BALTIMORE, April 27, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Peter Westbrook Foundation's (PWF's) elite athletes joined the best fencers in the country to compete with national titles on the line last weekend at the 2017 US Fencing Division 1 National Championships. The four-day event is one of US Fencing's largest spectacles featuring Olympic and Team USA members among the nation's best all vying for both individual and team titles. Of the eight events with PWF athletes entered, the non-profit organization – which uses the sport of fencing to teach life skills to inner-city youth – walked away with a remarkable five national titles and put on one of the most dominant performances for any United States fencing organization.
The feat was sparked by an incredible display from the PWF Men and Women's Sabre squad led by Olympic Coach Ahki Spencer-el. Olympic Silver Medalist Daryl Homer struck first when he claimed his first individual National Championship in the Division I Men's Sabre on Friday. After winning the title that had alluded him for his entire career, Homer would claim double gold after gearing up with two time Olympian Ivan Lee, Junior Olympic Champion Kahlil Thompson and PWF elite saberist Zaheer Booth in the team event. In the women's Sabre event, Olympic Bronze Medalist Ibtihaj Muhammad won her second individual national championship title. Muhammad's victory came after defeating PWF teammate and 2020 Olympic hopeful Kamali Thompson in the quarterfinals, giving the PWF a seventh place finish in the event as well. With no team event competed in women's sabre, the PWF completed a clean sweep of the entire sabre competition.
In the individual men's epee event, PWF's 2012 Team World Champion, Ben Bratton brought home gold after winning his first National Championship title as well. Bratton would return for an attempt at double gold in the team event when he would join US Number One Adam Rodney, Junior World Team Member Curtis McDowald and 2008 National Team Champion Dwight Smith. The hotly contested event, resulted in a PWF victory after a remarkable comeback by Curtis McDowald, who drove the team back from the brink of defeat and overcame a 10 touch deficit against local rival the New York Athletic Club. The win would earn the PWF their fifth National Championship title for the weekend.
The victories also placed four Peter Westbrook Foundation members on the United States World Championship team to represent the United States at the Pan-American Zonal Championships in Montreal, Canada and the World Championships in Leipzig, Germany. Daryl Homer, Ibtihaj Muhammad Ben Bratton and Adam Rodney will all make appearances at the event this summer.
"This was one of the best PWF performances that I can remember in our 26 year history," exclaimed Peter Westbrook, founder and president of the Peter Westbrook Foundation. "We continue to challenge our young people to be the best on and off the strip and I believe that these results are a testament to all of the hard work they have done this year. Congratulations to all of our 2017 National Champions and World Championship team members that will represent the United States this summer."
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SOURCE Peter Westbrook Foundation