Vet 60-69 men's epee World Team members Frank Van Dyke, Evan Ranes, Walter Dragonetti and Daryl Taylor. Photo Credit: Nicole Jomantas
Vet 50-59 women's foil team members Margaret Fagan, Lynn Botelho, Jane Carter and Georgina Love. Photo Credit: Kristen Henneman
(St. Louis, Mo.) – Twenty-four athletes qualified for the 2018 Veteran World Team on Monday, punching their tickets to Livorno, Italy in October to represent the United States at the world’s premier event for athletes ages 50 and older.
Teams were announced for the men’s épée and women’s foil squads with each being led by past Vet World medalists.
Walter Dragonetti (Las Vegas, Nev.) earned the chance to defend his 2017 Vet World title in the 60-69 épée event when he won his second National Championship in the age category and fifth straight national event gold medal.
Although Dragonetti finished 4-2 in pools, he won the next five direct elimination bouts by margins of three touches or greater.
“I had a really bad pool. I lost two bouts, but once DEs started, things really started cooking and I just relaxed and fenced,” Dragonetti said. “I just kept fencing and thinking about how I’m going to score the next touch.”
In the finals, Dragonetti faced James Mase (Nipomo, Calif.) – a D-rated fencer whose best finish in the event was 30th at the 2017 Nationals. Despite being an unknown to many of his competitors, Mase came in as the No. 1 seed after pools with wins over former Vet World medalists Jere Bothelio (San Jose, Calif.) and Daryl Taylor (Los Angeles, Calif.) in the quarter and semifinals.
Up, 5-3, at the break, Dragonetti finished the bout with a 10-6 win in the second.
“I’ve never seen him before, but they told me he was having a good day and I just respected him enough to beat him,” Dragonetti said.
When the 61 year old returns to the Vet Worlds, he will be attempting to add a third individual title to his resume after winning gold in the 50-59 event in 2009 and the 60-69 competition in 2017.
“Winning last year was like chasing the high again,” Dragonetti said. “So now we’re gonna chase it again – one more time as best we can.”
Dragonetti will be joined on the team by Taylor who won bronze in St. Louis as well as former Vet World Team members Evan Ranes (Henderson, Nev.) and Frank Van Dyke (Las Vegas) – both of whom finished in the top 32 in St. Louis, but medaled on the North American Cup earlier this season with Ranes winning bronze in December and Van Dyke taking bronze in April.
Two members of the 1992 U.S. Olympic Fencing Team qualified to represent Team USA at the Vet Worlds in the 50-59 men’s épée event. Jon Normile (Millburn, N.J.) and Chris O’Loughlin (Jersey City, N.J.) each earned positions on the Vet World Team with Normile also earning his first National Championship title as a vet fencer. Normile, who also won gold at the April NAC, drew his teammate in the table of 16, winning the bout, 10-9, to advance. Despite the loss, O’Loughlin qualified for the team via a pair of bronze medal finishes at the first two NACs of the season. Normile went on to take the gold with a 10-6 win over Sergey Suponya (East Brunswick, N.J.) in the finals. Sean Ameli (Las Vegas, Nev.) earned a fifth-place result to qualify for his fifth Vet World Team. A gold medalist at the December NAC, John Varney (Issaquah, Wash.) also earned a position on Team USA.
In the veteran +70 men’s épée competition, 2016 Veteran World Champion Arnold Messing (Brooklyn, N.Y.) won his third National Championship title, defeating Gerald Duffy (Portsmouth, N.H.) by a 10-5 score, but fell short of qualifying for a ninth Veteran World Team appearance due to two top-eight finishes in the first two NACs of the season.
Fifth-place finisher Dwain Blakley (Houston, Texas) earned the first position on the team after gold and bronze medal finishes in the first two NACs of the season. Frank Hewitt (Jamul, Calif.) also earned gold and bronze finishes on the NAC circuit earlier this season. Although he finished ninth in St. Louis, he still retained the No. 2 position in the team standings to return to the Vet Worlds where he seeks to return to the podium after a bronze medal finish in 2016. Thomas Bronzo (Trinidad, Calif.) also placed in the top 16, but qualified for Team USA with a silver and bronze medal finish at the NACs. A gold medalist in the team event in 2017, Bruno Goossens (Jacksonville, Ore.) qualified for his third Vet World Team after taking bronze in St. Louis and finishing second at the April NAC to move from No. 11 to No. 4 in the National Team Point Standings.
A three-time Senior World Team member and three-time NCAA All-American, Jane Carter (Bedford, Mass.) qualified for her second straight team since moving into the 50-59 age category last year. Carter won a silver medal in her debut at the Vet Worlds in 2017 and returning to the squad was her mission this year, but her first Veteran National Championship title was made sweeter as it served as an opportunity to honor her mother who had supported Carter throughout a fencing career that has spanned four decades.
“It was great to finish against Lynn [Botelho] because last year I lost to her in the gold medal bout, so to beat her today felt really good. That last bout was really the best one of the day,” said Carter who dominated the final for a 10-2 win. “More importantly, my mom died in April and so it was a nice little way to say, ‘thanks for everything mom.’”
