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Three Former Irish Fencers Pick Up Team Medals At Senior World Championships

July 26, 2017

By Joanne Norell

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The FIE Senior World Championships came to an end Wednesday with the conclusion of team competition, with three former University of Notre Dame fencers taking home medals.

Lee Kiefer (’17) helped lead the United States women’s foil team to its highest-ever finish at the event on Monday as the American contingent snared silver as the tournament’s No. 3 seed. After the U.S. defeated Argentina in the opening round, Kiefer led the team with 22 touches against China in the quarterfinal to set up a meeting with second-seeded Russia. In that match, she anchored the team to clinch a tight 45-42 victory. The U.S. met top-seeded Italy in the championship, falling 45-25.

On Wednesday, American Gerek Meinhardt (’13, ’15 MBA) and Poland’s Ewa Nelip (’13) snared medals for their respective teams as well. In men’s foil, Meinhardt and the U.S. cruised through the first four rounds, defeating Guatemala 45-12, Poland 45-24, Korea 45-34 and Russia 45-29. That set up a tryst with Italy in the final, but the U.S. gave up a seven-point lead and ultimately fell 45-41 to claim silver.

Nelip anchored Poland’s women’s epee squad en route to a bronze medal. Poland defeated Finland 45-18, Ukraine 37-31 and upset No. 3 Russia 45-41 to earn the third seed in the semifinal. There, the team fell to eventual champion Estonia 37-27. Poland went on to defeat Korea 33-28 in the bronze medal match.

Also in women’s epee, Kelley Hurley (’10) and Courtney Hurley (’13) finished seventh with the United States.

FIE Senior World Championships
July 19-26, 2017
Leipzig, Germany
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
2. United States (Lee Kiefer)

Wednesday, July 26
Men’s Team Foil T32 – Finals
2. United States (Gerek Meinhardt)
Women’s Team Epee T32 – Finals
3. Poland (Ewa Nelip)
7. United States (Kelley Hurley, Courtney Hurley)


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.