Former Irish standout Gerek Meinhardt fences Ghislain Perrier of Brazil in the men's fencing individual foil semifinals during the 2015 Pan Am Games at Pan Am Aquatics UTS Centre and Field House. Photo by: Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

Kiefer, Meinhardt Provide Summer Highlights

July 28, 2015

Pan Am Games Photo Gallery

NOTRE DAME, Ind. — A busy — and successful — summer came to an end last week for current and former University of Notre Dame fencers with the conclusion of the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto, Canada.

Fencers with Notre Dame ties competed in five major events both in the United States and abroad over the course of June and July, amassing 11 individual and five team medals at the European Games (Baku, Azerbaijan; June 12-28), USA Fencing National Championships (San Jose, California; June 27-July 6), World University Games (Gwangju, Korea; July 3-14), World Fencing Championships (Moscow, Russia; July 13-19) and Pan Am Games (Toronto, Canada; July 10-26).

With less than a year remaining before the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Irish standout Lee Kiefer, who will take the year off from collegiate competition to train for the upcoming Olympiad, put together an impressive summer between the USA Championships, World Fencing Championships and the Pan Am Games. The rising senior snared gold medals in foil competition at both the USA Championships (Division I) and Pan Am Games, while also contributing to the second-place foil team at the Pan Am Games. Kiefer scored 25 of the United States’ 37 points in in a 38-37 loss to Canada in the gold medal match. Earlier in July, Kiefer took fifth place at the World Fencing Championships as part of the sixth-place foil team.

Former Irish star Gerek Meinhardt (’13, MBA ’15) had an equally impressive summer, taking second in the men’s individual foil competition at the Pan Am Games while helping Team USA to a gold medal. He also captured bronze in the foil at the both USA (Division I) and World Championships.

Also capturing team medals was Mariel Zagunis, who was part of the United States’ gold-medal sabre squad at the Pan Am Games (eighth individual) and the bronze medal-winning team at the World Championships (10th individual).

Sophomore Amanda Sirico also produced a solid summer in epee competition. She took bronze in Division I Epee competition at the USA Championships, while also taking fifth in the junior division. Sirico went on to place 15th individually at the World University Games, helping Team USA to a podium spot with a third-place finish.

Incoming freshman Sabrina Massialas picked up a bronze medal in elite Division I Foil competition at the USA Championships, making an impressive showing before arriving on campus this fall. The nation’s top foil recruit, Massialas also placed 16th at the World Championships, where the United States foil squad placed sixth overall.

Also impressing among the incoming class were Axel Kiefer, Cole Mallette and Madeline Antekeier, who each took home medals at the USA Championships. Axel Kiefer, younger brother to Lee, snared gold in the men’s junior foil division, while also taking 11th in Division I Foil. Mallette took bronze in the men’s Division I-A Epee while Antekeier placed third in Division I-A Epee. Antekeier also participated in Division I Epee, where she placed 25th. Rising sophomore Jonah Shainberg was also a silver medalist in the Junior Sabre division.

Finally, graduate Ewa Nelip (’13, MSA ’14) was the sole fencer with Irish connections at the European Games. She placed seventh in women’s epee competition. Nelip later fenced with Team Poland at the World Championships, where she finished 54th and the team placed 13th.

For the latest updates on all things Notre Dame fencing, visit the fencing home page on, follow @NDFencing on Twitter and Like Notre Dame Fencing on Facebook.

2015 European Games
Baku, Azerbaijan
June 12-28
Women’s Epee Individual
7. Ewa Nelip

2015 USA Fencing National Championships & July Challenge
San Jose, California
June 27-July 6
Division I Women’s Foil
1. Lee Kiefer
3. Sabrina Massialas
Division I Women’s Epee
3. Amanda Sirico
35. Molly Hudson
25. Madeline Antekeier
Division I Women’s Sabre
12. Francesca Russo
30. Claudia Kulmacz
Division I-A Women’s Foil
6. Erin Dietsche
Division I-A Women’s Epee
3. Madeline Antekeier
Junior Women’s Foil
31. Zoe Loh
46. Elyssa Kleiner
Junior Women’s Epee
5. Amanda Sirico
26. Molly Hudson
Junior Women’s Sabre
28. Tara Hassett
Division I Men’s Foil
3. Gerek Meinhardt
11. Axel Kiefer
67. Spicer Emge
Division I-A Men’s Foil
12. Michael Antipas
Division I-A Men’s Epee
3. Cole Mallette
Junior Men’s Foil
1. Axel Kiefer
19. Michael Antipas
Junior Men’s Epee
52. Dylan French
81. Darius Zacharakis
Junior Men’s Sabre
2. Jonah Shainberg
8. Jonathan Fitzgerald
16. David Brown
17. Ian Jones

2015 World University Games
Gwangju, South Korea
July 3-14
Women’s Epee Individual
15. Amanda Sirico (USA)
Women’s Foil Individual
33. Erin Dietsche (USA)
Men’s Foil Individual
31. Kristjan Archer (Great Britain)

2015 World Fencing Championships
Moscow, Russia
July 13-19
Women’s Foil Individual
5. Lee Kiefer (USA)
16. Sabrina Massialas (USA)
Women’s Epee Individual
12. Courtney Hurley (USA)
22. Kelley Hurley (USA)
54. Ewa Nelip (Poland)
Women’s Sabre Individual
10. Mariel Zagunis (USA)
Men’s Foil Individual
3. Gerek Meinhardt (USA)
2015 Pan American Games
Toronto, Canada
July 10-26
Women’s Foil Individual
1. Lee Kiefer (USA)
Women’s Sabre Individual
8. Mariel Zagunis (USA)
Men’s Foil Individual
2. Gerek Meinhardt (USA)

Joanne Norell, Athletics Communications Assistant