March 26, 2008
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Notre Dame sophomore epeeist Kelley Hurley (San Antonio, Texas) has recently qualified for the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China. The Summer Games will take place August 8-24.
Hurley clinched a spot in the Olympics as she is currently the second-ranked fencer from the Americas behind Canada's Sherraine Schalm. Hurley and the rest of the epeeists will be fencing on an individual basis since there is no epee team competition in the Olympics. Prior to the Games, Hurley will be part of the United States epee team that will compete at the World Championships April 18-20 in Beijing.
In just two seasons with the Fighting Irish, Hurley has already produced an impressive resume. Earlier this month, the sophomore captured her second All-America accolade by winning the gold medal in the epee at the NCAA Championships in Columbus, Ohio. Last season, she notched a runner-up finish at the NCAAs.
Hurley will not be the only fencer with Notre Dame ties at the Olympics. Gerek Meinhardt, who signed a letter of intent to fence for the Irish beginning next season, will be competing in the foil at the Summer Games. Meinhardt hails from San Francisco and is the top-ranked men's foilist in the United States.
At the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece, former Notre Dame fencer Mariel Zagunis won the individual gold medal in the sabre. She will be looking to compete with the United States sabre team and as an individual at the '08 Summer Games. Those positions have not yet been determined.
A total of nine athletes at the 2004 Olympics had either attended Notre Dame or were set to enroll at the University in the fall of that year. Former Fighting Irish fencer Jan Viviani was an alternate in the men's epee at the '04 Olympics.
For more information, including full qualifying standards, on the fencing competition for the 2008 Summer Olympics, go to http://en.beijing2008.cn/news/sports/headlines/fencing.
-- ND --