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U.S. Wheelchair Fencing Team to Compete at Americas Championships, Sept. 14-16

09/10/2018, 3:15am CDT
By Nicole Jomantas

(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – Nine members of Team USA will compete against the best wheelchair fencers in North and South America from Sept. 14-16 in Saskatoon, Canada at the Americas Championships.

The three-day event will give athletes the opportunity to earn World Ranking points before the qualification period for the 2020 Paralympic Games begins on Nov. 1.

Led by two-time Paralympian Joey Brinson (Florence, Miss.), the team also includes two past Wheelchair World Team members in Ellen Geddes (Johnston, S.C.) and Patricia Dykes (Gulf Breeze, Fla.)

Brinson, Geddes and Dykes each competed at the last Americas Championships in Sao Paulo, Brazil in 2016 which served as the final qualifier for the Rio Paralympic Games.

Brinson brought home silver in the Category B men’s saber event. Geddes and Dykes earned top-eight results in both the Cat A women’s epee and foil competitions.

Geddes, who has always competed as a Cat B athlete, fenced into the A event for athletes with less severe disabilities at the 2016 Americas Cup in order to qualify for Rio as the tournament didn’t contest Cat B for women that year.

In Saskatoon, Geddes will return to the Cat B events for foil and epee. Dykes will fence Cat A foil and saber – the latter event being a new addition to the Paralympic Games for the first time in 2020.

Shelby Jensen (Salt Lake City, Utah), Timothy Volkers (Holland, Mich.) and Victoria Isaacson (Poughkeepsie, N.Y.) each made debuts on the international circuit earlier this year with top-16 results at the Montreal World Cup in April.

Richard Swauger (Logan, Ohio) fenced in his first World Cup in Warsaw while Terry Hayes (North Fort Myers, Fla.) and Byron Branch (Bellbrook, Ohio) each will fence in an international event for the first time.

Hayes placed in the top eight at the Wheelchair National Championships in April. Branch, a former A-rated foil fencer, will be competing in a wheelchair for the first time since being hit by a car while on duty as a police officer shortly before Christmas in 2016.

Competition schedule is as follows:

Friday, Sept. 14
Men’s Category A and B Saber
Women’s Category A and B Epee

Saturday, Sept. 15
Women’s Category A and B Foil
Men’s Category A and B Epee
Men's Team Epee

Sunday, Sept. 16
Men’s Category A and B Foil
Women’s Category A and B Saber
Women’s Team Saber

Delegation roster is as follows:

Head Coach
Mickey Zeljkovic (Philadelphia, Pa.)

Team Manager
Ginny Boydston (Jackson, Miss.)

Women’s Category A Epee
Victoria Isaacson (Poughkeepsie, N.Y.)
Shelby Jensen (Salt Lake City, Utah)

Men’s Category B Epee
Timothy Volkers (Holland, Mich.)

Women’s Category B Epee
Ellen Geddes (Johnston, S.C.)

Men’s Category A Foil
Byron Branch (Bellbrook, Ohio)

Women’s Category A Foil
Patricia Dykes (Gulf Breeze, Fla.)
Victoria Isaacson (Poughkeepsie, N.Y.)
Shelby Jensen (Salt Lake City, Utah)

Men’s Category B Foil
Joey Brinson (Florence, Miss.)

Women’s Category B Foil
Terry Hayes (North Fort Myers, Fla.)

Men’s Category A Saber
Rick Swauger (Logan, Ohio)

Women’s Category A Saber
Patricia Dykes (Gulf Breeze, Fla.)
Victoria Isaacson (Poughkeepsie, N.Y.)
Shelby Jensen (Salt Lake City, Utah)

Men’s Category B Saber
Joey Brinson (Florence, Miss.)

Women’s Category B Saber
Terry Hayes (North Fort Myers, Fla.)

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