July 23, 2017
By Joanne Norell
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The individual portion of the FIE Senior World Championships came to an end Sunday, with one former University of Notre Dame fencer claiming a podium finish in Leipzig, Germany.
Former four-time All-American women’s epeeist Ewa Nelip (’13) snared silver after advancing to Sunday’s finals as the No. 13 seed. Nelip, who fences for Poland, fell to Russia’s Tatiana Gudkova 11-9 after mounting a strong comeback bid in the third period. It was her highest finish ever at a Senior World Championship.
Also on Sunday, two-time Olympic medalist Kelley Hurley (’10) finished 19th in women’s epee, advancing to the second round. After qualifying for the main draw after posting a 6-0 record in preliminary competition Thursday, Courtney Hurley fell in the Round of 64, finishing in 34th place.
Twelfth-ranked men’s foilist Gerek Meinhardt (’13, ’15 MBA) advanced to the Round of 16 on Sunday, claiming 11th place after falling to fifth-seeded Richard Kruse of Great Britain.
On Friday, top-ranked American women’s foilist Lee Kiefer (’17) finished ninth in the individual event, cruising through the first three rounds before dropping to Poland’s Julia Walczyk in the Round of 16. Teammate Sabrina Massialas (rising junior) qualified for direct elimination after compiling a 5-1 preliminary record, but withdrew in the Round of 64 for medical reasons.
The World Championships will continue Monday through Wednesday with the team competitions. The third-seeded U.S. Women’s Foil team will face Argentina in the first round on Monday. The men’s foil and women’s epee events will take place on Wednesday.
FIE Senior World Championships
July 19-26, 2017
Wednesday, July 19
Women’s Individual Foil Prelims
Sabrina Massialas, 5-1 (qualfiied)
Thursday, July 20
Women’s Individual Epee Prelims
Courtney Hurley, 6-0 (qualified)
Friday, July 21
Women’s Individual Foil T64 – Finals
9. Lee Kiefer (R16)
38. Sabrina Massialas (medical withdrawal)
Sunday, July 23
Women’s Individual Epee T64 – Finals
2. Ewa Nelip (POL)
19. Kelley Hurley
34. Courtney Hurley
Men’s Individual Foil T64 – Finals
11. Gerek Meinhardt
Monday, July 24
Women’s Team Foil T32 – Finals
USA vs. Argentina
Wednesday, July 26
Men’s Team Foil T32 – Finals
Women’s Team Epee T32 – Finals
Joanne Norell, athletics communications assistant director at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since 2014 and coordinates communications efforts for the Notre Dame women’s soccer, men’s tennis, women’s tennis and fencing programs. Norell is a 2011 graduate of Purdue University and earned her master’s degree from Georgetown University in 2013.