March 6, 2002
Three members of the Notre Dame fencing program – sophomore women’s epeeist Kerry Walton (Londonderry, N.H.) and freshman foilists Andrea Ament (Cleveland, Ohio) and Derek Snyder (Chatsworth, Calif.) – have been selected to the United States team that will compete in the upcoming World Championships, to be held April 1-8 in Antalya, Turkey. Each of the Notre Dame fencers will compete in the junior-level individual and three-member team events (for fencers under the age of 20).
The three Notre Dame fencers represent nearly half of the college fencers among the 18 members of the U.S. junior squad (the rest are high schoolers). The other college fencers on the U.S. junior squad include Ohio State sabremen Colin Parker and Jason Rogers, Yale women’s sabre Sada Jacobson and Stanford foilist Steve Gebberman (a longtime friend and west-coast rival of Snyder’s).
Walton recently completed an impressive 50-5 regular-season record in her first year of competition with the Irish, also winning the Midwest Fencing Conference title last weekend. She placed 11th at the recent Junior Olympics competition in Columbus, Ohio (Feb. 15-18) but ranks second in the latest U.S. junior women’s epee rankings (she also is sixth in the senior/open women’s epee rankings).
Ament currently sits atop the U.S. junior women’s foil rankings while also ranking 15th in the world among junior-level women’s epeeists and 5th in the U.S. overall women’s foil rankings. She posted a 27-2 regular-season record with the Irish and finished second at the Junior Olympics, behind Jacqueline Leahy (one of her two teammates on the upcoming U.S. squad).
Snyder is looking to return from illness that sidelined him for the Midwest Fencing Conference Championships, after compiling a 32-7 regular-season record with the Irish. He is second on the U.S. junior men’s foil rankings (37th worldwide) while also ranking 14th among all U.S. men’s foilists.
Walton’s teammates on the 2002 U.S. junior women’s epee squad will include 17-year-old Kamara James (Jamaica, N.Y.) and 16-year-old Jasmine McGlade, who currently resides in London (she trained with the Northern Colorado Fencers). James ranks 25th in the world junior women’s epee rankings, in addition to holding the top spot in the U.S. junior rankings and No. 2 in the open women’s foil rankings.
Ament – who has competed in four previous World Championships – claimed the bronze medal at the 2001 Junior World Championship in Gdansk, Poland, the hometown of her current Irish foil teammate Alicja Kryczalo. A six-time Junior Olympic champion, she also medaled in both foil and epee at the 1999 Cadet (under-17) World Championships in Hungary.
Ament’s teammates on the 2002 U.S. junior women’s foil squad will include Leahy (Aurora, Colo.) and Jessica Florendo of Forest Hills, N.Y.
Snyder could have the chance to fence alongside Gebberman at the 2002 World Juniors, with Dimitri Kirk-Gordon also named to the three-man team. Kirk-Gordon won the recent Junior Olympic title while Snyder was fifth. Gebberman sits atop the U.S. junior men’s foil rankings (also 12th in the world) while Snyder is 2nd in the U.S. junior rankings, 37th among world junior-level men’s foilists and 14th in the U.S. open men’s foil rankings.