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May 15, 2002

CAZENOVIA, N.Y. — The USC Equestrian Team had two members participate in the IHSA Equestrian National Championship over the weekend at Cazenovia College near Syracuse, New York. Junior Lisa Wilson finished third in the country in individual Walk/Trot/Canter on Sunday. Wilson put in a solid performance to beat 13 other individuals in a field of 16.

“Lisa is a real competitor that goes out to win every time,” Coach Duncan said. “She rode well and kept her cool in a large class. The judges were asking the competitors to do things as a group that are normally not asked at this level and Lisa was able to show off her skills.”

Junior Sarah Tomasi also represented the Gamecocks and Zone 5 Region 2 in the Cacchione Cup held on Saturday. Unfortunately, Tomasi made what the judges thought was a serious error in the jumping phase. In the process of trying to get her horse to do a lead change between jumps, Tomasi broke to a trot to get the change.

“In the IHSA competitions, breaking to a trot to fix a lead is acceptable,” said Duncan. “I believe from where the judges were sitting, it may have been hard for them to tell what she was trying to do. Instead of thinking she was doing a simple change of lead through the trot which should not be penalized, they thought she trotted by accident and scored her accordingly. Other than that error, her ride was quite good.”

Tomasi rode well in the flat phase of the Cacchione Cup but could not move up enough to place in the top 10. There were 28 competitors in her class.

“It was a good experience for both riders and has given them mileage that will only benefit them in the future in collegiate competition,” said Duncan. ” I will not be surprised at all to see Sarah and Lisa back at the National finals next year.”