Zagunis stays hot, wins Pan Am title

Mariel follows NYC success with gold in Costa Rica
Staff Report
Mariel Zagunis, left, competes against teammate Ibtihaj Muhammad during the women's individual sabre fencing semifinals at the Pan American Fencing Championships in San Jose, Costa Rica Tuesday.

Beaverton’s Mariel Zagunis defended her No. 1 world ranking by winning the gold medal in the women’s saber at the Pan American Championships Tuesday in San Jose, Costa Rica.

Zagunis, who picked up the title at the World Cup championships in New York City earlier in June, defeated Sandra Sassine of Canada, 15-7, in the final.

Zaguins has won a gold medal in saber in the past two Olympic Games and is the top candidate to make the U.S. team for the 2012 London Games.

The U.S. team has performed outstandingly at the event as 16-year-old Lee Kiefer won the women’s foil title and then led the team to a gold medal.

Cody Mattern of Tigard placed ninth in the men’s epee field.

Sisters Kelley and Courtney Hurley finished second and third in women’s epee.