Adkins Keeps Focus Heading into NCEAs

The sophomore Hunt Seat rider from Moorpark, California, has been focused and poised this season. She works hard, has spent countless hours at Timbercreek Stables perfecting her craft and has only continued to get better.
And she has the accolades to prove it.
In just the past few weeks, Adkins was named Big 12 Equestrian Rider of the Year for Equitation on the Flat, she earned All-Big 12 honors in Equitation over Fences, was named a National Collegiate Equestrian Association (NCEA) Second Team All-American in Equitation on the Flat and, last week, was named the Big 12's Rider of the Month in March for Equitation over Fences.
"It's amazing," said Adkins about the recognition over the past month. "I've been working toward this for a long time, so it's such a big accomplishment in my heart knowing all the work that I put in has really shown."
This season, Adkins has compiled a 17-15 record and boasts six Most Outstanding Player (MOP) awards in Hunt Seat. At the Wildcats' most recent competition, the Big 12 Championship from March 27-28, Adkins finished with an overall high score of 160 in Equation over Fences to help K-State defeat Oklahoma State in the tournament's first round. The following day, she received the second-highest score of the day, 171, against Baylor.
"She's just a very here-and-now rider," said Anna Becker, assistant coach - Hunt Seat. "For her, it's almost like a job. She goes into fences and is focused on that, she's focused on the horse, focused on getting the job done. Then, whether it went good or bad, she pushes it to the side and is focused, here and now, on the flat horse in the flat ring."
Whether she wins or loses in one discipline, Adkins doesn't let it get to her when it comes time to compete in her second discipline. Mistakes don't hold her back, rather, according to Becker, she uses them as energy to surge her forward.
Going from one event to the next - switching her focus from the adrenaline of jumping fences to the focus of riding on the flat - is no easy task.  
"For her to excel in both events shows how well she is able to adapt to her job," continued Becker. "She takes everything one step at a time and doesn't get overwhelmed."
Adkins, along with teammates Taylor Schmidt and Madison Wayda, are one of just three Wildcats who will be competing in both Equitation over Fences and Equitation on the Flat at this year's NCEA Championship.
The NCEA Championship takes place in Waco, Texas, and begins today with the No. 9-seed Wildcats facing off against No. 8-seed SMU. The winner of today's matchup will advance to face No. 1 Georgia tomorrow afternoon. 
"We've been clear cut and focused for the past few weeks," said Adkins about her team heading into the NCEA Championship. "We're dying to go. It's so close now. We're ready."
K-State enters today's meet coming off a tough 11-8 loss to No. 2 Baylor in the final round of the Big 12 Championship. With their most recent loss still fresh on their minds, the Wildcats head into this year's National Championship with added motivation. 
"It was heartbreaking to lose in the championship round at Big 12s, but the way that we lost, we went for it, we gave it our all - there was a lot of heart in the team," explained Becker. "So, coming off of that, I think we feel really confident that we can do well. Baylor is ranked No. 2 going into Nationals, and I think knowing that we can beat a team like that gives us a lot of confidence."
Confident and ready to shine, Adkins is ready to put her hard work and preparation to the test one last time during this 2014-15 season.  
"Our goal this season is to win nationals; that's always our goal," Adkins said. "But for me, my goal is to keep pushing in the ring, try to get higher scores to help my teammates and keep encouraging people."
To read more about the Wildcats as they head into today's competition, please click here
 

We hope you enjoy K-State Sports Extra. We would like to hear your comments and any story ideas for future emails, so fire them our way. Contact Kelly McHugh or K-State Assistant AD for Communications Kenny Lannou.