Junior North American Cup Recap: Schenkel Wins Bronze|
Nov. 15, 2011
AUSTIN, TEXAS (Nov. 15, 2011) - The St. John's fencing team hit the strip for the first time this season at the North American Cup in Austin, Texas this past weekend. From Nov. 11-14, six Red Storm fencers competed against 2,000 other Olympic and Junior World Championship Team hopefuls at the NAC. The Red Storm finished with three top-16 individual finishes, including a bronze medal by sophomore Eli Schenkel, to set the tone for this season.
The Red Storm's first competitor, freshman Melissa Corona went 4-2 in pool play in the women's foil to receive the No. 39 seed and advance to the second round of competition, which consisted of 98 athletes. She handedly defeated her first opponent, 15-8, but was eliminated in the pool of 64 with a 15-11 loss to the No. 26 seed. The native of Mexico finished tied for 41st overall.
Next up for St. John's was Isis Washington, a freshman competing in women's epee. Washington, who was making her third Junior NAC appearance, captured a bronze medal at the Junior NAC in Dallas, Texas this past January and made an eighth-place finish in Portland, Ore. this past April. The freshman went 5-1 in pool play to earn the No. 28 seed and a bye in the second round, which consisted of 132 athletes. The New Jersey native then rallied off three-consecutive victories, including a 15-11 win over the No. 5 seed in the pool of 32. However, the eventual semifinalist, No. 12 Ashley Severson, eliminated Washington by a score of 15-12 in the pool of 16. Washington placed 14th overall.
Sophomore Eli Schenkel, winner of the 2011 NCAA Northeast Regional, relayed his highly successful freshman season into a St. John's-best third place finish in men's foil at the Austin NAC. The California native won all six of his bouts in pool play to earn the No. 8 seed and a bye in the second round, which consisted of 149 athletes. Schenkel breezed through his bracket with four-consecutive victories, which included a 15-3 dismantling of the No. 40 seed in the pool of 32.
Fellow foilist, sophomore Max Blitzer, who was also eliminated by No. 4 Michael Dudley, collected the Red Storm's second-best finish at the Austin NAC. The New Yorker, who earned bronze in this summer's NAC in Reno, Nev., went 5-1 in pool play to earn the No. 20 seed and a bye in the second round of competition. He then picked up three-consecutive victories before running into Dudley, who defeated him, 15-5, in the pool of 16. Blitzer finished 11th overall.
The Red Storm's third competitor in men's foil, sophomore Wilfred Curioso, won all six of his bouts in pool play to advance to the second round with the No. 28 seed. The Rhode Island native, who placed seventh at the 2008 Junior NAC in St. Louis, Mo., then defeated the No. 111 and No. 47 seeds to advance to the pool of 32, but was eliminated by the No. 15 seed by a score of 15-8. Curioso finished 24th overall.
Last up for St. John's was sophomore Alexandra Tannous, competing in women's saber. Also from Rhode Island, Tannous went 4-2 in pool play to earn the No. 30 seed and a bye in the second round of competition, which consisted of 87 athletes. In the pool of 64, she squared off with the No. 35 seed, but was defeated, 15-11. Tannous placed 37th overall.
The 2011-12 St. John's fencing continues on Dec. 4, 2011 in Waltham, Mass. for the Brandeis Invitational. The full schedule can be found here.