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Erinn Smart defeats three-time Olympic champ

4/26/2004

ATLANTA -- The Smart siblings pulled off a sweep Sunday in
the U.S. Fencing National Championships.

Keeth Smart knocked off a fellow Olympian in the semifinals,
then went on a torrid run in the final to win the men's saber
title, while sister Erinn beat three-time Olympian Ann Marsh to
capture the women's foil crown.

"It feels good," Erinn said. "I can't wait to call my mom."

Cody Mattern of Portland, Ore., won the men's epee title during
the last night of individual competition at the Georgia World
Congress Center.

Trailing 7-8 at the break in his final against Mike Momtselidze,
Keeth Smart took over the attack and won seven straight points en
route to a 15-10 win.

Smart faced Ivan Lee in the semifinals in the only bout of the
evening involving two 2004 Olympians.

Lee won the first four points of the bout against his teammate
from the Peter Westbrook Foundation in New York, but Smart scored
the next four to tie it. Trailing by one at the break, Smart won
five of the next six points to take the lead and went on to win
15-13.

Erinn Smart beat the counterattacking Hanna Thompson 13-11 in
the semifinals, and then took control of the final, defeating Marsh
15-7.

The U.S. roster for the Athens Olympics is set.

Previously, all three U.S. men's teams (epee, foil, and saber)
had qualified for the Olympics as the top sides in the Americas
region. The top three fencers in the national rankings made their
respective Olympic teams.

Smart and Lee, both from New York, will be joined by Jason
Rogers of Los Angeles on the saber team. Rogers lost to Momtselidze
in the quarterfinals on Sunday.

Mattern beat his Olympic teammate, Soren Thompson of San Diego,
in the quarterfinals. The third member of the U.S. epee team, Seth
Kelsey of Colorado Springs, Colo., did not compete in the
tournament.

Dan Kellner, from Warren, N.J., won the men's foil title on
Friday. He'll be joined on the Olympic squad by Jed Dupree of
Bethlehem, Pa., and Jon Tiomkin of Hewlett, N.Y.

Qualifiers for the U.S. women were determined at the end of
March. Erinn Smart will be the lone American woman in foil. Sisters
Sada and Emily Jacobson of Dunwoody, Ga., will compete in saber,
while Kamara James of New York will compete in epee.