McDowald Claims Silver and Zuikova Takes Home Bronze at October North American Cup

Veronika Zuikova
Oct. 17, 2017

• 2017 October North American Cup Results

QUEENS, N.Y.  St. John’s fencing opened the 2017-18 campaign sending 10 current fencers to the October North American Cup (NAC) in Anaheim, Calif., this past weekend and the results were highlighted by Curtis McDowald with a second place to earn silver in the men’s epee competition and Veronika Zuikova, who took home bronze in women’s epee.

Entering the draw as the No. 12 seed, McDowald tallied four wins in pool play to earn a spot in the table of 128. From there, the veteran cruised pair Zachary Cheng, 15-7, before he edged Dennis Kraft, 15-14. After four more victories for the Jamaica, N.Y. native, McDowald advanced to the finals for the second time at a North American Cup in his Div. I men’s epee career. In a tightly contested bout, McDowald fell, 15-13, to Stephen Ewart to finish with silver.

Following a perfect 6-0 mark in pool play, Zuikova won back-to-back bouts in table play by at least three touches to move into the round of 32. The Estonia native then registered a closely contested, 11-10, victory over Dariya Yefremenko, before she tallied another triumph to advance into the quarterfinals. The senior moved to a perfect 11-0 in the competition after a convincing, 15-8, win to move into the semifinals, before falling to the silver medalist Amanda Sirico. The Second Team All-American from 2016 finished with an 11-1 record and a bronze medal for her strong efforts over the weekend.

Sean White dominated pool play in men’s epee with a perfect 6-0 record and outscored his foes by 16 touches to take the top seed entering the knockout portion of play. In the table of 32, White dropped his bout to Jacob Hoyle, 15-13, to finish in 17th place.

Two other current Johnny fencers in Omari Smoak and Shomari Moore came in 40th and 41st, respectively in men’s epee.

Three Red Storm fencing alums fenced in the epee draw as Adam Rodney placed 20th, Benjamin Bratton finished in a tie for 23rd and the reigning collegiate national champion, Cooper Schumacher came in 65th.

A First Team All-American last season, Ben Natanzon cruised through pool play, going 6-0 in men’s saber to pick up a bye in the table of 256. The Manalapan, N.J., product registered back-to-back triumphs, before falling in the table of 32 to finish in 19th.

Fencing for the first time in a competition for the Johnnies, Sal Centanni also went a perfect 6-0 in the round robin portion of play in saber and also collected a victory in the table of 128 to place 33rd. Classmate Vincent Mindelof earned a top-30 finish in foil draw as the newcomer won five overall bouts in the competition.

Former individual national champion at St. John’s, Isis Washington earned a top-10 finish coming in ninth in women’s epee, while Ally Ryf finished in a tie for 66th.


The October North American Cup was the first of four NAC's in which St. John's sends representatives. The next NAC will be held in Kansas City, Mo. and will take place from Nov. 10-13, which will only be for junior fencers.

Below is a summary of results from the October North American Cup:

Division I Men’s Saber
Ben Natanzon: 19th
Sal Centanni: 33rd
Deniz Berkay (alum): 109th

Division I Men’s Epee
Curtis McDowald: 2nd (silver)
Sean White: 17th
Adam Rodney (alum): 20th
Benjamin Bratton (alum): T-23rd
Omari Smoak: 40th
Shomari Moore: 41st
Cooper Schumacher (alum): 65th
Alex Cotter: T-188th

Division I Men’s Foil
Vincent Mindelof: 29th

Division I Women’s Epee
Veronika Zuikova: T-3rd (bronze)
Isis Washington (alum): 9th
Ally Ryf: T-66th




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