Houston’s Salle Mauro Fencing Academy Takes Home Gold from 2011 National and International Championship Competitions

Houston, TX July 11, 2011-Salle Mauro Fencing Academy, Houston’s leading fencing club, brought home three gold, two silver, and two finalist (top 8) medals in youth, individual, and team events from the 2011 and U.S. Summer Nationals, held in Reno, Nevada, July 1 – 10. Additionally, the USA National Men’s and Women’s Foil Teams won an additional four gold, 2 silver , and 2 bronze medals at the Pan-American Zonal Championships, which were held simultaneously. The club and the competing fencers were led by club founder Mauro Hamza, who is head coach of the men’s and women’s U.S. foil teams for the 2012 Olympics, and fencing coordinator at Rice University. Some 3,000 fencers from across the U.S. competed in youth team and individual events as well as senior-level events for the Summer Nationals and North American Cup competitions. In addition, top fencers from the U.S. and Central and South America competed in the Pan American Zonal Championship, hoping to qualify from the region for the 2012 London Olympics.

“These achievements are the results of months of preparation and hard work. I couldn’t be prouder of my fencers.”

Individual Men’s Foil, Pan American Zonal Championships: Three of the top medals went to members of the 2012 Olympic U.S. Men’s Foil Team: Race Imboden (New York City) won the gold; Alexander Maisialas (San Francisco)won silver; and Gerek Meinhardt (San Francisco) won bronze. In addition, fellow U.S. Olympic team member Miles Chambley-Watson (Philadelphia) earned a spot in the ‘top eight,’ which means qualifying points towards his 2012 Olympic dreams. The field included fencers from Mexico, Venezuela, Canada, and Brazil. With only a limited number of fencers eligible from any given region for the 2012 Olympics, these were significant placements for the U.S. Men’s Foil Team. The US Men’s Olympic Foil Team now ranks 5th in the world, the highest-ever ranking for the US in the sport of fencing.

Individual Women’s Foil, Pan American Zonal Championships: Matching the men, three of the top medals went to members of the 2012 Olympic U.S. Women’s Foil Team: Lee Kiefer (Lexington, KY) won the gold; Doris Willette (Lafayette, CA) won silver; and Nzingha Prescod (Brooklyn) won bronze. The field included fencers from Mexico, Venezuela, Canada, and Puerto Rico. In a tight race with Canada to qualify for Olympic spots, the U.S. women helped themselves open a lead for a berth in London.

Senior Men’s Foil Team, Championships, U.S. Summer Nationals: The Salle Mauro Club team won the National Championship for Senior Men’s Team Foil. Clubs from around the country send their top fencers to compete against each other. Members Michael Dudey, Ira Schlosberg, and Denes Marton of Houston were joined by Gabriel Acuna of The Woodlands, in besting Empire United Fencing of New York, NY in the final.

Division IA Women’s Foil, U.S. Summer Nationals: Fencer Sarah Followill of Houston took sixth place in this event for top rated , from a field of 76 competitors.

Division II Men’s Foil, U.S. Summer Nationals: Fencer Denes Marton of Houston took the gold medal in this event for the second tier of American fencers and qualified for next year’s National Championships, from a field of 112

Salle Mauro USA Junior National Champion

Salle Mauro USA Junior National Champion

competitors.

Mohamed Hamza Silver medal Y10

Mohamed Hamza Silver medal Y10

Youth 14 Men’s Foil, U.S. Summer Nationals: Fencer Thomas Dudey of Houston took the silver medal in this event for youth 14 and under, from a field of 201 competitors.

Junior Men’s Foil Team Championships, North American Cup: The Salle Mauro Club team won the first team gold medal of the 2011-12 Junior season. Members Michael Dudey, Ira Schlosberg, and Denes Marton of Houston were joined by Gabriel Acuna of The Woodlands, in besting the Fencing Academy of Westchester, New York in the final.

Youth 12 Men’s Foil, North American Cup: Fencer Mohamed Hamza took eighth place for this event for youth 12 and under, from a field of 195 competitors.

Youth 10 Men’s Foil, North American Cup: Fencer Mohamed Hamza won the silver medal for this event for

youth 10 and under, from a field of 108 competitors.

These competitions are the culmination of the American competitive fencing season. The 2011-12 season begins in September.

Salle Mauro Fencing Academy, located in the city of West University in Houston, Texas, was founded in 1999 by Mauro Hamza. Hamza is the head coach of the men’s and women’s U.S. foil teams for the 2012 Olympics and also serves as fencing coordinator at Rice University. The club specializes in competitive training in all weapons for a range of fencers, from as young as six to senior members

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