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Team USA Sweeps Individual Golds in Klagenfurt

11/05/2015, 11:15pm CST
By Nicole Jomantas

Tatijana Stewart (second from right) and Kenya Plenty (fourth from left) won gold and bronze in Klagenfurt.

Men's individual epee gold medalist Ryan Griffiths and Coach Christian Rivera.

(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – U.S. fencers swept the gold medals in both the individual men’s and women’s events at the Klagenfurt Cadet European Cup in Austria on Saturday.

Tatijana Stewart (Ogden, Utah) and Ryan Griffiths (Fairlawn, N.J.) each became first-time Cadet European Cup Champions, competing in Team USA’s first appearance on the Cadet European Cup circuit this season for epee.

Stewart, a 2014 National Champion in the Y14 event, broke through at the Division I level this season with a top-eight finish at the October North American Cup. In Klagenfurt, Stewart went 4-2 in the pools to earn a bye into the table of 128 where she defeated Fiona Hatz (SUI), 15-6.

After a 15-10 win against Emma Borsody (HUN), Stewart gave up just two touches en route to a 15-2 victory over Karoliine Loit (EST). Stewart won her table of 16 bout against Eszter Muhari (HUN) to advance to the quarter-finals where she defeated Muhari’s Hungarian teammate, Renata Petri, 15-12.

Stewart would have to fence her teammate, Kenyata Plenty (New York City, N.Y.), in the semifinals in order to have a chance at gold. A gold medalist on the Cadet European Circuit in 2014, Plenty entered the semis following two major wins by 15-14 scores over 2014 Cadet World Champion Alexandra Predescu (ROU) and Lea Mayer (GER) – the No. 2-ranked fencer in the Cadet European Standings.

Stewart defeated Plenty, 15-10, in the semis and secured gold with a 15-8 win over Aurore Favre (SUI) – the No. 3 fencer in the Cadet European Standings.

Not only did Stewart and Plenty stand together on the podium, but the two are now ranked No. 1 and 2 in the United States as they each aim to qualify as first-time members of the Cadet World Championship Team which will be selected in 2016.

In the men’s individual event, Griffiths entered the tournament as the reigning Y14 National Champion and came home with gold in his international debut on the cadet circuit.

Griffiths finished the pool rounds with a 4-2 record and held his first two opponents to single digit scores, defeating Robert Szaithauer (BLR), 15-6, and Seraphim Hsieh Jarov (CAN), 15-5, to advance to the 32 where he won his bout against Mate Mestyanek (HUN), 15-13.

Griffiths drew Adrien Thein-Sandler (Topanga, Calif.) in the 16 and outscored his teammate, 15-14, before securing a medal with a 15-13 win over No. 2 seed Wojciech Kolanczyk (POL).

In the semifinals, the newcomer defeated 2015 Cadet World silver medalist Jakub Jurka (CZE), 15-12, and won gold with a 15-14 victory over Tibor Andrasfi (HUN).

The USA 2 team finished ninth overall as Meghan O’Reilly (Akron, Ohio), Lee Ann Huei-Yin Choy (Basking Ridge, N.J.), Megan Eno (Salem. Ore.) and Caroline Nixon (Los Angeles, Calif.) won their first match, 45-23, over Ukraine 3, but lost in the 16 to Romania, 43-33.

With three more matches needed to finish ninth, USA 2 defeated Austria and Japan each by 45-32 scores and ended the day with a 45-34 win against Switzerland.

After its loss to USA 1 in the table of 16, USA 3 lost to Ukraine, 45-35, but defeated Leonidas 2015, 45-19. In the final match, USA 3 defeated Serbia, 45-39, to finish 13th.

Team USA fielded three men’s and four women’s squads for the team events on Sunday.  

In the women’s event, Stewart fenced with teammates Sofia Komar (Laurence Harbor, N.J.), Dasha Yefremenko (Manalapan, N.J.) and Sancchi Kukadia (Manhasset, N.Y.) and the USA 1 squad earned the No. 1 seed in the tournament and a bye into the 16.

USA 1 would fence USA 3 where Hanna Lee (Las Vegas, Nev.), Jessica Thow (Spring, Texas) and Miriam Grady (Broomfield, Colo.) was coming off a 45-29 win against USA 4’s team of Catherine and Claire Beddingfield (Pacific Palisades, Calif.) and Chloe Daniel (Sierra Madre, Calif.)

Fencing in the anchor role, Stewart scored 19 touches to lead USA 1 to a 45-28 victory.

In the quarter-finals, Hungary 2 led USA 1, 40-32, after the first eight bouts. Stewart scored nine against Lili Vertesi, but Hungary 2 took the match, 45-41.

In the next match, Yefremenko would be USA 1’s all-star, racking up 23 points to take more than half of Team USA’s scores for a 39-34 win over Estonia.

USA 1 fenced Germany in the match for fifth, winning or tying all of the first eight bouts before Stewart met Mayer again in the anchor bout and hung on to help Team USA finish with a 45-32 result.

