WACO, Texas – The fifth-seeded Western squad of the Kansas State equestrian team was led by a solid group of seniors on Saturday as it rode to a 6-1 victory over No. 7 South Carolina to take home a fifth place finish at the Varsity Equestrian National Championships.
Leading the way for the Wildcats in the reining division was Tara Hallan, who finished her senior season successfully as she went undefeated on the weekend and picked up her fourth win by riding past Lydia Roof, 143.5-130.5. Sophomore Alecia Zimbelman, who now owns an overall record of 12-5-1, rode to victory as she beat Hailey Thornton, 135.5-117.5, while junior Morgan Campbell picked up a win as she upended Chloe Grey, 139.5-135.5. Although junior Kaylee Stout tied on the day, she went undefeated on the weekend with an overall record of 3-0-1.
Kaylee Stout capped an undefeated weekend, finishing 3-0-1, after battling to a 137.5 tie with Rebekah Roof on Saturday.
Senior Alyssa Freeman led K-State in the horsemanship division as she rode to victory against Hailey Thornton, 147-138.5. Freeman now owns an overall record of 15-4 on the season with one MVP award. Senior Jana Lechtenberg also finished her career at K-State on a positive note by defeating Maggie Fortune, 146-143.5. Junior Mikaela Sundgren took momentum from yesterday’s win to triumph over Katie Grossnickle by a large margin, 149.5-139.5.
Kansas State’s Hunter Seat squad was eliminated from the championship late Friday after a tough loss to fifth-ranked Texas A&M.
In individual competition, Freeman went head-to-head with top-seeded Caroline Gunn of Texas A&M, but fell to two-time individual champion Gunn in the semifinals. Freeman ended her senior season with an overall record of 15-5 with one MVP honor.
Final results from the final round of the VENC are as follows.
Kansas State vs South Carolina
Morgan Campbell 139.5 vs Chloe Grey 135.5
Tara Hallan 143.5 vs Lydia Roof 130.5
Alecia Zimbelman 135.5 vs Hailey Thornton 117.5
Kaylee Stout 137.5 vs Rebekah Roof 137.5
Laura Browne 126 vs Emily Bookwalter 140
Mikaela Sundgren 149.5 vs Katie Grossnickle 139.5
Jana Lechtenberg 146 vs Maggie Fortune 143.5
Alyssa Freeman 147 vs Hailey Thornton 138.5
Total: KSU 6 – USC 1