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Team USA Places Fourth in Inaugural Mixed Team Event at the Cadet Worlds

04/05/2015, 9:45pm CDT
By Nicole Jomantas

Photo Credit: Camille Simmons

(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – On Saturday, a new event was welcomed to the Cadet World Championships – the mixed team competition – which featured the top male and female athlete in each weapon as a total of 18 teams fenced for gold.

Led by Sam Moelis (Hewlett, N.Y.) who won gold in the individual foil event on Thursday, the six-member squad included top-eight finishers Barbara Vanbenthuysen (The Woodlands, Texas / epee) and Andrew Doddo (South Orange, N.J.) as well as foil fencer Morgan Partridge (Swansea, Mass.), epee fencer Jack Bradford (Erie, Colo.) and saber fencer Violet Michel (Cambridge, Mass.)

Seeded second in the event, Team USA earned a bye into the table of 16 where the Americans defeated Mexico, 30-19.

In the quarter-finals, Team USA won three of its first four bouts against Poland, including a crucial 5-1 victory in the second bout by Vanbenthuysen over Weronika Rabczewska. Partridge took the strip as anchor against Renata Tomczak who mounted a comeback with four straight touches in the first two and a half minutes of the bout. With 29 seconds on the clock, Partridge scored the first of four touches and closed out the match, 29-26, to send Team USA into the semifinals.

In the semis against Japan, epee fencers Bradford and Vanbenthuysen built a 10-3 lead for the Americans and Doddo outscored Kento Hoshino, 5-3, in the third period. Michel kept Team USA ahead at 20-14 after her bout against two-time Cadet World medalist Misaki Emura. In the fifth, Moelis faced Takuma Ito – his opponent from the quarter-finals of the individual event. While Moelis kept Ito off the podium on Thursday, Ito closed the gap for Japan to 20-18. In a fast-faced final bout, Rio Azuma came in as anchor against Partridge and finished the match at 30-26.

Team USA would face top seed Russia in the semifinals after the Russians were upset by Korea in the semis. Ivan Limarev got Russia off to a good start when he opened with a 5-2 win over Bradford. Vanbenthuysen outscored Ekaterina Tarasova, 6-5, in the second to put Team USA within two touches and Doddo split his touches with two-time Cadet World medalist Konstantin Lokhanov at 5-5 in the third. With Russia leading the match, 15-13, Michel kept her bout against 2015 Cadet World Champion Olga Nikitina close, but Russia retained its lead at 20-17.

In a rematch of their individual gold medal final, Moelis put Team USA back in the medal hunt for the first time when he outscored the Russian, 8-1, and secure a 25-21 lead for the Americans. Marta Martyanova, the 2014 Cadet World Champion, anchored Russia against Partridge and took Russia’s lead back at 28-27 late in the period. Partridge scored the tying point with 14 seconds on the clock to send the match into overtime. Neither athlete scored for the first 20 seconds of the bout, but Martyanova picked up the winning touch to give Russia the bronze medal.

Top eight results are as follows:

Cadet Mixed Team World Championships
1. Korea
2. Japan
3. Russia
4. USA
5. Ukraine
6. Poland
7. Canada
8. Italy

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