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Gracie Stone (second from left) on the podium in Udine, Italy. Photo Credit: Augusto Bizzi
(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – For most athletes, the introduction to a World Cup circuit is a slow one as they transition to new competitors in foreign countries.
But for 18-year-old Gracie Stone (Chicago, Ill.), the opposite held true when she won gold at her second Junior World Cup ever on Friday in Udine Italy.
Ranked 10th as a junior saber fencer in the United States at the start of the event, Stone’s win could put her in contention for a berth on the 2013 Junior World Championship Team where the top four fencers in each weapon will travel to Porec, Croatia in April.
Seeded 40th after a 4-2 pool finish, Stone followed a bye into the table of 64 with a 15-3 win over Nora Mihalik (HUN).
In the table of 32, Stone defeated Ophelie Virlogeux (FRA), 15-10.
After a 15-11 victory in the table of 16 against top-ranked U.S. junior Adrienne Jarocki (Middle Village, N.Y.), Stone advanced to the quarter-finals.
As the only U.S. fencer in the quarters, Stone fenced one of four Italians in the top eight and won her bout against Chiara Mormile, 15-10.
In the semifinals, Stone faced Sofia Ciaraglia (ITA) for the second time of the day. Stone, who won their previous bout in the pools, won their second match-up, 15-12.
Stone’s gold medal bout pitted the Princeton freshman against Anna Marton (HUN), the #2-ranked fencer in the world and a 2011 Junior World medalist.
At the end of a hard-fought bout, Stone came out with a 15-9 win over the tournament favorite.
Click here to view complete results.
Top eight and U.S. results are as follows:
Women’s Udine Junior Saber World Cup
1. Gracie Stone (Chicago, Ill.)
2. Anna Marton (HUN)
3. Sofia Ciaraglia (ITA)
3. Federica Donati (ITA)
5. Saoussen Boudiaf (FRA)
6. Chiara Mormile (ITA)
7. Flaminia Prearo (ITA)
8. Mariya Ridel (RUS)
10. Adrienne Jarocki (Middle Village, N.Y.)
14. Lena Johnson (Peachtree City, Ga.)
15. Anastasia Ivanoff (Los Angeles, Calif.)
15. Sophie Keehan (Erie, Pa.)
27. Anastasia Pineschi (Los Angeles, Calif.)
28. Sage Palmedo (Portland, Ore.)
49. Margaret McDonald (Atlanta, Ga.)
52. Francesca Russo (Wayne, N.J.)
64. Gillian Litynski (Nisakayuna, N.Y.)
78. Emma Keehan (Erie, Pa.)
91. Dana Kong (Princeton, N.J.)
Gracie Stone (right) during her semifinal win over Sofia Ciaraglia (ITA). Photo Credit: Augusto Bizzi