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Morrill helps High Time Stables place at nationals

High Time Stables had already made an appearance at nationals last season, but if the equestrians wanted to make another trip to the finals, they would have to lean on the shoulders of a local rider.

When her team needed her most, Karli Morrill stepped up to the plate during the regional competition to clinch High Time Stables a spot in the Interscholastic Equestrian Association National Finals.

“It was a good ride,” said Morrill, who just finished her sophomore year at Eden High School. “I had a good horse. Regionals went well.”

“We always talk about her performance at regionals,” said Leigh Fischer, head coach of High Time Stables. “The team was not having a good day at regionals and Karli came in and won her class and clinched a position by doing that at regionals.”

The IEA National Finals took place May 16-18 in West Springfield, Massachusetts. The national event held competitions for individuals and teams. In the upper school competition, High Time Stables placed as the reserve champion team.

“Nationals was a lot of fun,” said Morrill. “You never know how it’s going to go. So much of it is luck of the draw, but a lot of the girls were able to step up and have a good ride and have a lot of fun there.”

Fischer’s club may not have been able to even make the trip to Massachusetts without the show that Morrill put on at regionals to qualify for nationals for a second consecutive season.

“People were not having a great day and it wasn’t going as we were hoping,” Morrill noted. “You know when the pressure’s on or not. [Coach Fischer] wouldn’t put that kind of pressure on me. I knew where we were at, but she’s more about getting the experience in and making it fun.”

“She is our anchor. All season Karli has had the pleasure of being our decision maker. She’s a good kid that way,” said Fischer. “That doesn’t seem to faze her. She’s a very unpretentious, hardworking young lady and dedicated athlete. She goes out there at the end of the day and does her job very consistently.”

High Time Stables is just one of 1,100 teams represented by almost 10,000 riders throughout eight zones in the country. Equestrians had to go through many shows during the regular season before competing in finals within their zone and region to qualify for a spot in the IEA National Finals.

Fischer’s club ended the 2012-13 season at nationals by placing fourth. Practically returning the same lineup to the national championship this past season, High Time Stables was able to improve its standing in West Springfield.

“Statistically they had a really good record going in,” said Fischer, who coaches the riders with assistant coach Barb Koziol. “Was it expected? Not really. I mean, I guess you don’t know. But they were very strong.”

Sarah Klocke and Jamie Thuman, both from East Aurora, returned as co-captains

“They are just both really great leaders,” noted Fischer. “I can’t say enough about them. They are exceptional young women.”

Fiona Nocera and Lissy Naber round out the East Aurora residents that ride for High Time Stables.

Emily Kerl and Katelyn Cefali are from Lancaster, Rachel Surowiec is a West Seneca resident and Theresa Cometto comes from Alden. Williamsville’s Megan He, Clarence’s Aubrey Gluszak and Cheektowaga’s Miranda Alessi round out the High Time Stables’ high school team.

All of the equestrians from the high school team competed in the IEA National Finals in Massachusetts.


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