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USA Fencing

USA Fencing Names National Team Staff for the 2012-2013 Season

Dec. 08, 2012, 11:18 p.m. (ET)

Ro Sobalvarro
U.S. Women's Epee Coach 
(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – USA Fencing is pleased to announce that six coaches have been selected to lead USA Fencing’s National Teams for the 2012-2013 season.

Each of these coaches brings a wealth of experience to his squad with five members of the staff returning to their positions following the London Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Ro Sobalvarro (St. Paul, Minn.), the U.S. Women’s Epee Team Coach, is returning to his role for after leading Team USA to a bronze medal in London – the first podium finish for the U.S. squad at the Olympic Games since women’s epee was introduced as an Olympic sport in 1996. In addition to being ranked fourth in the world, the women’s epee team also won its first World Cup medal – a silver in St. Maur – last season.

Women’s Saber Coach Ed Korfanty (Portland, Ore.) has been instrumental in building the United States into an international powerhouse during the last two quadrenniums. Under his guidance, Team USA has captured bronze medals at the 2011 and 2012 World Championships. Ranked second in the world as a team, the program also boasts two top-10 fencers in #1-ranked Mariel Zagunis (Beaverton, Ore.) and Dagmara Wozniak (Avenel, N.J.)

Amgad Khazbak (Lexington, Ky.) coached the U.S. Women’s Foil Team at the 2012 Games and will be returning for his third season. Khazbak’s personal student, Lee Kiefer (Lexington, Ky.) won bronze at the 2011 Senior World Championships and placed fifth in London. Kiefer is now ranked sixth in the world and the women’s foil team holds a #5 world ranking.

A three-time U.S. Olympian in men’s foil himself, Greg Massialas (San Francisco, Calif.) attended the 2008 Games as the personal coach of Gerek Meinhardt (San Francisco, Calif.) – the youngest Olympic fencer in Team USA’s history. Meinhardt went on to win bronze at the 2010 Senior World Championships and Massialas took the reins of the men’s foil program as a lead coach for the 2011-2012 season. In London, the U.S. Men’s Foil Team finished fourth and will begin the new season with a #4 world ranking. Two members of team USA, Race Imboden (Brooklyn, N.Y.) and Alexander Massialas (San Francisco, Calif.) now hold top-10 individual world rankings as well.

The head coach of the Cercle d’Escrime de Castres and Masque de Fer Revelois programs in France, Benoit Bouysset (Colorado Springs, Colo.) moved to Houston in 2010 to serve as an epee coach at the Alliance Fencing Academy – one of the top junior epee clubs in the United States. In 2011, Bouysset was named the head coach of the resident team at the U.S. Olympic Training Center. Several of the top men’s epee fencers in the nation have trained under Bouysset, including Cody Mattern (Portland, Ore.) and Seth Kelsey (Colorado Springs, Colo.) who made history when Team USA won gold at the World Championships in April – a first for any U.S. men’s fencing team. Competing on his third Olympic Team, Kelsey finished fourth in London and the men’s epee team is currently ranked first in the world. Prior to being named as the head coach of the U.S. Men’s Epee Team, Bouysset worked closely with 2012 Olympic Coach Sebastien Dos Santos (Portland, Ore.) during the last season prior to Dos Santos returning to France with his family.

The coaching staff for the men’s saber program will be named in the coming weeks.

Les Stawicki (Louisville, Ky.) has been the U.S. Wheelchair Fencing Team since 1995 and will retain his position for the upcoming season. Since coaching the team at the first Paralympic Games in which the sport was contested in 1996, Stawicki has coached U.S. Wheelchair fencers to both World Cup and Paralympic podium finishes. A native of Poland, Stawicki served as a coach of the Polish National Team from 1973-1990.

All three Olympic squad managers from the 2011-2012 season will be returning to their positions this year. Cathy Zagunis (Portland, Ore. / Saber), Jennifer Yamin (Allendale, N.J. / Foil) and Raoul Rodriguez (Portland, Ore. / Men’s Epee) are joined this season by Maureen Griffin (San Francisco, Calif.) who is serving as the squad manager for the U.S. Women’s Epee Team.

Ginny Boydston (Jacksonville, Miss.), the 2012 Paralympic Team Leader, will be the squad manager for the wheelchair fencing program for the 2012-2013 season.


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