On the men’s side, it would be USA 2 that would earn the best result for the Americans as Elias Cole (Chappaqua, N.Y.), Bryce Bogert (Saint Augustine, Fla.), Travis Amsbaugh (Mobile, Ala.) and Eliot Herbst (Houston, Texas) placed fifth.

Fencing in a tournament with 36 teams, the Americans earned a bye into the table of 32 where Bogert anchored the team to a 45-41 win against Israel 3 and a 42-36 victory over Belarus. USA 2’s run came to an end in the quarters with a 44-26 loss to Hungary.

In the 5th – 8th place table, USA 2 would fence USA 1 in the first round. The team of Adrien Thein-Sandler (Topanga, Calif.), Stephen Ewart (Lancaster, Calif.), Ulfric Crouse (Conroe, Texas) and Jonathan Piskovatskov (Houston, Texas) started the day with a 45-21 victory against Canada – Ukraine and a 45-30 win over Canada to advance to the quarters where USA 1 fell to Greece, 23-22.

With Thein-Sandler as anchor, USA 1 took on USA 2 with USA 2 winning the match, 45-29.

USA 2 would go on to win its match for fifth, 45-31, over Hungary 2.

USA 1 ended the day with a win as well and a 45-38 win against Romania and a seventh place result.

Team USA’s final squad, USA 3 included Nyle Sykes (Greenwood Village, Colo.), Kevin Chao (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) and Devin Tafoya (Littleton, Colo.) and the Americans won their first match, 45-29, against Finland, but lost the next to Hungary 2, 44-32.

After a 45-37 loss to Japan, USA 3 defeated Israel 2, 45-29, and finished with a 45-41 win over Canada.

Click here to view complete results.

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

Klagenfurt Women’s Individual Epee Cadet European Cup
1. Tatijana Stewart (Ogden, Utah)

2. Aurore Favre (SUI)
3. Bianca Benea (ROU)
3. Kenyata Plenty (New York City, N.Y.)
5. Darja Varfolomyeyeva (UKR)
6. Lea Mayer (GER)
7. Elvira Martensson (SWE)
8. Renata Petri (HUN)

11. Greta Candreva (Katonah, N.Y.)
11. Sofia Komar (Laurence Harbor, N.J.)
15. Dasha Yefremenko (Manalapan, N.J.)
16. Meghan O’Reilly (Akron, Ohio)
25. Anya Caroline Ehresma Harkness (San Jose, Calif.)
31. Hanna Lee (Las Vegas, Nev.)
43. Huda Aldadah (Peoria, Ill.)
44. Sancchi Kukadia (Manhasset, N.Y.)
49. Emily Vermeule (Cambridge, Mass.)
61. Megan Eno (Salem. Ore.)
76. Claire Beddingfield (Pacific Palisades, Calif.)
78. Lee Ann Huei-Yin Choy (Basking Ridge, N.J.)
80. Chloe Daniel (Sierra Madre, Calif.)
85. Caroline Nixon (Los Angeles, Calif.)
106. Rebecca Barnes (Dover, Mass.)
125. Jessica Thow (Spring, Texas)
143. Miriam Grady (Broomfield, Colo.)
144. Catherine Beddingfield (Pacific Palisades, Calif.)

Klagenfurt Men’s Individual Epee Cadet European Cup
1. Ryan Griffiths (Fairlawn, N.J.)

2. Tibor Andrafi (HUN)
3. Bence Bende (HUN)
3. Jakub Jurka (CZE)
5. Wojciech Kolanczyk (POL)
6. Damian Michalak (POL)
7. Saar Lieva (ISR)
8. Stephen Ewart (Lancaster, Calif.)

10. Adrien Thein-Sandler (Topanga, Calif.)
12. Zachary Kravitz (Los Angeles, Calif.)
13. Sean Wilson (Houston, Texas)
14. Elias Cole (Chappaqua, N.Y.)
15. Nyle Sykes (Greenwood Village, Colo.)
16. Bryce Bogert (Saint Augustine, Fla.)
21. Aaron Kogan (New Haven, Conn.)
25. Nicolas Wilson (Houston, Texas)
30. Theodore Lombardo (Mount Kisco, N.Y.)
45. Travis Amsbaugh (Mobile, Ala.)
49. Jonathan Piskovatskov (Houston, Texas)
55. Kevin Chao (Manhattan Beach, Calif.)
56. Ulfric Crouse (Conroe, Texas)
65. Stefan Popovici (Katy, Texas)
72. Joseph Taylor (Chicago, Ill.)
107. Eliot Herbst (Houston, Texas)
125. Devin Tafoya (Littleton, Colo.)
137. Neel Kanth Rao Maddineni (Chappaqua, N.Y.)

Klagenfurt Women’s Team Epee Cadet European Cup
1. Hungary
2. Israel 1
3. Romania
4. Hungary 2
5. USA 1
6. Germany
7. Estonia
8. Canada

9. USA 2
13. USA 3
19. USA 4

Klagenfurt Men’s Team Epee Cadet European Cup
1. Hungary
2. Poland
3. Israel
4. Greece
5. USA 2
6. Hungary 2
7. USA 1
8. Romania

11. USA 3


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