Oct. 1, 2012
U.S. Air Force Academy, Colo. -- The Academy fencers spent the weekend in Amarillo, Texas, competing in the 14th Annual Amarillo Open, Sept. 29-30, 2012. Several Academy fencers took home top honors finishing in the top three of their respective events. Finishing in the top three were sophomore Alexander Chiang in senior mixed foil, freshmen Madeleine Girardot and Mary McElwee in mixed foil and freshman James Salem in junior (U20) mixed epee. Also finishing in the top three were senior Scott Pippin in senior mixed saber. Freshmen Ryan Redhead, Matthew Bergstedt, Angelica Phillips and sophomore Jessica Steuber also claimed top honors in their events.
"Our freshmen are starting the season off well, winning their bouts at the Amarillo Open," said Head coach Abdel Salem. "It was very good to see several of our fencers finish in the top of their events, it makes me very proud to be a coach."
In mixed foil, Chiang won the final bout 15-5. In pools, Chiang was in first place and was 5-0 overall. He earned a bye and went on to win the next bouts 15-2, 15-1, 15-11 and the gold medal bout 15-5. Girardot and McElwee tied for third place in mixed foil. McElwee lost to Chiang in the final four, 11-15. Girardot lost to her opponent from Texas, 11-15.
In women's foil, McElwee was the champion with a 15-11 win. As the No. 1 seed in pools, McElwee received a bye to the top 8 where she beat teammate Ashley Chung, 15-1. She advanced through the next round 15-1 and in the gold medal bout she beat Girardot, 15-11. In pools, McElwee finished the event with an 8-0 record and Girardot compiled a 7-1 record.
In mixed epee (U20), Salem won the championship bout, 15-10, and earned his A2012 classification in U.S. Fencing Association (USFA). In the epee group, Salem was in third place in his pools with a 3-2 win/loss record. As the No. 15 seed, he advanced to the top 16 with a 15-8 win, following that he won 15-12, 15-8 and 12-11 going into the gold medal bout where he beat the No. 1 seed, 15-10. Salem also took second place after losing in the final round to his opponent, 14-15, in the senior mixed epee championships.
In mixed saber, Pippin was the runner up and Redhead and Bergstedt both tied for third place, while in the women's epee event, Phillips and Steuber tied for third place. In his pool, Pippin was in first place with a 4-0 bout record and was the No. 2 seed advancing through the next rounds with 15-0, 15-7, 15-6 and the gold medal loss 13-15 to his opponent. It the final-four round, Redhead was the No. 1 seed and was in first place in his pool (4-0) before losing to his opponent, 12-15, from Mexico City. Bergstedt lost to Pippin in the final four, 6-15.
Also competing in the Amarillo Open was freshman John Dilorenzo who finished in eighth place in the senior mixed epee event. DiLorenzo earned his C2012 rating in USFA. Junior Olivia Prosseda finished in 14th place. Senior Dalton Boatright finished in 30th place, while freshman Andrew Daugherty placed 31st. In 38th, 41st and 44th and 45th place were freshman Angelica Phillips, Steuber, junior Tara Zartman and freshman Michael Joo, respectively.
In senior women's foil, Air Force had three fencers finish in 6th through 8th place, freshman Rachael Ferguson, junior Rachel Cranfill and Chung, respectively.
In senior mixed saber, AFA's Adam Marcinkowski and Emerson Woerner finished in 5th and 6th place, respectively. Vianca Torres finished in 10th place and Desirae Ionata followed in 11th place. Allison Egan and Leila AbdulRazaq finished in 13th and 14th place, respectively.
Cranfill, Ferguson, Scowcroft, Chung, Hayden and Daniel Johnson all finished 13th through tied for 17th, respectively in the senior mixed foil competition. Finally, in senior women's epee, Phillips and Steuber tied for third place. Prosseda finished in 7th place and Zartman finished 12th. In the junior mixed foil (U20) division, the freshmen placed 6th, 7th and 9th (Rachael Ferguson, Joshua Hayden and John Scowcroft).
Coming up in October, the fencers travel to the Division 1 and 2 North American Cup tournaments, Oct. 12-15, in St. Louis, MO. Following the NAC is the New Mexico Open in Santa Fe on Oct. 20-21.