Nov. 3, 2011
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – A total of five Notre Dame fencers took to the strip at a pair of renowned international events over the month of October. Current Irish fencers Gerek Meinhardt, Race Imboden and Courtney Hurley joined former Irish fencers Kelley Hurley and Mariel Zagunis in competing at the Senior World Championships in Catania, Italy, and the Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico.
Highlighting the month’s results was Zagunis, who fought to her fourth straight medal at the Senior World Championships, and Imboden who reached the quarterfinals at the same event with three wins in the table of 64. Below is a complete summary of each of the five combatants’ results:
MARIEL ZAGUNIS: Claimed a silver medal at the Senior World Championships after earning a spot in the title bout at the event for the third straight year … defeated Elena Mueanu of Romania (15-11), Karina Lakerbai of Brazil (15-7), Seira Nakayama of Japan (15-9), Irene Vecchi of Italy (15-7) and Julia Gavrilova of Russia (15-8) to reach the finals before falling to Sophia Velikaia of Russia in the title bout, 15-13 … helped her sabre team earn a bronze medal in team competition as well, defeating Azerbaijan in the third-place bout, 45-40 … won gold at the Pan American Games, marking the first time that the Beaverton, Ore., native has ever claimed a Pan American gold … took down Alejandra Benitez of Venezuela, 15-13, for the gold after previously beating Ibtihaj Muhammad of the United States (15-4) and Yaritza Goulet of Cuba (15-7) in the quarterfinals and semifinals, respectively … helped women’s sabre team to gold at the Games, with a dominant 45-29 victory over Mexico.
RACE IMBODEN: Earned an eighth-place result at the Senior World Championships in his first event as a Senior World Team member … advanced into the table of 64 after going a perfect 6-0 in pool play to finish third in the pools and earn the 19th seed into the final table … secured a win over Leszek Rajski of Poland (15-11) to move into the round of 16 before knocking off four-time Senior World Champion Petter Joppich of Germany in a close 15-14 bout to reach the quarters … finished 11th overall in team foil competition, earning a win over Egypt, 45-25, to secure the result … did not compete at the Pan American Games.
Courtney Hurley: Earned best Senior World finish since ’07 with a 27th-place result … qualified for the table of 64 after finishing pool play with a mark of 5-1 to earn a 38th seed in the final table … advanced into the round of 32 with a convincing decision over Yun-Hee Oh of Korea in her opening bout, 15-4, before falling to eventual gold medalist Li Na of China in a close contest, 15-13 … helped women’s epee team to a 12th-place finish … competed against sister, Kelley, in the finals of an event for the third time on the year, falling in a close decision, 15-13, to earn the silver at the Pan American Games … advanced to the title bout with a win over ’10 Pan American Champion Yamirka Rodriguez of Cuba, 13-12 … also helped epee team win the gold with a hard-fought 45-36 victory over Canada.
Gerek Meinhardt: Earned automatic qualification into the table of 64 at the Senior World Championships due to his international ranking … advanced into the round of 16 before falling to France’s Victor Sintes, 15-9 … finished the event 13th overall, marking his best international finish since undergoing knee surgery last year … also part of 11th place foil team that defeated Egypt, 45-25, in the 11th-place bout … helped foil team to the gold medal at the Pan American Games, taking down Canada in the title bout, 45-29.
KELLEY HURLEY: Finished 86th overall at the Senior World Championships after failing to move out of pool play with a record of 3-3 … helped women’s epee team to a 12th-place finish … won the gold at the Pan American Games, defeating her sister Courtney, 15-13, in the title bout … advanced into the championship matchup with a convincing 15-4 semifinal victory over Elida Aguero of Argentina … made it a gold medal sweep as she helped the epee team win the title with a 45-36 victory over Canada.