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Fencing

January North American Cup Brings Olympic Fencers to Portland this Weekend

    More than 1,000 Olympic and Junior World Team hopefuls will compete at the January North American Cup this weekend in Portland.

    The four-day tournament begins on Friday and continues through Monday at the Oregon Convention Center. All events are free and open to the public.

    The tournament is a selection event for both squads that will compete at the 2012 London Olympic Games as well as the teams that will compete at the Junior and Cadet World Championships in Moscow in April.

    Competition this weekend includes 23 of the 24 athletes who competed on the 2011 Senior World Championship Team as they vie for both gold medals and valuable national ranking points.

    Among the fencers competing this weekend are the following Olympic and Senior World medalists:

    • Tim Morehouse (New York City, N.Y. / Saber), 2008 Olympic team silver medalist
    • James Williams (New York City, N.Y. / Saber), 2008 Olympic team silver medalist
    • Emily Cross (New York City, N.Y. / Foil), 2008 Olympic team silver medalist
    • Seth Kelsey (Colorado Springs, Colo. / Epee), 2010 Senior World team silver medalist
    • Cody Mattern (Tigard, Ore. / Epee), 2010 Senior World team silver medalist
    • Ben Bratton (New York City, N.Y. / Epee), 2010 Senior World team silver medalist
    • Lee Kiefer (Lexington, Ky. / Foil), 2011 Senior World individual bronze medalist
    • Dagmara Wozniak (Avenel, N.J. / Saber), 2011 Senior World team bronze medalist
    • Ibtihaj Muhammad (Maplewood, N.J. / Saber), 2011 Senior World team bronze medalist
    • Daria Schneider (New York City, N.Y. / Saber), 2011 Senior World team bronze medalist

    As the Portland area is home to several of the top clubs in the area, many of the fencers to watch this weekend are hometown athletes, including 2004 Olympian Cody Mattern (Tigard, Ore.) Mattern, who is currently ranked #3 in men’s epee in the United States and trains at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, won a silver medal as a member of Team USA at the 2010 Senior World Championships and is aiming to qualify for his second U.S. Olympic Team.

    Saber fencer Avery Zuck (Portland, Ore.) competed on the 2009 Junior World Team and will be fencing in the Division I men’s saber event this weekend. Zuck is ranked #8 in the United States and is climbing the ranks as the top four fencers following the Division I National Championships in April will earn slots on the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team.

    Two local women’s saber fencers are hoping for finals finishes as well. Fifteen-year-old Sage Palmedo (Portland, Ore.) is ranked #4 as a junior and earned a silver medal at the July North American Cup in the U20 event. Lian Osier (Battle Ground, Wash.) competed on three straight Junior World Teams and won the NCAA Team Championships alongside Zuck while fencing for Notre Dame last year. Now competing in the Division I event, Osier earned her first Division I NAC title in 2010 and is aiming for another trip to the podium.

    Eighteen-year-old epee fencer Isabella Barna (Bend, Ore.) will compete in both the Division I event as well as the U20 competition. Fresh off a bronze medal win at the Dijon Junior World Cup in France on Sunday, Barna is ranked fourth in U20 women’s epee.
    Competition schedule is as follows. Start times are approximate and each event will run through the completion of the gold medal finals.

    Friday, January 13
    8:30 a.m.
    Division I Women’s Foil
    Junior Men’s Epee

    2 p.m.
    Junior Women’s Saber

    Saturday, January 14
    8:30 a.m.
    Junior Men’s Foil
    Division I Women’s Epee

    1:30 p.m.
    Division I Men’s Saber

    Sunday, January 15
    8:30 a.m.
    Division I Men’s Epee
    Division I Women’s Saber

    1:30 p.m.
    Junior Women’s Foil

    Monday, January 16
    8:30 a.m.
    Division I Men’s Foil
    Junior Women’s Epee

    11 a.m.
    Junior Men’s Saber


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