All season long the equestrian team has ridden neck and neck with Skidmore for the top spot in Region II of Zone III of the IHSA, trailing the Thoroughbreds by 20 points heading into yesterday’s final invitational in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., before next weeks Regional championships.
Needing a perfect performance, the Red came up just short, finishing a strong second in a field of 12 with 38 points – three points behind first place Skidmore who secured the team championship for the region with the win. Cornell finished second in the region on the year.
“Our region is probably one of the top-3 toughest regions in the country,” said head coach Chris Mitchell. “It’s a great year, a little disappointing because we were going out setting our goal to beat Skidmore and have the Cacchione rider for the year, but you know when you finish up in second place to a team like Skidmore, that has eight or nine national championships, you know what, it’s a good year.”
The Red and the Thoroughbreds were tied with 14 points after the first two events of the day, but Skidmore began to pull away capturing first place in the next two events and building a safe cushion over Cornell during the intermediate flats.
“That’s kind of where we took a little wind out of our sales, but you know we came right back you know we keep fighting,” Mitchell said.
Freshman Dana Kendrick continued her breakout rookie season, earning seven points for Cornell by winning the open fences class and riding well in the open flats division
“She had an outstanding day and a tremendous year, and she’s not done yet,” Mitchell said. “She’s going to go to regionals and hopefully from Regionals to Zones to Nationals.”
Kendrick’s performance vaulted her into the No. 2 spot for the Cacchione Cup, given to the rider with the most cumulative points earned in both fences and flats during the year. Ashley Woodhouse from Skidmore won the cup, earning her an automatic bid to Nationals.
While Skidmore’s Woodhouse may have captured the high-points rider of the year honors, Cornell riders took the next three spots, with senior Trudi Gulick, and senior tri-captain Megan Gates joining Kendrick at the No. 3 and No. 4 spots respectively.
Gulick proved herself worthy of her ranking by winning her flats division and taking second place in her fences division yesterday in Saratoga Springs.
Cornell will send eleven riders to the Regional championships, which will also be held at Skidmore, this Saturday. Kendrick, Gates and Gulick will represent the Red in both the open flats and open fences divisions. Sophomore Samantha Horowitz will compete in both the intermediate flats and the intermediate fences division and will be joined in the fences by junior tri-captain Laura Acker. Junior tri-captain Liz Kozakiewicz will head to Saratoga Springs to compete in the novice flats and fences divisions. Rounding out the field at Regionals will senior Lydia Shute, sophomores Christine Garvey, Kendall Banks, and Caitlin Stanemeyer, and freshman Caitlin Carroll.
Archived article by Paul Testa
Sun Assistant Sports Editor