Botelho (Indiana, Pa.) also would qualify for the Vet World Team – her seventh straight with a bronze medal finish in 2016.
Georgina Love (Ft. Pierce, Fla.) will return to the team after making her debut in 2016. Love nearly upset Carter in the quarter-finals, leading the bout, 9-7, before Carter fought back for the 10-9 win.
“That was my toughest bout of the day,” Carter said. I had to just calm down. I was spazzing; I was all over the place and couldn’t hit anything. And then I just calmed down, kept my point on.”
Fifth-place finisher Margaret Fagan (New York City, N.Y.) will fence on her second Vet World Team with Botelho and Carter after winning gold in the team event with Carter as a member of the 2017 squad.
Jennette Starks-Faulkner (Middletown, Conn.) earned her third straight National Championship title as a 60-69 foil fencer to claim the top spot on this year’s Vet World Team and the chance to earn her third career individual World title. Starks-Faulkner defeated her 2017 teammate, Suzanne Brown Marx (Portland, Ore.), 10-2, in the final. Marx, who took silver, also earned a position on the team. Bronze medalist Jude Offerle (Winnetka, Ill.) will return to the team as well after also taking bronze at the 2017 Vet Worlds. Anne-Marie Walters (Parkland, Fla.) earned a top-eight result in St. Louis and will qualify for a 13th straight Vet World Team in women’s foil. Walters won gold at the 2015 Vet Worlds and will be seeking a return to the podium in Livorno.
A member of the Vet World Team as a 60-69 fencer in 2011, 2012 and 2013, Joanne Stevens (New York City, N.Y.) moved up to the +70 event and qualified in her opening year, taking the National Championship gold and a position on the team in her new age category after a 10-7 final win over Gemin Channing (Frederick, Md.) Summer Nationals bronze medalist Susan Hurst (San Diego, Calif.) will return to the team after taking silver at the 2016 Vet Worlds. Diane Reckling (White Plains, N.Y.) placed sixth to hold a position on her eighth Vet World Team. Pat Bedrosian (Malibu, Calif.) did not compete in St. Louis, but her gold and bronze medal finishes early in the season gave her a spot on her 19th Vet World Team with four individual podium finishes across the foil and épée weapons.
In the veteran 40-49 events, which are not contested at the Vet Worlds, Julie Seal (Eagle Mountain, Utah) and Josue Ortega (Fort Worth, Texas) won the women’s foil and men’s épée titles, respectively.
Seal, a two-time Pan Am Games medalist, won her eighth straight veteran gold medal on the national event circuit, defending her 2017 National Championship title with a 10-3 final win over Claire Lee (Indianapolis, Ind.)
Ortega represented Mexico in modern pentathlon at the 1992 Olympic Games and won his first USA Fencing National title in the men’s épée event in St. Louis. Ortega took on former Columbia University fencer Noah Zucker (Hoboken, N.J.) in the finals, winning the bout, 10-8.
In the cadet events at the July Challenge, foreign fencers claimed the gold medals with Jessica Zi Jia Guo (CAN) and Howard Zhao (CHN) taking the women’s foil and men’s épée titles, respectively.
A bronze medalist at the 2018 Junior Pan Ams, Guo defeated Nicole Pustilnik (San Diego, Calif.), 15-10, in the gold medal final.
In the cadet men’s épée event, Ethan Kushnerik (Brooklyn, N.Y.) led the bout at 14-12 with four seconds on the clock, but Zhao launched himself down the strip for two singles to tie the bout with one second remaining. With the momentum on his side, Zhao scored first in overtime to win the bout, 15-14.
A pair of 17 year olds won the Division IA titles awarded in St. Louis on Monday.
Nathan Wriedt (South Beloit, Ill.) made his first-ever national medal a gold with his Division IA National Championship title win in the men’s foil event, defeating Bin Huang (Concord, Mass.), 15-14, in the finals.
A two-time medalist on the cadet national circuit this season, Sydney Hirsch (Woodbridge, N.J.) won her first National Championship title with a 15-7 final victory over Stephanie Cao (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.)
At just 13 years old, Surya Sakhamuri (Sharon, Mass.) has already fenced at four Summer Nationals, claiming the Y14 men’s saber gold in St. Louis. Seeded 12th at the start of the tournament, Sakhamuri made it through to the finals and reached the top of the podium after a 15-12 win against Nolan Williams (Watchung, N.J.)
Visit www.usafencingresults.com for complete results.
