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April 16, 2012
University Park, Pa.- Two current and one former Nittany Lion will represent their countries at the 2012 Olympics in London after qualifying this weekend. Those representing the United States qualified at the Division I National Championships in Virginia Beach, Va. Eleven current and former Nittany Lions have represented their countries at the Olympics, covering five different countries.
Senior Foil Miles Chamley-Watson (Philadelphia, Pa.) took off this past season to focus on his Olympic pursuit. It paid off, as he claimed the third spot on the U.S. Men's Foil National Team. Despite a loss in the quarterfinals of the Division I National Championships, Chamley-Watson qualified with a fifth place finish. When combined with the rest of his international competitions, the finish was enough to push him into the third spot. Chamley-Watson is a three-time All-American at Penn State.
David Willette (Lafayette, Calif.) also attempted to qualify for the U.S. Men's Foil Team, but fell short in the semifinals of the Division I National Championships. Willette advanced to the semifinals, where he was defeated 15-13 by Gerek Meinhardt, a 2008 Olympian. A gold medal in the championships would have qualified Willette as the replacement athlete for the team.
Former Nittany Lion Doris Willette (Lafayette, Calif.) earned a spot on the U.S. Women's Foil Team as a replacement athlete. Willette qualified by winning the gold medal at the event, defeating Margaret Lu, 15-8. This will be Willette's second Olympics after traveling to the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, also as a replacement athlete. Willette was a four-time All-American and two-time National Champion at Penn State, claiming titles in 2007 and 2009.
Junior Daniel Gomez-Tanamachi (Mexico City, Mexico) claimed a spot on the Mexico Men's Foil Team. Gomez-Tanamachi went 24-8 this past year and placed tenth at the NCAA Championships to be named an Honorable Mention All-American.
Former Penn State Olympians include:
Jana Angelakis, Foil, 1980, 84
Peter Cox, Saber, 1996
Suzi Paxton, Foil, 1996
Tom Strzalkowski, Saber, 1996
Alex Weber, Saber, 2000 (Germany)
Doris Willette, Foil, 2008
Nonpatat Panchan, Foil, 2008 (Thailand)
Adam Wiercioch, Epee, 2008 (Poland)