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Courtesy: CofCSports.com

McKenzie Armour Places 11th at IHSA National Championship

Courtesy: CofCSports.com
          Release: 05/02/2012
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RALEIGH, N.C. - McKenzie Armour placed 11th at the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association National Championships on Thursday, May 3 at the Hunt Horse Complex in Raleigh, N.C.

Armour (Murrells Inlet, S.C.) qualified for nationals when she championed the Open Flat event at the IHSA Zone 5 Championships at Virginia Intermont on March 31.

Armour, a senior on the team this season, was no stranger to the National Championship stage going in to the competition. The trip gave her the rare experience of competing at nationals in four consecutive years. She competed when the Cougars qualified as a team in her freshman and sophomore years and qualified as an individual in 2011 as a junior.

She has also tasted victory at the national level with the Individual Novice Flat National Championship she earned as a sophomore in 2010.

"She just has to go there and do her job," said CofC head coach Bob Story. "She has been there before and she knows what she needs to do to go in and compete and be successful. She is very good at focusing and getting ready to go in and do her job.

"One thing that she does particularly well is visualization. She has probably visualized her flat ride at nationals 500 times in her mind with every possible scenario the judges could ask her. It's important because she'll have done the ride 500 times before she actually goes into the ring."

"This is a great opportunity but I really want nothing more than for Bob Story to win the team national championship," said Armour. "He's been doing this for years and years and he's been right there in second place as the reserve champion. I would give everything I had if he could get it one time; then he can retire and go about his business but if he could get that national championship it'd mean the world to me and the team."

Next season, the IHSA is realigning its zones in a manner which should benefit Story and the Cougars. The IHSA is splitting what was the largest region, Zone 5 Region 3, into separate regions and creating a new Region 5. CofC, a perpetual contender for this region, will now have fewer teams to compete with to reach the National Championships.

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