Fencers Club takes men's saber team competition

Updated: April 26, 2004, 9:10 PM ET
Associated Press

ATLANTA -- Fencers Club knocked off the Peter Westbrook Foundation 45-42 in the final of the men's saber team competition Monday at the U.S. Fencing National Championships.

The two New York clubs share the same space in Manhattan and often practice together. However, it was the first time since 2000 that the Westbrook Foundation lost the team saber title.

Tim Morehouse, who earlier in the day was announced as a replacement member for the men's saber Olympic team, mounted a furious rally against Ahmed Yilla to give Fencers Club a 25-22 lead.

Despite the presence of 2004 Olympians Keeth Smart and Ivan Lee on the Westbrook squad, Fencers Club held on for the win at the Georgia World Congress Center.

The Rochester (N.Y.) Fencing Center won the women's foil team competition, while the New York Athletic Club won the men's epee title in the last event of the championships.

At a morning news conference, the full roster and replacement athletes for the U.S. Olympic team were announced.

All three U.S. men's teams (epee, foil, and saber) qualified for the Olympics as the top sides in the Americas region at the end of the qualifying period last month. The women's epee squad didn't qualify for Athens, finishing behind Canada in the world rankings. There is no team competition for women's saber or epee at this year's Olympics.

Smart and Lee, both from New York, will be joined by Jason Rogers of Los Angeles on the saber team. Morehouse, also of New York, will serve as the replacement athlete for the squad.

Replacement athletes cannot compete in the individual competition but can be used as substitutes in team play.

Cody Mattern of Portland, Ore., Soren Thompson of San Diego, and Seth Kelsey of Colorado Springs, Colo., will compete on the men's epee team. Jan Viviani of Haworth, N.J. is the epee replacement athlete.

Dan Kellner, of Warren, N.J., Jed Dupree of Bethlehem, Pa., and Jon Tiomkin of Hewlett, N.Y., make up the men's foil side. Greg Chang of Lexington, Mass., used a strong fourth-place finish in Friday's individual competition to move up in the national rankings and earn the replacement athlete position.

Qualifiers for the U.S. women were determined at the end of March. Erinn Smart, the sister of Keeth, 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.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press