The first North American Cup of the season will be in Kansas City, Missouri. The competition will feature the Nation’s best fencers as they compete for Olympic Qualification points. Here is an analysis of the top athletes competing in each event.
In Men’s Saber the top Athletes will be Daryl Homer, Tim Morehouse, James Williams, and Ben Igoe. All four are members of the United States Senior National Team, and all have enough experience to garner a gold at the event. The winner will come down to a combination of luck, experience, confidence, and courage.
Members of St. John's Saber Team Anna Limbah, Martina Wieczorek, Alex Tannous
In Women’s Saber the top competitors include St. John’s own Anna Limbach, alumni Dora Varga. They will be joined by Ibtihaj Muhammad, and Daria Schnieder who also have enough experience and skill to challenge them for the podium. I am picking one of the St. John’s girls for gold, because I know how competitive and skilled they are in these competitions.
In Men’s Epee we have a few St. John’s athletes competing. Most notably we have Nick Vomero and alumn Benjamin Bratton. While a finish on the podium is a bit of a stretch for Vomero, it is totally possible for Ben Bratton. Bratton is a multiple time Senior National Team member, and his tenacity and competitiveness make him a home town favorite. I wish both of our athletes the best of luck.
In women’s epee, and women’s foil St. John’s has no real medal hopes since. Our athletes are foreign and neither will be attending the North American Cup. However in Men’s foil we have quite a few athletes who are going to be in Kansas. Most Notably Max Blitzer, and Eli Schenkel who both finished undefeated at the Brandeis invitational! We wish all of the St. John’s and National Team Athletes the best of luck at their endeavors at this competition!
Members of the St. John's Fencing Team at the Brandeis University Meet
This St. John’s Red Storm has returned from the 2011 Brandeis Invitational. The Red Storm put in an even more dominating performance than it has in previous years. Numerous Red Storm athletes banked in undefeated performances. Many also showed huge gains over their success in the past years meet.
Fencing without Daryl Homer, who has chosen to take a year off to make the Olympic Games, the St. John’s Men’s Saber Team put on a great show. Sean Buckely (14-1) described his result as, “I am really satisfied with this meet. I wasn’t sure how our team would be able to respond without Dagmara and Daryl. It’s great to see us working together, we are going for the gold this year”. Alejandro Rojas also turned in a 14-1 performance. Overall the Men’s Saber Team went undefeated winning all of their meets.
We are St. John's
The worst result is the Women’s Epee tournament was 3 losses. As a unit the girls went undefeated against all of their counterparts. Zsofia Fath was undefeated, Alina Ferdman lost 1 match, and Isis Washington lost three. This is a huge improvement for the girls who won 12 and 11 matches respectively at NCAA. In Women’s foil our girls continued to dominate as myself, Irina Koroleva, and Melissa Corona won all of our meets. This was particularly satisfying for Irina and myself because we finally had a strong third fencer. Men’s Epee featured the usual dominating performance from Senior Marat Israelian. Not only has Marat recovered well from his injury, but he appears to be in the best shape of his life! We are all extremely excited to see his health improve. Overall St. john’s seems to be on the right path to an NCAA Championship. We have finally filled a lot of wholes, and appear to have crossed the mental barriers needed for Greatness.
rina Koroleva, Evgeniya Kirpicheva and Alanna Dunn
Irina Koroleva (STU) against Rada Sarkisova (ND)
Members of St. John's Fencing Team
The St. John’s Red Storm are getting ready for the annual Brandeis Fencing Meet. The Meet is held at Brandeis University in Boston, and will feature some of St. John’s most heralded Fencing Athletes. The Red Storm will have big shoes to fill, after last year’s dominating performance at the invitational.
