April 15, 2011
WACO, Texas – For the second straight year, Kansas State’s Western squad will ride for an equestrian national title after the seventh-seeded Wildcats knocked off second-seeded Oklahoma State and third-seeded Auburn Friday in quarterfinal and semifinal action at the Varsity Equestrian National Championships at Extraco Events Center.
K-State advanced to Saturday’s finals following upset wins over Oklahoma State (4-3) and Auburn (5-3) and snapped a string of three straight losses to the two squads earlier this season. The Wildcats will now meet top-seeded Texas A&M at 1:30 p.m. Saturday in a rematch of last year’s Western national championship matchup.
“This has been an unbelievable day for our team and it is amazing to see them peak at the right point of the season,” said head coach Casie Lisabeth. “We have learned a lot this season and have really focused on applying what we have learned to make us better. Our team is working great together and we have an amazing support system here at the show to help push us along and I am so thankful for that.”
For the second day in a row, the Wildcat Horsemanship team was led by a group of freshmen as Kelly Bovaird, Hannah Ribera and Rachel Wetherell all tallied wins over their Auburn and OSU counterparts. Bovaird picked up her 11th and 12th wins of the season by edging Auburn’s Mary Casey, 152-146.5, and Cowgirl Mamie Tomlin, 147.5-147. Ribera bested Stephanie Rucci of Auburn, 151-143, and OSU’s Courtney Whitacre, 151-149, to capture her eighth and ninth victories of the year, while Wetherell blasted Lauren Halvorson of OSU, 151-134.5.
In the Reining arena, freshman Jordan Cox picked up her second win of the weekend by edging Tiger Paige Monfore, 143.5-143. Sam Etsell notched her seventh win of the year by outlasting Auburn’s Kristin Hansen, 141.5-138. Senior Alecia Zimbelman continued her run of success at the VENC by besting Jillian Fuller of Auburn, 143-136.5, while junior Alayna Warner picked up the only point for the Wildcats against Oklahoma State by knocking off Cowgirl Christy McElreath, 142.5-138.5.
K-State received a balanced effort in both matchups as the Reining squad helped lead the way against Auburn with wins in three of the four matchups, while the Horsemanship squad paced the Cats against Oklahoma State with three wins.
Recaps from Saturday’s National Championship match will be posted at kstatesports.com as soon as they are made available.
– k-statesports.com –