Isaksen on her way to Saturday's Final

April 14, 2011, 6:42 p.m. (ET)

Margaux Isaksen (Fayetteville, Ark.) fenced a personal best, nearly eclipsing the magical mark of 1000 Pentathlon points, and easily qualified first in her semi-final group at the Pentathlon World Cup on Thursday in Sassari, Italy, on the island of Sardinia. Isaksen used a strong swim and won the combined event (shooting and running), to finish with 4092 points, ahead of 2008 Olympic Champion Lena Schoneborn of Germany who placed second in the group with 4088. 
Three other Americans, Mickey Kelly (Colorado Springs, Colo.), Rendy Lynn Opdyke (Mercer Island, Wash.) and Samantha Achterburg (Littleton, Colo.) missed the cut to qualify for Saturday's women's final event.

"I was very proud of the entire U.S. delegation, and of course I am happy with Margaux's result, but all our athletes performed well," said U.S. Team Coach Janusz Peciak. "We just need more improvement in the fencing discipline." 

Suzanne Stettinius (Parkton, Md.), current No. 1-ranked USA female pentathlete was unable to compete in Italy due to an injury sustained while training. 
On Friday, the U.S. men's team will compete in their semi-final event.  2008 Olympians Sam Sacksen (Somerset, Pa.) and Eli Bremer (Monument, Colo.) team with U.S. Army Specialist Dennis Bowsher (Dallas, Texas) in their efforts to qualify for the men's final to be held Sunday, April 17.  Nathan Schrimsher (Roswell, N.M.), a member of the 2010 U.S. Youth Olympic Team, has come down with an illness and will not be competing.