Last year the Men’s and Women’s Saber Team finished undefeated at Brandeis. Junior Daryl Homer turned in a strong performance going 10-0. He dominated the athletes from the other school with a 50-10 point spread. Backing up Homer were; Sean Buckely, and Alejandro Rojas. Both Rojas and Buckely also turned in dominating performances, with Buckely finishing 13-3, and Rojas 12-4. The Women’s squad was lead by no one other than 2008 Olympian Dagamara Wozniak. It seemed that Homer and Wozniak were determined to make a competition out of the meet, as she went 11-0. Wozniak outscored her opponents with ease, and was a strong support for the entire women’s squad. Helping Wozniak were Alexandra Tannous, and Anna Limbach. Both of them showed solid fencing, but didn’t manage to dominate the way Wozniak did.
St. john's Foil Team
The Men and Women’s foil also did great. Men’s Epee featured NCAA Champion Marat Israelian, and 5th Place finished Nick Vomero. Both turned in dominating result. Nothing less was expected for either of them. We hope this year’s meet will bring St. John’s the glory, and results that last year did! Lets go Red Storm!
US Fencing national team Member Daryl Homer
The 2011 Fencing World Championship was held in Catania, Italy from October 8th to 16th.
The New York based Men’s Saber Team turned in their best performance of the season. The team secured an 8th place finish losing to #1 ranked Italy 45-42 and #3 ranked Romania 45-41. The team all bust shored up it’s rode to Catania. Leading Team USA was 21 years old Daryl Homer, competing in his third Senior World Champion. Although, the youngest on the team, Daryl was able to lead Team USA to victory, and showed the best overall statistics of all of his teammates. Unfortunately the US Men’s Saber didn’t do as well as they had hoped in the individual event. All of them succumbed to pressure and fell in the first round.
The US Women’s Foil team featured a surprise individual result! 17 years old Lee Keifer medaled at her third Senior World Championships, leaving everyone in awe. Coming into the tournament no one expected much from the young athlete, however she defied all odds. Keifer became the youngest woman ever to win a Senior World Championship medal. Her performance paced Team USA and lead to her qualification to the Olympic Games. The other foil girls turned in average performances.
Bronze Medalist of the 2011 Fencing World Championship Alex Kiefer
In woman’s sabre 2x Olympic Champion Mariel Zagunis made her way to the gold medal bout against a familiar opponent. Leading 13-6 Zagunis suddenly had a windfall and lost the bout 15-14. Zagunis disagreed with numerous calls, and may have let her anger get the best of her, however her silver medal is still a great results for herself and US Fencing. We are happy with her consistency and dedication, and all know that she will win a Gold Medal in London!
2008 Olympian Dagmara Wozniak is making at run at the 2012 Olympic Games. Wozniak grew up in New Jersey, and immigrated to the United States from Poland at a young age. She is one of the futures of US Fencing, and is currently in her Senior Year at St. John’s University.
Woznaik has reached the pinnacle of an athletic career. She is a National Champion, NCAA Medalist, Olympian, and multiple times World Championship medalist. She is also a stellar student majoring in Biology, and hoping to become a physical therapist. Wozniak’s path to this Olympic Games will be harder than ever. In 2008, Wozniak qualified for the Olympic Games as a reserve athlete. Although she had helped the team qualify throughout the season, at the games she was forced to sit on the bench in case anyone got hurt. Her team finished 3rd meaning that Wozniak should have indeed gotten a medal, however because of bureaucracy she didn’t.
This time around Wozniak must qualify individually for a spot at the games. This is much harder than qualifying as a team. Wozniak must be ranked in the top 16 of the World Rankings in order to earn herself a spot at the games. No doubt her experience from Beijing will help her in her attempts to qualify for these games. Currently Wozniak is ranked 12thin the World with about three competition remaining for the Olympic Team. She certainly stands a great chance of going to the Games, and I’m sure we are all excited to hear the outcome! We all wish Dagmara Luck and will keep our fingers crossed as she enters the final period of qualification.
2008 Olympian Dagmara Wozniak and her coach Yury Gelman
Dagmara Wozniak during practice at the Manhattan Fencing Center