June 24, 2011
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Courtney Hurley (San Antonio, Texas), a junior epeeist on the University of Notre Dame fencing team, earned a sixth-place finish at the Nankin Epee Grand Prix in China. The result is Hurley’s top international finish since winning bronze at the 2010 Pan American Championships and her best-ever finish at a grand prix event.
The five-time Senior World Team member entered the table of 64 as the No. 18 seed after going undefeated in pool play and was one of four U.S. athletes to advance to the table of 64. After securing wins over Young-Mi Kang of Korea (15-12) and 2010 Senior World medalist Nathalie Moelhausen of Italy (15-12), Hurley squared off with the top-ranked fencer in the world, Magdalena Piekarska of Poland, upsetting her by a score of 15-8.
Hurley’s tournament came to an end in the quarterfinals as she fell to Bianca Del Carretto of Italy, the eighth-ranked epeeist in the world. Hurley did, however, earn valuable Olympic qualifying points as a result of her finish and is now ranked as the top athlete from the Pan American region in the individual Olympic qualifying rankings.
The result at the grand prix further builds on a successful season for Hurley to-date that has seen her claim the USA Fencing Division I National Championship in April after defeating her sister and former Irish fencer Kelley Hurley in the championship bout, 15-14. In March, Hurley also went on to claim gold at the NCAA Championships after knocking off Noam Mills of Harvard in the title bout, 8-7.