the second day of competition at the Absolute Fencing Gear® New York Grand Prix on Sunday.

The American contingent includes 10 women’s fencers and four men in each gender’s table of 64.

The U.S. Women’s Saber Team began the competition with four exempt fencers who all earned byes into the table of 64 due to top-16 World Rankings.

Two-time Olympic Champion Mariel Zagunis (Beaverton, Ore.) came into the tournament as the second seed while her 2014 Senior World Team Champion teammates Dagmara Wozniak (Avenel, N.J.), Eliza Stone (Chicago, Ill.) and Ibtihaj Muhammad (Maplewood, N.J.) each received byes as well.

Two U.S. fencers each went undefeated in the pools. Loweye Diedro (Freeport, N.Y.) and cadet fencer Tara Hassett (Beaverton, Ore.) both posted 6-0 results to finish the day early.

Monica Aksamit (Matawan, N.J.), a 2009 Senior World Team member, just missed the cutoff to advance directly to the table of 64 as the 17th-ranked fencer in pools. Her 5-1 record earned Aksamit a bye into the preliminary table of 64 where she defeated Maho Hamada (JPN), 15-8, to qualify for the second day. Aksamit’s 33rd seed also sets up a potential table of 32 bout with top-se Zagunis.

Although Muhammad didn’t fence on Saturday, she could be seen in the venue all day at the New York Marriott at Brooklyn Bridge as she cheered on her younger sister, Faizah Muhammad (Maplewood, N.J.)

The elder Muhammad sister wouldn’t have much reason to worry, however, as Faizah quickly took care of her preliminary table of 64 bout against Pamela Brind’Amour (CAN), 15-5.

Kamali Thompson (Teaneck, N.J.) finished the pools with a 4-2 result and went on to defeat Dora Varga (HUN), 15-6, to qualify for the 64.  

Sage Palmedo (Portland, Ore.), the top-ranked junior fencer in the world, opened the pools with two straight wins, including a 5-0 rout of 2014 Senior World team silver medalist Saoussen Boudiaf (FRA). Her momentum slowed and Palmedo finished the round with a 3-3 record, but she returned to form in the prelim table of 64 with a 15-2 win against Celia Perez Cuenca (ESP).

In the men’s event, London Olympian Daryl Homer (Bronx, N.Y.) earned Team USA’s only exemption into the 64 as the field’s 11th seed.

Andrew Mackiewicz (Westwood, Mass.), a 2014 Junior World team bronze medalist, finished 5-1 after a strong pool round and defeated Trofim Velikiy (RUS), 15-8, after a bye into the prelim table of 64.

Three-time Junior World medalist Eli Dershwitz (Sherborn, Mass.) went 4-2 in the pools and defeated Aliaksei Likhacheuski (BLR), 15-10, to qualify for the table of 64.

London Olympian Jeff Spear (Wynantskill, N.Y.) rebounded from a 2-4 result in the pools when he advanced to the 64. Spear’s first opponent, James Honeybone (GBR) withdrew from their DE bout and Spear went on to win his next bout against Julien Medard (FRA), 15-10.

For more information, contact Nicole Jomantas, USA Fencing Communications Manager, at 719.761.7909 or

Click here for complete results.

Results for athletes who placed outside the top 64 are as follows:

Men’s Absolute Fencing Gear® New York Grand Prix
68. Andrew Doddo (South Orange, N.J.)
89. Benjamin Natanzon (Manalapan, N.J.)
102. Ben Igoe (Staten Island, N.Y.)
105. Gabriel Armijo (San Diego, Calif.)
107. Eddie Chin (Livingston, N.J.)
107. Michael Mills (Short Hills, N.J.)
112. Geoffrey Loss (Laguna Beach, Calif.)
112. Peter Souders (Silver Spring, Md.)
117. Evan Prochniak (Hudson, N.H.)
120. Calvin Liang (Chandler, Ariz.)
126. Will Spear (Wynantskill, N.Y.)
134. Jonathan Fitzgerald (East Brunswick, N.J.)
135. Jonah Shainberg (Rye, N.Y.)
140. Marty Williams Jr. (Danbury, Conn.)
159. Michael Costin (Culver City, Calif.)

Women’s Saber Absolute Fencing Gear® New York Grand Prix
68. Violet Michel (Cambridge, Mass.)
73. Daria Schneider (New York City, N.Y.)
83. Celina Merza (Wayne, N.J.)
86. Gillian Litynski (Niskayuna, N.Y.)
87. Lena Johnson (Peachtree City, Ga.)
99. Riya Dave (Ardsley, N.Y.)
110. Chloe Fox-Gitomer (Portland, Ore.)
110. Sarah Merza (Wayne, N.J.)
116. Francesca Russo (Wayne, N.J.)
119. Regina O’Brien (Wellesley, Mass.)
143. Rachel Aho (Wellesley, Mass.)

Tag(s): News  Eli Dershwitz  Daryl Homer  Ibtihaj Muhammad  Jeff Spear  Dagmara Wozniak  Mariel Zagunis  Eliza Stone  Andrew Mackiewicz