July 7, 2009
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Irish fencer Courtney Hurley (San Antonio, Texas) won the gold medal in women’s epee at the recently completed 2009 Senior Pan American Zonal Championships, which were held in San Salvador, El Salvador. Kelley Hurley (San Antonio, Texas) also competed in women’s epee at the games, while former Irish standout Mariel Zagunis took home the sabre gold.
The women’s epee finals were held on July 3, while the women’s sabre finals were contested on July 5 but complete results were only recently released. As previously reported on und.com, rising sophomore Gerek Meinhardt (San Fransico, Calif.) also earned a silver medal in men’s foil at the Pan American Championships.
Courtney Hurley, a rising sophomore, was the top seed in the final-16 table and earned a first round win over Venezuela’s Aleska Aular (15-7). In the quarterfinals, Hurley overcame Gabrielle Lavoie of Canada (15-10). In the semifinals, Hurley edged fifth-seeded Karilin Rojas of Venezuela (15-14). The Championship bout then pitted Hurley against fellow American Lindsay Campbell, who made a surprising run to the finals as the 26th seed. Hurley took the gold with a 15-7 win.
Kelley Hurley was the second seed in the final-16 women’s epee table and booked a place in the quarterfinals with a tightly contested win over Canada’s Kinga Kovacs (15-14). But in the quarterfinals Hurley, a 2008 U.S. Olympian, was upset by Campbell (15-12).
Former Notre Dame sabreist Mariel Zagunis joined Courtney Hurley as athletes with Notre Dame ties to win the gold. Zagunis, who earned an individual NCAA sabre championship with the Irish in 2006, entered the final-eight table as the second seed. She defeated Canada’s Sandra Sassine and Monica Aksamit of the USA to earn a place in the final. In the championship bout, Zagunis defeated fellow American Daria Schneider by a 15-7 margin to take home the gold.
Zagunis is no stranger to gold medals. With a gold medal-winning performance at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China, Zagunis became the first U.S. fencer to win multiple Olympic gold medals in sabre. She previously took home the Olympic sabre gold in 2004.
— ND —