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Mount Pleasant's Westchester Fencing Academy Wins Medals At Junior Olympics

The Fencing Academy of Westchester in Hawthorne recently earned medals at the 2014 Junior Olympics in Portland, Ore.
The Fencing Academy of Westchester in Hawthorne recently earned medals at the 2014 Junior Olympics in Portland, Ore. Photo Credit: Courtesy US Fencing website

MOUNT PLEASANT, N.Y. -- The Fencing Academy of Westchester in Hawthorne recently earned medals at the 2014 Junior Olympics in Portland, Ore.

More than 1,500 fencers from around the country made the trip to the competition from Feb. 14 to 18 and the women fencers from the Fencing Academy of Westchester in Hawthorne excelled in the foil. The competition included events for men and women in two age categories: Juniors – ages 19 and under and Cadet – ages 17 and under. Individual and team events were held in each of three traditional fencing weapons including foil, epee, and saber.

Westchester's Liana Semel, 16, from Carmel, earned a silver medal in the Junior women’s foil event, besting more than 127 other competitors. Teammate Gaby Zusin, 17, also medaled with a seventh-place finish.

Teams from FAW also picked up gold and bronze medals in the Junior women’s foil team events. The gold medal team included Semel; Sylvie Binder, from Armonk;  Zusin; and Olympia Peters.

The team was coached by two-time Olympian Slava Grigoriev and Anya Katkova and defeated a team from San Francisco in the gold medal bout. The FAW bronze medal team included Finnula Mageras, 16, from Darien; Emily Jiang, 17, from Ardsley; and Joanne Carminucci, 16, from Brewster.

In the individual Cadet women’s foil event, Mageras and Binder both earned medals finishing sixth and seventh place respectively as well as earning their “A” ratings which signifies the highest level of skill a competitive fencer can achieve based on their tournament finishes, representatives said.

“I am very proud of our women – they have worked incredibly hard by putting in the hours of training and coming together as a unit when it mattered. They are great role models for all the kids coming up in our programs, “ said Coach Katkova.

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