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St. John's will have eight athletes and three coaches, both former and current, represent six different countries at the upcoming Olympic Games.
The 2020 Summer Olympics will be held July 21-Aug. 8 in Toyko, Japan. Red Storm athletes and coaches will represent four different St. John's programs, including baseball, fencing, track & field and women's soccer.
Six of the 11 Johnnies participating in the Tokyo Olympics will represent the United States. Head fencing coach Yury Gelman will serve as a member of the coaching staff for the sixth-straight time. During Gelman's tenure, the USA fencing team earned seven individual medals and six as a team.
Gelman will be joined by former fencers Daryl Homer, Curtis McDowald and Dagmara Wozniak. Homer is representing the United States for the third time, after winning a silver medal in the men's individual saber at the 2016 Rio Olympics. During his time at St. John's, Homer was a two-time NCAA National Champion. Homer will compete in both the individual and team saber competitions in Tokyo.
McDowald will compete on the Olympic piste for the first time this summer. The Jamaica, N.Y., native will take part in both the individual and team epee events. The former Red Storm epeeist currently ranks no. 1 in the United States and no. 40 in the world. McDowald wrapped up his Red Storm career as a two-time All-American.
Wozniak will represent the United States in women's saber for the fourth-straight time. She earned a bronze medal in the team competition at the Rio Games in 2016 and placed eighth individually in 2012. As a Johnnie, Wozniak won a bronze medal at the 2010 NCAA championships and was a three-time All-American.
The previous Red Storm track & field and cross country head coach Duffy Mahoney and former track & field star Marsha Henry-Seagrave will also represent the USA, serving as the Chief of Sport Performance and Head Team Manager, respectively. Mahoney has been with Team USA since 1989 and is their longest tenured staff member. Seagrave served as a Team USA staff manager for 14 international junior and senior teams, including the last three IAAF World Championships. Seagrave represents women's track & field on the USATF Women's Executive Committee and serves as the Women's Standards Chair. She long jumped and triple jumped for St. John's in the 1990s, ranking among the best in program history.
Aliann Pompey, St. John's newly appointed Track & Field and Cross Country Head Coach, will make her second appearance as a staff member for Guyana, after making her first in 2016. Pompey is a four-time Olympian who ran the 400-meter in the Olympic games in 2000, 2004, 2008, and 2012. The Georgetown, Guyana native will represent her home country as Team Guyana's Athletes' Representative. The former NCAA 400-meter champion ran a personal best time of 50.71 seconds in the 2009 World Track Championships.
Rachel Daly, the most decorated player in the history of the St. John's women's soccer program, will be the program's first athlete to represent her country in the Olympics, as she will be competing with Great Britain. Despite playing just three seasons for the Red Storm, the lethal goal scorer set a slew of school records including, career goals (50) and points (111). As a senior, Daly helped lead the Johnnies to a school-record 15 wins, the program's first BIG EAST Regular Season Championship, and a home game in the NCAA Tournament. In 2016, following her senior campaign, Daly became the first Red Storm women's soccer player to be drafted to the NWSL, as she joined the Houston Dash after being selected with the sixth overall pick.
Former Red Storm baseball player Alex Katz will make his second Olympic appearance, as he participated in the 2017 World Baseball Classic in South Korea representing Israel. Katz was selected by the White Sox in the 27th round of the 2015 MLB Draft after helping lead the Red Storm to BIG EAST Regular Season and Tournament titles as a junior. That spring, Katz went 3-1 with a 3.40 ERA in 19 appearances, six of which were starts, for the 41-16 Johnnies. He struck out 52 batters in 55.2 innings while holding opponents to a .259 batting average. In addition to his first stint in the White Sox organization, Katz has also played in the farm systems of the Orioles, Royals and Cubs. Katz is currently assigned to the Double-A Tennessee Smokies.
Two more fencers are set to compete in the Olympics as former Johnnie Eli Schenkel will represent Canada, while rising senior Fares Ferjani will compete for Tunisia. Schenkel is poised to make his Olympic debut in team and individual foil. The 28-year-old finished 25th in the foil competition at the 2019 International Fencing Federation World Championships. At St. John's, he earned Third-Team All-American honors and placed ninth at the NCAA Championships in his junior season.
Ferjani is the lone current St. John's athlete competing in this summer's games. This will be Ferjani's second appearance in the Olympic games, as he placed 25th in the saber competition in 2016 at the age of 18. A 2019 NCAA First-Team All-American, Ferjani currently holds a 95-32 overall record at St. John's.