Cadet National team member Celina Merza was the surprise winner of the Virgina Beach North American Cup of Fencing, upsetting some of the country’s top ranked senior fencers to claim her first Division I NAC title.
Second place was Ibtijah Mohammad. 3rd place Eliza Stone and Canadian National Team Member Sandra Sassin. Rounding out the bottom 8 were Daria Schneider, Emily Jacobson, Lian Osier and Margaret McDonald.
Profile of Celina Merza…
Celina Merza is the daughter of Bassam and Blana Merza… She is a member of the 2009 Cadet World Championship Team… Her dad introduced her to the sport by chance… Celina’s love of fencing, her family’s support, and the challenge of the sport is what motivates her… She considers herself easy-going yet determined… Celina is an Honor Roll student and enjoys reading, music, outdoor sports, and forensic science.
Competition Record: 2009- Member of the Cadet World Championship Team
2008- Summer Nationals in San Jose, CA, 1st place Y14
Cadet Team World Cup in Konin, Poland, 1st place
2008- Junior Olympic Championships in Charlott, NC, 3rd place Junior
2-time Olympic champion and world #1 ranked fencer Mariel Zagunis, Dagmara Wozniak and Daria Schneider, all ranked top-16 in the world, hung out at the fencing venue today. They cheered on the boys (Thanks guys!) and settled in a bit as they prepare to compete shortly.
Olympian Emily Jacobson and Ibty Mohammed will be in action tomorrow on the first day of the women’s saber fencing competition.
The USA women’s saber fencing team captured GOLD today in Orleans, France!
Mariel Zagunis, Dagmara Wozniak, Daria Schneider and Emily Jacobson each fenced strongly throughout the day as the US team beat Romania 45-44, Italy 45-29, Ukraine 45-39 and finally the French team 45-44. GO TEAM USA!
Here is Dagmara Wozniak’s take on it via FB message moments ago: I’m just going to say that today was so much fun. I haven’t had such a great team dynamic and really it plays such an important part in how we support each other and fence for each other.
And, from Daria Schneider: Ed is really great team coach and it wasawesome to have an opportunity to fence so many strong fencers and be able to try out what we have been working on with him in a competitive setting.
Word up Dags and Daria! Daga kept me posted throughout the day via text message as we fenced here im Budapest. We finished 6th. More on that tomorrow when I have the energy to write another post!
So happy for the girls! We’ll be seeing them in a few days in Moscow for a joint men’s and women’s saber Grand Prix event in Russia!
Ibtihajon Muhammad of the Peter Westbrook Foundation defeated 2004 Olympian Emily Jacobson to capture the 2009 National Chmpionship in Women’s Saber. Emily Jacobson continues her strong comeback after nearly 3-years off with her best domestic result of the season. (She’s trying to get into the top-8 to ensure she can travel next year)
Alexis Jemal and Samantha Roberts finished tied for 3rd.
The top-4 ranked US women’s saber fencers including 2-Time Olympic Champion Mariel Zagunis, Dagmara Wozniak, Daria Schneider and Monika Aksamit did not compete because of a scheduling conflict with the Pan American Games.