Wildcats Top Bulldogs, 12-4

Jesse Johnson

FRESNO, Calif.- The No. 6 Kansas State women’s equestrian team kicked off the 2013 spring season with a strong performance against Fresno State, downing the Bulldogs, 12-4 (1137-1118.5), on Friday afternoon. The win was accompanied by a sweep of all four Most Outstanding Performer (MOP) awards.

Head coach Casie Maxwell saw her team take another step in the right direction.

"The girls really rose to the occasion today and rode incredibly strong,” said Maxwell. “I am very proud of them for coming out after such a long break, being away from home, and riding with the confidence that they did today. Taking home all four MOP awards is the icing on the cake and those athletes did a great job leading their team in the arena today.”

The Hunter seat team took off where they ended last season, going 6-2 on the day.

The Wildcats were led by senior captain Meredith Finch in Equitation on the Flat. Finch scored an impressive 85, on her way to the MOP award for the discipline. Sophomore Madison Wayda gave K-State their second point after defeating Bulldog rider Hillary West, 66-63. Senior Larissa Laffey scored the final point, edging out Lanie Madrazo, 71-70.

Senior Kali Yates set the tone in Equitation Over Fences, racking up a score of 79 and picking up an MOP honor. Junior Shana Barnett earned a  hard fought point, riding past her Fresno State counterpart, 77-76. Wayda picked up her second win of the day, with another close victory, 70-69.

The Western team was just as impressive, also out-dueling their opponent, 6-2.

Junior Amelia Crites had one of most impressive Horsemanship rides, scoring a strong 72 points and picking up the MOP award. Senior Hannah Ribera added another win to her name, besting Kirsten McKillop, 70.5-68. Junior Chayna DeNicolo capped off the event and a Wildcat point with a 72 for her ride.

Junior Jesse Johnson picked up the fourth Wildcat MOP, after scoring a 71.5 in Reining and earning
K-State its first point in the event. Junior Jordan Cox easily dispatched her counterpart, 68.5-59.5, for another Wildcat point. Sophomore Savannah Smith ended the day scoring a 68.5 and picking up a victory for her team.

The Wildcats will face a tough challenge on Saturday when they face No. 2 Auburn.

“Tomorrow will be no easy feat,” said Maxwell. “Auburn is a very good team and we need to come out and be on our A-game again to be successful.”

Results for tomorrow’s meet will be posted as soon as they are available. The Wildcats will face off against Baylor in Waco, Texas on March 1.

Equitation on the Flat
K-State wins 3-1
Meredith Finch (KSU)* def. Kimberly HewsonBudnik (FS), 84-82
Madison Wayda (KSU) def. Hillary West (FS), 66-63
Larissa Laffey (KSU) def. Lanie Madrazo (FS), 71-70
Macy Wilson (FS) def. Rachel Webster (KSU, 77-70

Equitation Over Fences
K-State wins 3-1
Dayle Fischer (FS) def. Rachel Webster (KSU), 76-68
Kali Yates (KSU)* def. Kimberly HewsonBudnik (FS), 79-71
Shana Barnett (KSU) def. Belle Calkin (FS), 77-76
Madison Wayda (KSU) def. Hillary West (FS), 70-69

K-State wins 3-1
Hannah Ribera (KSU) def. Kirsten McKillop (FS),  70.5-68
Shauna Woodward (FS) def. Kelly Bovaird (KSU), 70-66.5
Amelia Crites (KSU)* def. Christa Beezley (FS), 72-70.5
Chayna DeNicolo (KSU) def. Lauren Crivelli (FS), 72-71.5

K-State wins 3-1
Jesse Johnson (KSU)* def. Ciara Kozlowski (FS), 71.5-63
Sydney Coletti (FS) def. Sam Etsell (KSU), 64.5-62.5
Jordan Cox (KSU) def. Kirsten McKillop (FS),  68.5-59.5
Savannah Smith (KSU) def. Lauren Crivelli (FS), 68.5-67.5