Stanford's Massialas wins fencing gold at Pan Am Games


Stanford senior Alexander Massialas led a one-two finish in men's foil for the United States to highlight local efforts at the 201 Pan American Games on Wednesday in Canada.

Massialas took the gold medal by defeating teammate and friend Gerek Meinhardt, 15-12.

"We are an amazing bunch right now," Massialas said of the top four foil fencers in the country. "To finish out the season 1, 3, 8 and 11, that's incredible for any country, let alone the U.S. who years before had struggled to get anyone in (the round of) 32.

"To see how far we've come from a decade ago, it's a really amazing thing to see."

Massialas is ranked No. 3 in the world, while Race Imboden holds the No. 1 spot with Meinhardt eighth and Miles Chamley-Watson 11th. All four are 2012 Olympians and all but No. 1-ranked Imboden own individual world championship medals.

Massialas and Meinhardt earned silver and bronze, respectively at the World Championships in Russia last week.

The 21-year-old Massialas' international accolades now include a world championship silver medal, an Olympic appearance, Youth Olympic silver and bronze medals from 2010 and now three Pan Ams gold medals.

"It feels awesome to come out here four years later after Guadalajara and just come out and fence the best I can and win a gold medal," he said. "It's a tough thing to do and I don't know how often it happens at the Pan American Games. Defending gold medals in anything is tough, especially when it's four years apart, so it's extra special."

Women's volleyball

The U.S. Women's National Team prevailed over Cuba, 25-18, 25-19, 22-25, 25-18, in the quarterfinal on Wednesday in Toronto.

Stanford grad Kristin (Richards) Hildebrand had 11 points with 10 kills on 31 attacks and a block. She also recorded 10 digs to go with 19 excellent receptions on 28 chances.

Stanford grad Cassidy Lichtman, mainly used as a serving sub, was on the serving line five times in the five sets allowing Team USA to gain several runs on her serve.

The U.S. (3-1), which is using a split squad for this event with the FIVB World Grand Prix running concurrently, will now compete against the Dominican Republic in the semifinal round on Thursday.

— Palo Alto Online Sports

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