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Pan Am Youth and Veteran Championships to Begin on Wednesday

08/19/2018, 8:00pm CDT
By Nicole Jomantas

The Pan Am Youth and Vet Championships will be held in San Salvador, El Salvador.

(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – Thirty-seven athletes ranging in age from nine to 72 will compete for five days at the Pan American Youth and Veteran Championships in San Salvador, El Salvador beginning on Wednesday.

Featuring athletes from throughout North and South America, the Pan Ams will include the following age categories: Youth A (8-9), Youth B (10-11), Pre-Cadet (12-13), Pre-Veteran (40-49), Veteran 1 (50-59) and Veteran 2 (60+).

Pre-cadet fencer Carter Berrio (Lighthouse Point, Fla.) may be just 11 years old, but will come in as one of the most experienced fencers in the younger age categories as a gold medalist as a saber fencer at the last two Pan Am Youth Championships who will be moving up to the Pre-Cadet event this year.

The veteran events are highlighted by five past Pan Am Vet Champions.

Vincent Paragano (Bernardsville, N.J.) is the two-time reigning Veteran 2 Men’s Saber Champion who will be returning for his chance at a third straight title. Paragano also will compete in the Vet 2 men’s foil event where he will come up against Alan Buchwald (Carmel, Calif.) – a two-time Pan Am Vet Champion who won bronze last year. The Veteran 2 men’s foil field also includes Robert Mones (North Charleson, S.C.) who will be fencing both the foil competition where he won bronze in 2017 and the epee event where he is the reigning Pan Am Champion.  

The Veteran 1 women’s saber field will include both of the finalists from the 2017 Pan Ams as gold medalist Mary Wilkerson (Denver, Colo.) and silver medalist Angela Diegel (New York City, N.Y.) return to action.  

A 2016 Vet 1 women’s foil bronze medalist, Alessandra Brunelli (Bluffton, S.C.) missed the podium in 2017, but will seek to avenge her losses in both the epee and foil events.

The Veteran 2 women’s events include five past medalists. Gladys Berardi (Long Valley, N.J.) comes in as the reigning gold medalist in epee and silver medalist in saber with S.S. Rachel El-Saleh (Houston, Texas) holding bronze medalists in epee, foil and saber from the 2017 tournament. Teammate Esperanza Alzona (Frederick, Md.) also winning saber bronze in 2017. Their teammate, Dede Deane (Richmond, Va.), finished fifth in Vet 2 women’s saber last year, but fenced up to the Vet 1 event and won bronze. Karen Brynildsen (Denville, N.J.), medalist in epee and saber at the 2015 Pan Ams, will fence in both events in San Salvador.

In the Veteran 1 men’s events, six-time Vet World Team member Jamie Douraghy (Los Angeles, Calif.) is among the top candidates for gold after winning silver in his Pan Am debut in 2013 while Chris Balestracci (Guilford, Conn.) will fence both foil and epee after winning bronze in epee at the 2016 Pan Ams.

After winning bronze in the Pre-Veteran saber and foil events in 2017, Rolando Balboa (Brooklyn, N.Y.) will fence in the Pre-Vet foil event this year.  

Competition schedule is as follows:

Wednesday, Aug. 22
Pre-Cadet Men’s Foil
Veteran 1 Men’s Saber
Veteran 2 Women’s Foil
Pre-Veteran Men’s Foil
Pre-Veteran Women’s Epee

Thursday, Aug. 23
Youth A Women’s Foil
Youth B Men’s Epee
Pre-Cadet Women’s Foil
Pre-Veteran Men’s Saber
Pre-Veteran Women’s Foil
Veteran 1 Women’s Foil
Veteran 2 Men’s Saber

Friday, Aug. 24
Youth A Men’s Saber
Youth B Women’s Foil
Pre-Cadet Men’s Epee
Veteran 1 Men’s Foil
Veteran 2 Men’s Epee
Veteran 1 Women’s Saber
Veteran 2 Women’s Epee

Saturday, Aug. 25
Youth A Women’s Epee
Youth B Men’s Saber
Pre-Cadet Women’s Epee
Pre-Cadet Men’s Saber
Pre-Veteran Men’s Epee
Pre-Veteran Women’s Saber
Youth A Women’s Saber
Youth B Men’s Foil

Sunday, Aug. 26
Youth A Men’s Foil
Youth B Women’s Epee
Pre-Cadet Women’s Saber
Veteran 1 Men’s Epee
Veteran 2 Women’s Saber
Veteran 2 Men’s Foil
Veteran 1 Women’s Epee

Team roster is as follows:

Veteran 2 Men’s Epee
Robert Mones (North Charleston, S.C.)
Vincent Paragano (Bernardsville, N.J.)
Michael Vitoux (Champaign, Ill.)

