HARRISBURG, Pa. - Action concluded on Friday afternoon at the 2018 IHSA National Championships and the Mount Holyoke College riding team is currently seventh in the field of 16 teams. Leading the way on day two was first year Sara Hearn, who opened up the day's competition winning a National title.
Hearn (Tallahassee, Fla./Leon) took to the ring abord Clay, who was on loan from Skidmore College, in Collegiate Cup Intermediate Equitation Over Fences. She put forth an outstanding 85-point ride and finished second overall in the inital judging. Hearn was one of three riders called back for testing and after all three had tested it was time for pinning. She was the last rider standing, earning the champion ribbon and her first National Championship title.
Next into the ring for the Lyons was senior captain Mollie Kowalchik (Loveland, Ohio/Loveland), who competed in the USEF/Cacchione Cup Over Fences. The class, which features the top 24 riders in the nation from across all eight zones, saw Kowalchik post an outstanding ride to earn the top score in the class of 86.
Following the Parade of Teams and AQHA Open Reining, Kowalchik returned to the ring to take part in the Flat phase of the Cacchione Cup. She had another strong effort, earning an 84 score in the round to maintain the overall lead in the class. She and the other top 10 riders will return to action on Saturday with the final work-off phase to determine this year's winner.
Next up for the Lyons was sophomore Honami Tanaka (Fukuoka City, Japan/Chikushi Jogakuen Senior), who competed in Collegiate Cup Walk-Trot Equitation. Despite a very strong ride, she finished just outside the top-10, earning Honorable Mention.
Mount Holyoke's final rider of the afternoon was sophomore Sarah Etzel (Northampton, Mass./Northampton) in Collegiate Cup Walk-Trot-Canter Equitation. She had a very solid ride, earning eighth overall in the class.
The Lyons return to action on Saturday, competing in Collegiate Cup Open Equitation Over Fences, the work-off of the Cacchione Cup, along with the Collegiate Cup Open Equitation on the Flat. Also in action on Saturday will be Mount Holyoke Western Riding senior and captain Juliana Ronn, who will compete in the AQHA High Point Rider Rail Phase.
Fans can follow the Lyons all week at Nationals via live video at http://eqsports.net/. Note that the link does lead to a sign in for the subscription based live feed. Live results are also available HERE.