March 6, 2007

Equestrian Finishes Third, Qualifies 12 for Regionals

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This past weekend, the equestrian team walked, trotted and jumped its way to a third place finish at the Morrisville Invitational. Although head coach Chris Mitchell saw the outing as somewhat of a disappointment, he pointed out that there were many highlights on the way to 12 Red riders qualifying for the regional championships.

Cornell’s output of 31 total points was its lowest of the season, while Skidmore paced the 13-team tournament with 37 points and Morrisville rode close on its heels at 33 points. Mitchell pointed out that it was just simply a day when things weren’t clicking for the Red, and a lack of consistency in one event caused the judges to view them less favorably in other events.
[img_assist|nid=21900|title=My pretty pony|desc=Sophomore Alyse Mizia makes a jump, helping the Red to a first place finish in the Cornell Invitational Feb. 18. Mizia won the intermediate fences competition this past weekend.|link=none|align=left|width=100|height=89]

“We just had one of those days,” Mitchell said. “For example, not to pick on [sophomore] Dana Kendrick, but she had an un-Dana like day. She was not as consistent as she normally is and it pushed her out of the top ribbons. I think that affected her for her flat ride. I think that affected the judges too, because they thought they saw her that morning and she wasn’t that impressive so they decided to put her at the bottom. She should have been higher on her flat ride.”

Nonetheless, Cornell continued to fight, and actually came through with many individual highlights on the day.

“They were all there supporting everyone,” Mitchell said. “This team doesn’t quit. When we ended up with 31 points I looked at my assistant coach and said, ‘How did we do that?’ We get pushed down but we just keep coming back.”

Taking four blue ribbons on the afternoon, the Red was helped by the performance of junior Christine Garvey.

“Christine Garvey won her novice fences class,” Mitchell said. “She’s had a rough go of things lately and it just all clicked for her.”

Sophomore Alyse Mizia also took home a blue ribbon for the Red, taking the top spot in the intermediate fences category. Freshman Clara Hall placed first in her open fences class to qualify herself for nationals, although she failed to pin in her open flat run later in the afternoon.

One of the more intriguing stories of the day was senior tri-captain Elizabeth Kozakeiwicz. While snowboarding, Kozakeiwicz broke her arm less than a week before the Morrisville Invitational.

“She qualified on intermediate fences on Saturday [Feb. 24], broke her arm on Sunday and she was back riding on Wednesday,” Mitchell said. “She needed seven points to qualify [for intermediate flat] and she got those points by winning her class. Needless to say, the team’s not allowed to snowboard now.”

Senior Elizabeth Bennett also completed an impressive run this season, qualifying for regionals in the walk trot after averaging no less than second place over seven competitions.