Veteran 2 Women’s Epee
Esperanza Alzona (Frederick, Md.)
Gladys Berardi (Long Valley, N.J.)
Karen Brynildsen (Denville, N.J.)
S.S. Rachel El-Saleh (Houston, Texas)

Veteran 2 Men’s Foil
Alan Buchwald (Carmel, Calif.)
Robert Mones (North Charleston, S.C.)
Vincent Paragano (Bernardsville, N.J.)

Veteran 2 Women’s Foil
Esperanza Alzona (Frederick, Md.)
Gladys Berardi (Long Valley, N.J.)
S.S. Rachel El-Saleh (Houston, Texas)

Veteran 2 Men’s Saber
Vincent Paragano (Bernardsville, N.J.)
Michael Vitoux (Champaign, Ill.)

Veteran 2 Women’s Saber
Esperanza Alzona (Frederick, Md.)
Gladys Berardi (Long Valley, N.J.)
Karen Brynildsen (Denville, N.J.)
Dede Deane (Richmond, Va.)
S.S. Rachel El-Saleh (Houston, Texas)

Veteran 1 Men’s Epee
Chris Balestracci (Guilford, Conn.)
David Hueske (Charleston, S.C.)
Thomas Mahnken (Springfield, Va.)

Veteran 1 Women’s Epee
Alessandra Brunelli (Bluffton, S.C.)
Linda Groce (Highland Park, Ill.)

Veteran 1 Men’s Foil
Chris Balestracci (Guilford, Conn.)
Ray Blair (Naples, Fla.)
Jamie Douraghy (Los Angeles, Calif.)
David Hueske (Charleston, S.C.)
Thomas Mahnken (Springfield, Va.)

Veteran 1 Women’s Foil
Alessandra Brunelli (Bluffton, S.C.)

Veteran 1 Men's Saber
Ray Blair (Naples, Fla.)

Veteran 1 Women’s Saber
Mary Wilkerson (Denver, Colo.)
Angela Diegel (New York City, N.Y.)

Pre-Veteran Women’s Epee
Teodora Stanica (Fremont, Calif.)

Pre-Veteran Men’s Foil
Rolando Balboa (Brooklyn, N.Y.)

Pre-Veteran Women’s Foil
Teodora Stanica (Fremont, Calif.)

Pre-Cadet Men’s Epee
Ian Dyer (Riverside, R.I.)

Pre-Cadet Women’s Epee
Olivia Daniel (Sierra Madre, Calif.)

Pre-Cadet Women’s Foil
Arianna Cao (San Jose, Calif.)
Erika Castaneda (Clyde Hill, Wash.)
Cameron Cho (Yorba Linda, Calif.)
Gracie Cho (Hillsborough, Calif.)
Eden De La Cruz (Chino Hills, Calif.)
Zelia Newhard (Houston, Texas)

Pre-Cadet Men’s Saber
Carter Berrio (Lighthouse Point, Fla.)
Colin Chang (Coto De Caza, Calif.)
GIan Dhingra (Laguna Hills, Calif.)
Will Ryan (Denver, Colo.)

Pre-Cadet Women’s Saber
Alexandra Lee (San Francisco, Calif.)

Youth B Men’s Epee
Carlos Alexander Romero Kuri (Orlando, Fla.)

Youth B Men’s Foil
Jackson Richards (Albuquerque, N.M.)

Youth B Men’s Saber
Gabriel McCarthy (New York City, N.Y.)
Jackson Richards (Albuquerque, N.M.)

Youth A Men’s Foil
Andy Xu (New York City, N.Y.)

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