April 11, 2003

Riders Head off To Zone Finals

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After a successful regional performance, the equestrian team heads to Port Jervis, N.Y. for the zone championships this Sunday. Still, while the entire team qualified as the region’s reserve team, only four riders are eligible for national contention.

Riding for Cornell will be sophomores Gillian Pech, Erica Rosen, and Linda Nguyen, and senior Julie Canter. Head coach Chris Mitchell is confident in his riders’ chances to move on.

“All four of them have an excellent chance of getting through this round and on to the next one,” he said. “We’re preparing them for taking it up to the next level.”

Pech will carry twice the load of her teammates, as the rider has qualified for both the Novice fences and Novice flat class events. Pech collectively beat 32 other riders for her spots in the Zone competition, all to the delight of her coaches.

“I’m looking for her to get to nationals,” said Mitchell. “She has the talent, the desire the skill and the poise.”

Mitchell will also look to Canter, one of the team’s seniors and only previous national qualifier, for leadership and control. The coach was blunt, saying, “We’ll be looking for great things from her.”

Standing in the way of Pech, Canter and their teammates will be five other schools, including St. Mary College, Pace University, Skidmore, Cazanovia, and St. Lawrence.

There will also be several individual riders to challenge the team in its quest for nationals.

“The competition will be tough, but I think we’ll be ready,” Mitchell noted. “I think we’ll be right up there in the mix.”

Archived article by Matt Janiga