Top eight and U.S. results are as follows:
Veteran 40-49 Men’s Épée National Championships
1. Josue Ortega (Fort Worth, Texas)
2. Noah Zucker (Hoboken, N.J.)
3. Jonathan Bartlett (Westwood, N.J.)
3. Travis Exum (Renton, Wash.)
5. Keith Lichten (Oakland, Calif.)
6. Tobias Lee (Tacoma, Wash.)
7. Jorge Gana (Colts Neck, N.J.)
8. Daniel Wheeler (Gaithersburg, Md.)
Veteran 50-59 Men’s Épée National Championships
1. Jon Normile (Millburn, N.J.)
2. Sergey Suponya (East Brunswick, N.J.)
3. Velizar Iliev (San Antonio, Texas)
3. David Jensen (Sierra Madre, Calif.)
5. Sean Ameli (Las Vegas, Nev.)
6. Patric Wallace (Sag Harbor, N.Y.)
7. Earl Hergert (Branchburg, N.J.)
8. Rick Watrall (Mahwah, N.J.)
Veteran 60-69 Men’s Épée National Championships
1. Walter Dragonetti (Las Vegas, Nev.)
2. James Mase (Nipomo, Calif.)
3. Daryl Taylor (Los Angeles, Calif.)
3. James Newsome (Virginia Beach, Va.)
5. James Beihold (Glendale, Calif.)
6. Donald Watson (Vail, Colo.)
7. Jim Neale (Yorktown Heights, N.Y.)
8. Jere Bothelio (San Jose, Calif.)
Veteran +70 Men’s Épée National Championships
1. Arnold Messing (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
2. Gerald Duffy (Portsmouth, N.H.)
3. Bruno Goossens (Jacksonville, Ore.)
3. Rinaldo Campana Sr. (McLean, Va.)
5. Dwain Blakley (Houston, Texas)
6. Theodore Pary (Highland, Md.)
7. Mark Henry (Potomac, Md.)
8. Irv Schwary (Metairie, La.)
Veteran 40-49 Women’s Foil National Championships
1. Julie Seal (Eagle Mountain, Utah)
2. Claire Lee (Indianapolis, Ind.)
3. Ann Totemeier (Boulder, Colo.)
3. Lesley Chapman (Madison, N.Y.)
5. Celine de la Foscade-Condon (Charlestown, Mass.)
6. Nadia Dreyer (Fairfax, Va.)
7. Melissa Woundy (Beacon Falls, Conn.)
8. Sara Nash (Oreland, Pa.)
Veteran 50-59 Women’s Foil National Championships
1. Jane Carter (Bedford, Mass.)
2. Lynn Botelho (Indiana, Pa.)
3. Suparna Vashisht (Monte Sereno, Calif.)
3. Rachel Brown (Chicago, Ill.)
5. Margaret Fagan (New York City, N.Y.)
6. Jeannine Prokop (Herndon, Va.)
7. Georgina Love (Ft. Pierce, Fla.)
8. Diane Ferguson (Rockville, Md.)
Veteran 60-69 Women’s Foil National Championships
1. Jennette Starks-Faulkner (Middletown, Conn.)
2. Suzanne Brown Marx (Portland, Ore.)
3. Jude Offerle (Winnetka, Ill.)
3. Sharone Huey (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
5. Nora Gutkovskaya (Fair Lawn, N.J.)
6. Anne-Marie Walters (Parkland, Fla.)
7. Kathleen Hermes (Guilford, Conn.)
8. Lynette Whitt (Owings, Md.)
Veteran +70 Women’s Foil National Championships
1. Joanne Stevens (New York City, N.Y.)
2. Gemin Channing (Frederick, Md.)
3. Susan Hurst (San Diego, Calif.)
3. Linda Nowell (El Sobrante, Calif.)
5. Marsha Reichman (Bethesda, Md.)
6. Diane Reckling (White Plains, N.Y.)
7. Bettie Graham (Washington, D.C.)
8. Judith Evans (Greenwich, Conn.)
Cadet Women’s Foil July Challenge
1. Jessica Zi Jia Guo (CAN)
2. Nicole Pustilnik (San Diego, Calif.)
3. Zander Rhodes (South Orange, N.J.)
3. Katina Proestakis (CHI)
5. Yejine Lee (North Vale, N.J.)
6. Genevieve Clarke (IRL)
7. Justina Lam (Cherry Hill, N.J.)
8. Grace Li (Newton, Mass.)
Division IA Men’s Foil National Championships
1. Nathan Wriedt (South Beloit, Ill.)
2. Bin Huang (Concord, Mass.)
3. Joseph Choo (Las Vegas, Nev.)
3. Brian Park (Englewood, N.J.)
5. Benjamin Parkins (Austin, Texas)
6. Jake Hempe (Coram, N.Y.)
7. Andrew Grass (Burke, Va.)
8. Evan Dobbins (Branfield, Conn.)
Division IA Women’s Saber National Championships
1. Sydney Hirsch (Woodbridge, Conn.)
2. Stephanie Cao (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.)
3. Alexis Browne (New York City, N.Y.)
3. Kelli Wozniak (State College, Pa.)
5. Joy Yun (Portland, Ore.)
6. Casey Chan (Cresskill, N.J.)
7. Erin Chen (Lumberton, N.J.)
8. Alexandra Gorman (Wellesley, Mass.)
Y14 Men’s Saber National Championships
1. Surya Sakhamuri (Sharon, Mass.)
2. Nolan Williams (Watchung, N.J.)
3. Hyunseok Choi (Watertown, Mass.)
3. Lukas Dannull (Durham, N.C.)
5. Ronald Anglade (Alpharetta, Ga.)
6. Grant Dodrill (Boca Raton, Fla.)
7. Braydon Bolton (Chandler, Ariz.)
8. Camden Droz (Davie, Fla.)
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