Fencing Around the World

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Since the start of the new year, several current, former and future Irish fencers have been in action around the globe, with many looking to qualify for the London Olympics this summer. Here's a look at some of their finishes over the last couple months ...

On Jan. 28 Race Imboden, who will be joining the Irish next year, teamed up with senior Gerek Meinhardt at the Men's Paris Foil World Cup to help lead the United States to a sixth place finish. Individually, Imboden added 26 points to his Olympic résumé by earning a bronze, while Meinhardt's 61st place netted two points.

Imboden's medal marks the first time an American man placed in the Paris World Cup's foil event. He defeated Frenchman Guillaume Pita, fellow American Michael Dudey, Italian Edoardo Luperi, and German Peter Joppich on his way to claiming co-bronze medals with fellow American and club teammate Alex Massialis.

At the Women's Epee World Cup in Doha, Qatar, senior Courtney Hurley joined former Irish fencers Kelley Hurley and Ewa Nelip at the Grand Prix on Saturday. Courtney's 48th place was good for two points toward her Olympic standings. She is the top-ranked women's epeeist in the nation.

Another No. 1, former Irish sabreuse Mariel Zagunis defended her 2011 Orleans Saber Grand Prix with a victory on Saturday. She came out on top of the table of 64, solidifying her ranking and moving into the top spot of the Adjusted Olympic Rankings.

Also competing on Saturday was high school senior Lee Kiefer, who has signed her letter of intent to fence for Notre Dame next year. The foilist placed 17th at the Tauberbischofsheim Foil World Cup in Germany, earning four points for her finish.

For each team that qualifies for the Olympics, coaches will choose four fencers to comprise the squad. Points earned in Olympic qualifiers determine who will compete, and the cutoff for qualifying is March 31.

Other Irish athletes in action this year included 2011 graduate Avery Zuck, who placed 58th in the Plovdiv Saber Grand Prix in Bulgaria on Feb. 5, and freshmen Ashley Severson and Channing Foster. In the Dijon Junior Epee World Cup, Severson and Foster placed fifth and 90th, respectively, at the Jan. 8 tournament. Severson also placed 12th at the Vigor Challenge on Feb. 5.

- Craig Chval ('15)

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