Belgrade Junior World Cup Champions Isaac Herbst, Jonathan Piskovatskov, Cedric Mecke and Stephen Ewart with Coach Sergey Danilov (center).
(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – The Junior Men’s Épée Team made history at the Belgrade Junior World Cup this past weekend, winning its first team title and medaling at two Junior World Cups in a season for the first time.
After earning silver in November in Riga, the men’s épée squad has medaled at both Junior World Cup team events it’s competed in this season. The final World Cup team competition will take place Feb. 17 in Basel, Switzerland.
Stephen Ewart (Lancaster, Calif.), Isaac Herbst (Houston, Texas), Cedric Mecke (New York, N.Y.) and Jonathan Piskovatskov (Houston, Texas) entered the competition as the eighth seed but went 5-0 on the day.
The squad didn’t drop a bout against Belarus in the table of 32 with all four members tallying a positive indicator for a 45-25 victory.
In the table of 16, Team USA edged out Norway, 41-39. The United States built a 15-5 lead after three rounds, but Norway won the next four to take a 30-27 advantage. Piskovatskov closed the gap to one going into the final bout, where Ewart anchored the squad to a 9-6 victory and a place in the quarter-finals.
Fencing top-ranked Hungary, Team USA fell behind early. Down one going into the fourth bout, Piskovatskov earned an 8-3 win to give his team a 20-16 advantage. Hungary won three of the final five bouts, but Team USA held on to move into the medal rounds, 45-42.
Team USA clinched a spot in the final with a 45-36 win over Russia in the semifinals. After losing the first bout, Ewart tied the score at 10 at the end of the second and the United States won three of the next four rounds for a 30-21 lead – a lead it would not relinquish. Ewart tallied a +7 indicator on the match.
In the gold medal match, Team USA faced Italy, which included three Cadet World Championship medalists.
Back and forth early on against Italy, Herbst secured the seventh bout, 8-3, to turn a one-point deficit for Team USA into a 28-24 lead. Piskovatskov expanded the lead to six going into the final bout, and Ewart held off back-to-back reigning Cadet World Champion Davide Di Veroli for a one-point victory, 45-44.
In the individual competition, a pair of Cadet World medalists claimed the top results for Team USA.
The Cadet World bronze medalist in 2016, Adrien Thein-Sandler (Topanga, Calif.) earned a career-best seventh place result.
Going 4-2 in pools, Thein-Sandler secured a bye to the table of 128, where he picked up a quick 15-8 victory over Karol Noganowicz (POL).
With a 15-12 win over Issa Bayram (FRA), the Harvard sophomore qualified into the table of 32 at a Junior World Cup for the first time in his career.
After besting Samuel Jubault (FRA), 15-8, Thein-Sandler overcame Francesco Leone (ITA), 15-12. One win shy of a medal, Thein-Sandler faced 2018 Junior World medalist Mate Tamas Koch (HUN), coming up short, 15-9.
A Cadet World medalist in 2017, Piskovatskov earned a top-16 result.
With a 5-1 finish in pools, Piskovatskov also moved directly into the 128. He held his first two direct elimination opponents to single digits, cruising past Vladislav Kruhlov (UKR), 15-9, and Bence Balind (HUN), 15-7.
Piskovatskov defeated Jonathan Svensson (SWE), the bronze medalist at the Riga Junior World Cup earlier this season, 15-10, in the 32 before falling by the same score to 2016 Cadet World Champion Daniel De Mola (ITA).
Piskovatskov currently ranks first in the USA Fencing Junior Men’s Épée Team Point Standings with Ewart, who earned a top-64 result, behind him in second. With their results this past weekend, both have mathematically secured their positions on the Junior World Championship Team.
The remaining two members will be named at the Junior Olympic Championships this month. Thein-Sandler jumped into the third spot with his first top-eight result with Mecke and Herbst in fourth and fifth, respectively.
Click here to view complete results.
Top eight and U.S. results are as follows:
Belgrade Men’s Individual Épée Junior World Cup
1. Daniel De Mola (ITA)
2. Lilian Nguefack (FRA)
3. Davide di Veroli (ITA)
3. Mate Tamas Koch (HUN)
5. Marco Balzano (ITA)
6. Grigory Kochkin (RUS)
7. Adrien Thein-Sandler (Topanga, Calif.)
8. Simon Contrepois (FRA)
11. Jonathan Piskovatskov (Houston, Texas)
34. Cedric Mecke (New York, N.Y.)
44. Stephen Ewart (Lancaster, Calif.)
46. Mihir Kumashi (Houston, Texas)
49. Skyler Liverant (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
50. Ryan Griffiths (Fairlawn, N.J.)
58. Anton Chmut (Garden City, N.Y.)
96. Alan Temiryaev (Woodmere, N.Y.)
139. Justin Haddad (Bethesda, Md.)
140. Isaac Herbst (Houston, Texas)
171. Hugh Milam (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Belgrade Men’s Team Épée Junior World Cup
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