Former Johnnies Win Gold at the Senior Pan American Championships

June 21, 2018

QUEENS, N.Y. – Representing the storied and prestigious St. John’s Fencing program, three former Johnnies won gold this past week at the Senior Pan American Championships held in Havana, Cuba. Dagmara Wozniak took home a pair of gold medals, while Daryl Homer and Curtis McDowald each claimed gold in the team competitions.

Wozniak, a 2016 Rio Olympic team bronze medalist, opened up the women’s saber individual draw with a perfect 5-0 record and outscored her opponents by 20 touches, the most by any fencer in pool play.

Following a bye in the table of 64, Wozniak won three-straight bouts to move into the semifinals to guarantee herself a medal. Facing fellow American fencer, Chloe Fox-Gitomer, Wozniak dominated early with an 8-0 lead before securing an easy 15-6 victory to advance to the finals.

Looking for her first-career Pan American title, Wozniak kept up her stellar performance on the strip with a 15-9 victory over American Anne-Elizabeth Stone to bring home the gold medal.

Wozniak and her American teammates also won gold with three victories in the women’s saber team competition.

A 2018 graduate of St. John’s, McDowald fenced at his fist-career Pan American Championships and showed off his talents on the piste with a third-place finish to earn bronze in men’s individual epee. The Jamaica, N.Y., native started off terrific on the strip as he dropped just one bout in pool play to go 4-1, earning a bye in the next round.

A Third Team All-American last season, McDowald collected back-to-back 15-9 victories to move into the quarterfinals for a showdown against American teammate Jason Pryor. McDowald and the 2016 Olympian began the bout tied at nine, before McDowald pulled away with a 6-3 run to notch a 15-12 victory. The recent Red Storm graduate fell in the semifinals to finish in third place, collecting his first international bronze medal.

In the team competition, McDowald and Team USA defeated Cuba, Brazil and Venezuela to add another gold medal for the Americans and McDowald a gold in team epee.

Homer, a 2016 Rio Olympic silver medalist, cruised in pool play with a 6-0 record before reeling off three-straight convincing triumphs in table play. In the semifinals bout, Homer faced the fellow American and eventual gold medalist Eli Dershwitz and fell, 15-8. The Bronx product, Homer claimed the bronze to add another medal to his International fencing resume.

Homer won gold with Team USA in the saber team competition as three different former Johnnies collected gold at the Pan American Championships in Cuba.

Rising Red Storm senior Ben Natanzon competed in his first-career Senior Pan American Championships as the only current Johnnie in the competition. Natanzon went 5-1 in pool play and then picked up two consecutive victories to advance to the quarterfinals. The Manalapan, N.J., native finished in sixth place after falling to Dershwitz in the quarterfinals.

Below is a summary of results from the Senior Pan American Championships:

Men’s Saber
Daryl Homer: 3rd place (Bronze) Team: 1st place (Gold)
Ben Natanzon: 6th place

Men’s Epee
Curtis McDowald: 3rd place (Bronze) Team: 1st place (Gold)

Women’s Saber
Dagmara Wozniak: 1st place (Gold) Team: 1st place (Gold)




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