Taormina and Isaksen Lead USA Pentathletes Finishing eighth and 13th Respectively in the Women's Final of World Cup #1 in Cairo, Egypt

Feb. 22, 2008, 1 a.m. (ET)
For Immediate Release February 22, 2008 Taormina and Isaksen Lead USA Pentathletes Finishing eighth and 13th Respectively in the Women's Final of World Cup #1 in Cairo, Egypt COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.-Sheila Taormina (Livonia, Mich.) and Margaux Isaksen (Fayetteville, Ark./Colorado Springs, Colo.) led an impressive showing by the USA Pentathlon women's team at the first World Cup stop of the season, finishing eighth and 13th respectively in today's women's final. Emily Shertzer (Hershey, Penn./Colorado Springs, Colo.) came in 32nd and Michelle "Mickey"Kelly (Chatham, N.Y./Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Army) was 34th. Sam Sacksen (Somerset, Pa./Colorado Springs, Colo.) will compete in the men's final tomorrow. The remaining four World Cup stops during the Olympic qualification period will be critical to determining the athletes that will make up the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team for Modern Pentathlon. The 2008 World Modern Pentathlon Championships, May 27-31 in Budapest, Hungary, will serve as a direct Olympic qualifier for the top three finishers who have not already qualified their spot for the Olympic Games. The final and most likely way for the U.S. to qualify for a final Olympic slot will be through the Modern Pentathlon World Rankings for the Olympic qualification period of June 1, 2007-June 1, 2008. This final means of qualification will go to the top seven ranked athletes that have not already qualified by some other means. Each country can only qualify a maximum of two men and two women. If the U.S. has more than two men or two women that meet the qualification criteria, USA Pentathlon will determine the two Olympic representatives based on the two highest ranked U.S. athletes in the World Cup standings. The top four U.S. women competed in World Cup #1 in Cairo. Kelly has already qualified a spot for the 2008 Olympic Games by virtue of her performance at the 2007 Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and will look to use the World Cup season to keep her ahead in the pack. Taormina is attempting to make history by qualifying for her fourth U.S. Olympic Team in an unprecedented third sport. She has already competed in the Olympic Games in the sports of swimming and triathlon. She won a gold medal in swimming at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, Ga., swimming the third leg of the 800m freestyle relay. She finished sixth and 23rd, respectively, in the triathlon at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia and the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece. Taormina's top modern pentathlon World Cup performance came in March 2007 when she won the silver medal at World Cup #2 in Cairo, Egypt. On the men's side, the U.S. was represented in Cairo by Niul Manske (Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Army), Sam Sacksen (Somerset, Pa./Colorado Springs, Colo.) and Will Brady (Colorado Springs, Colo.). Top ranked U.S. pentathletes Eli Bremer (Monument, Colo./Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Air Force) and Dennis Bowsher (Dallas, Texas/Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Army) will sit out the first World Cup stop, deciding to focus their energies on preparing for the second World Cup stop of the season in Mexico City, Mexico, March 5-8. Bremer has already qualified his spot for the 2008 Olympic Games based on his gold medal performance at the 2007 Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Bowsher is in line to qualify through the World Ranking system, but must keep himself in that position. The USA Pentathlon Team is coached by Janusz Peciak (Colorado Springs, Colo.). The riding coach for the team is Michael Cintas (Rancho Mirage, Calif.). Please see below for the U.S. results from today's women's final competition: 2007 World Cup #1-Cairo, Egypt Individual event scores for Team USA are listed below: Women's Final Sheila Taormina-Eighth Place-5,440 points Shoot - 175 (1,036 points) Fence - 13V and 22D (712 points) Swim - 2:11.35 (1,344 points) Riding-(1,144 points) Run - 11:21.00 (1,204 points) Margaux Isaksen-13th Place-5,404 points Shoot - 179 (1,084 points) Fence - 14V and 21D (736 points) Swim - 2:23.39 (1200 points) Riding-(1,196 points) Run - 10:33.33 (1,188 points) Emily Shertzer-32nd Place-4,772 points Shoot - 172 (1000 points) Fence - 5V and 30D (520 points) Swim - 2:37.30 (1036 points) Riding-(1,024 points) Run - 10:32.02 (1192 points) Mickey Kelly-34th Place-4,224 points Shoot - 173 (1012 points) Fence-13V and 22D (712 points) Swim - 2:26.76 (1160 points) Riding-(240 points) Run - 10:55.71 (1,100 points) For complete results from the 2008 World Cup #1 in Cairo, Egypt, please visit the UIPM website at www.pentathlon.org. Representing the United States of America in World Cup #1 in Cairo, Egypt are: Women: Margaux Isaksen (Fayetteville, Ark./Colorado Springs, Colo.) Michelle "Mickey"Kelly (Chatham, N.Y./Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Army) Emily Shertzer (Hershey, Penn./Colorado Springs, Colo.) Sheila Taormina (Livonia, Mich.) Men: Will Brady (Colorado Springs, Colo.) Niul Manske (Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Army) Sam Sacksen (Somerset, Pa./Colorado Springs, Colo.) Head Coach: Janusz Peciak (Colorado Springs, Colo.) Riding Coach: Michael Cintas (Rancho Mirage, Calif.) For more information, please contact Cecil Bleiker, United States Olympic Committee NGB Services Manager at 719-866-4608. This press release is also available on the USOC's media specific website at www.usocpressbox.org.
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