St. John’s University was well-represented at the 2012
Olympic Games in London this summer, with two undergraduate fencers
and a former track-and-field star taking part in the historic
international athletic competition.
Daryl Homer ’13CPS and the U.S. team placed eighth in
the men’s saber event on August 3 — the final Olympic fencing event
including St. John’s athletes. Led by Red Storm coach
Yury Gelman, the U.S. squad earned their eighth-place
finish after falling to No. 2 Belarus, 45-35, in the second
round of the consolation bracket.
Top-seeded Russia had sent the U.S. team into the
consolation bracket after the quarterfinals, which marked the
event's first round. The U.S. squad was defeated by No. 1 Russia,
45-33, despite succeeding against them in Sunday’s individual
event. The U.S. fencers — including Homer — had beated two of the
three Russian competitors.
Dagmara Wozniak ’13C finished eighth in the women’s saber. The
tenth-seeded Avenal, NJ, native beat the No. 7 seed to reach the
quarterfinals, in which she was defeated by Sophia Velikaia of
Russia, the world’s No. 2-ranked fencer. Wozniak served as a
replacement athlete for the U.S. women’s saber squad in the 2008
Games in Beijing.
This marked the fourth time that Red Storm coach Gelman has
guided the U.S. Olympic fencing team. In 2008, he led the
Summer Olympics men’s saber to its best-ever finish and its first
medal since 1984.
Phobay Kutu-Akoi ’09C ran an 11.52-second 100-meter dash in her
heat at the Games on August 3, less than .4 seconds behind the last
semifinal qualifier in her group. The split was identical to her
performance at the 2009 Metropolitan Championships, which earned
her the St. John's and Liberian national record in the 100-meter
dash. Kutu-Akoi was flag-bearer for her home nation of Liberia
at this year's Opening Ceremonies.
The trio joined a roster of St. John’s athletes who have earned
high profiles this past year. They include
Keegan Bradley '08CPS, 2011 PGA Tour “Rookie of the Year” and
the PGA Championship winner; former Red Storm forward/guard
Moe Harkless, the 2011-12 BIG EAST Rookie of the Year and
the No. 15 pick in the NBA Draft; and pitcher
John Franco, inducted into the New York Mets Hall of Fame in