The USA Men's Epee fencing team defeated France, 44-37, in the gold medal match held Saturday in Kiev, Ukraine.
The Team USA members are Seth Kelsey, Soren Thompson, Ben Bratton and Cody Mattern and this medal marks the first gold in any men's team event in U.S. Fencing history.
On a weekend when the U.S. men’s epee and women’s sabre teams were excelling in Kiev, Ukraine, the men’s and women’s foil, women’s epee and men’s sabre teams for the London 2012 Olympic Games were finalized at the USA Fencing Division I National Championships in Virginia Beach, Va.
The men’s epee won gold and women’s sabre took bronze at the World Team Championships.
Courtney Hurley won the women’s epee championship in Virginia Beach and will lead the Olympic team for the London Games. Maya Lawrence and Susie Scanlan also had secured Olympic berths. Kelley Hurley, Courtney’s sister and a 2008 Olympian, finished second at the championships to gain the fourth spot as a replacement athlete that was still up for grabs.
In each discipline, a point ranking for events dating back to May 2011 and running through the championships determined the three athletes for individual and team events. The fourth athlete is available as an individual replacement and is eligible to compete in the team event. All nominations are subject to confirmation by the U.S. Olympic Committee.
“I had such a horrible season that it was really bringing me down,” Kelley Hurley said. “ … My sister being on it, it really kept me going.
“She really believed in me. She is what made me keep going. I would have given up a long time ago if it wasn’t for her.”
Miles Chamley-Watson gained the third spot in men’s individual foil while Gerek Meinhardt won the championship to make it as the replacement athlete.
Alexander Massialas, 17, and Race Imboden, 18, had already qualified for the team and sat out the competition Saturday while watching their teammates.
The women’s foil team is Lee Kiefer, Nzingha Prescod, Nicole Ross and replacement athlete Doris Willette.
Willette won the championships and Ross gained her spot by advancing to the semifinals.
The men’s sabre team will be Daryl Homer, Tim Morehouse, James Williams and Jeff Spear, who used the championships to wrap up the replacement spot.
The epee team gave the U.S. men their first ever FIE World Championships.
Soren Thompson and Seth Kelsey, who are already assured of Olympic nominations, were joined by 2004 Olympian Cody Mattern and four-time World Team member Ben Bratton for the gold-medal effort.
“Our biggest strength is that we have a very experienced team that has been fencing together for a while and really trusts each other’s abilities,” said Bratton, who at 26 is the team’s youngest member. “We work together in building strategies for each match and rarely deviate from the plans.”
The United States was down six points in the final before winning the final four bouts to pull out a 44-37 victory over France.
Two-time Olympic gold medalist Mariel Zagunis and Dagmara Wozniak, who are both qualified for the London 2012 Olympic Games, were part of the bronze medalist women’s sabre team along with Daria Schneider and Ibtihaj Muhammad.
The World Team Championships are held each quadrennium for the weapons that will not include team competitions at the Olympic Games that year.
The United States recovered from a two-goal, second-period deficit and had the lead before eventually falling to Canada, 5-4, in overtime at the IIHF Women’s World Championships Saturday night in Burlington, Vt.
“I’m extremely proud of how our kids battled out of a major hole that we were in against a really good team,” U.S. coach Katey Stone said. “We got ourselves in a position to win the game, but unfortunately it didn’t happen.”
Brianna Decker and Gigi Marvin scored in the final 3:17 of the second period to erase a 3-1 Canada lead. Marvin added her second straight power-play goal 2:57 into the third period, but Canada rallied to force overtime on its own power-play goal with 2:38 left in regulation.
Canada’s Caroline Ouellette scored 1:50 into overtime to decide the title.
Kelli Stack, who scored the first two goals in Friday’s 10-0 semifinal rout of Switzerland, was selected as the top forward of the tournament by the directorate. Monique Lamoureux-Kolls was the tournament’s top scorer with seven goals and seven assists.
Elsewhere, the United States remained unscored upon through three games in the IIHF Men’s Under-18 World Championship by beating the Czech Republic 5-0 Saturday and Denmark 4-0 Sunday.
Jason Hartmann, who competed twice in the U.S. Olympic Trials in marathon running, was the top American men’s finisher in the Boston Marathon held earlier today in fourth place. He finished in 2:14.31. Sheri Piers was the top American woman, finishing 10th in 2:41.55. U.S. Paralympian Shirley Reilly won the wheelchair race, beating defending champion Wakako Tschida of Japan in 1:36.36. Reilly was runner-up to Tschida last year in the race. Krige Schabort was the top American men’s wheelchair finisher in fifth (1:23.44).
