(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – The U.S. Men’s Epee Team concluded a year of firsts with a #1 world ranking when the FIE released the final men’s epee world rankings of the season.
Just two months after winning the first ever World Championship title for a U.S. men’s team in any weapon, the U.S. Men’s Epee Team became the first ever American squad to earn a #1world ranking.
The ranking came on the heels of a season that included a World Championship gold, three World Cup Team medals and a silver medal finish at the Pan American Championships last month.
Team USA finished the season with its second fourth place result on Sunday when the Americans were edged out by Switzerland in the final bout of the Buenos Aires World Cup in Argentina.
“Before entering the last World Cup team event in Buenos Aires, we realized that the team was in a position to be ranked #1 in the world. This was one last team exciting goal before the Olympics. The team finishing the season not just as World Champion, but also #1 in the world is the frosting on the cake!” said Coach Sebastien Dos Santos (Portland, Ore.)
London nominees Seth Kelsey (Colorado Springs, Colo.) and Soren Thompson (New York City, N.Y.) – both of who won gold with Team USA at the Worlds – each were instrumental in Team USA’s final result as neither 2012 World Champion Ben Bratton (New York City, N.Y.) nor Cody Mattern (Colorado Springs, Colo.) competed this weekend. Bratton elected to take a break from fencing after the Worlds and Mattern was in Anaheim coaching the next generation of future champions at the Summer Nationals this week.
In their place, Jimmy Moody (Colorado Springs, Colo.) and Teddy Sherrill (New York City, N.Y.) stepped into roles on the team in Argentina.
Moody and Sherrill are both part of a complex system in which Dos Santos has consistently given up-and-coming fencers the opportunity to fence in team events and train at camps with the national squad.
“Having younger fencers in the rotation has helped create a positive environment and a good understanding of the team strategy,” Dos Santos said. “Several of the team most experienced fencers will take a break or retire after this Olympic season and the men’s epee team will certainly go through a transition phase. In the meantime, we can count on a positive team dynamic among almost all the top men’s epee fencers. For the future, this will be important to maintain a group of strong fencers supporting each other in order to succeed in Rio.”