The list of athletes with a chance to land spots in the London Olympic Games was reduced Thursday through Saturday at the Olympic Trials for Whitewater Slalom in Charlotte, N.C.
A total of 14 paddlers qualified for the national team and will move on to competition at the Canoe Slalom World Cup in Cardiff, Great Britain, June 8-10.
Points earned in Cardiff will help determine the five paddlers who will represent the United States in men’s and women’s kayak, men’s single canoe and men’s double canoe.
Scott Parsons moved closer to this third consecutive Olympic appearance by leading qualifying in men’s kayak. James Wade or Brett Heyl would have to finish in the top 20 and higher than Parsons at the World Cup in order to take the Olympic spot.
“It was a long, pressure-filled three days of racing and I am happy to come out of it with some good performances,” Parsons said. “I am now looking forward to preparing for the final stage in our Olympic selection process.”
Benn Fraker, a 2008 Olympian, had the two fastest runs in the one-man canoe Thursday. Casey Eichfeld and Zach Lokken will join him at the World Cup.
Eric Hurd-Jeff Larimer led qualifying in two-man canoe, followed by Devin McEwan-Eichfeld and Scott McCleskey-Dave Hepp.
Ashley Nee led women’s kayak qualifying and Colleen Hickey was first in women’s canoe, a non-Olympic event. Caroline Queen and Emily Jackson advanced by finishing second and third in kayak.
Each of the six U.S. divers at the FINA World Series event in Moscow had a hand in a medal. The team medaled in four events over the two-day event.
Troy Dumais and Kristian Ipsen teamed for the silver medal in men’s synchronized 3-meter Saturday.
David Boudia earned his second medal of the meet with a bronze in the men’s 10-meter. On Friday, Boudia had earned a silver medal with Nick McCrory in men’s synchronized 10-meter. Kelci Bryant and Abby Johnston took the bronze in the women’s 3-meter.
The World Series concludes April 20-21 in Tijuana, Mexico.
The United States won the men’s recurve team title while Brady Ellison won the men’s recurve individual gold in a World Cup event in Shanghai, China Saturday.
Jacob Wukie, Joe Fanchin and Ellison led the U.S. to a 225-220 victory over France in the final.
The men and women won gold in compound while the mixed team took silver, Reo Wilde claimed individual men’s gold and Diane Watson earned individual women’s bronze.
• Connor Fields escaped the closest photo finish in Supercross BMX history to win his third consecutive UCI BMX Supercross World Cup event Saturday in Randaberg, Norway. Alise Post earned a bronze while Arielle Martin was fifth in the women’s final. Fields also won the men’s time trial superfinal Friday.
• Gwen Jorgensen was fourth among women and Olympian Jarrod Shoemaker was 10th among the men Friday in the ITU World Triathlon Series event in Sydney.
• The U.S. women opened with an 8-4 win over Ireland Sunday at the World Senior Curling Championships in Copenhagen, Denmark.
The men lost their opener, 5-2, to Finland.
• The U.S. women’s field hockey team played to a 1-1 draw with India Friday and lost, 3-1, to New Zealand Saturday at the 4 Nations Tournament in Auckland, New Zealand. The U.S. went 0-2-1 in the first of two identical tournaments held back-to-back. The top two teams after round-robin play compete for the championship.
• Two teams from Pepperdine made it to the final of the USA Volleyball Beach Collegiate Challenge in Hermosa Beach, Calif. Caitlin Racich-Summer Ross defeated Lilla Frederick-Kim Hill, 21-14, 18-21, 16-14, in the gold division final.
• Catherine Green won the Women’s 10-meter Air Rifle when the National Junior Olympic Shooting Championships got underway in Colorado Springs.
• The Haydenettes, a synchronized skating team based in Lexington, Mass., placed third in the ISU World Synchronized Skating Championships, which were held in Goteborg, Sweden.
• Barbie Long, Nathan Chen and Lukas Kaugars won gold medals and Mariah Bell picked up a silver, all in their international debuts, at the Gardena Spring Trophy in Selva, Italy. Long had the top junior women’s score in the short program and free skate to win the title while Bell was second. Kaugars won the junior men’s title while Chen won novice men’s.
Story courtesy Red Line Editorial, Inc. Tom Robinson is a freelance contributor for teamusa.org. Material from various news services and press releases from National Governing Bodies was used to compile this report. This story was not subject to the approval of any National Governing Bodies.