K-State Hunt Seat Team Advance, Western Squad Falls

Rachel Wetherell

April 13, 2012

WACO, Texas – The Kansas State Hunt Seat team captured a victory over Southern Methodist in the consolation round of the 2012 National Collegiate Equestrian Association (NCEA) National Championships on Friday to advance to the fifth-place dual tomorrow at the Extraco Event Center in Waco.

On the Hunt Seat side of the bracket, K-State started off the day with a 3-1 win in Equitation on the Flat over SMU, before falling to the Mustangs by the same margin in Fences action. However, the Wildcats outscored SMU, 1119-1070, on a raw-score tiebreaker to take home the victory.

Juniors Meredith Finch and Larissa Laffey notched the first two points in the Flat discipline for the Wildcats, as Finch dropped Courtney Line of SMU, 151-122, while Laffey out-rode Mustang rider Rachel Reid, 147-138, to tally the 11th and 12th wins for the duo, respectively.

Closing out the scoring for K-State in Equitation on the Flat was sophomore Rachel Webster, who picked up her third-consecutive win in the last two days, as she bested SMU rider Madeleine Stover, 143-100.  

K-State’s Cat Avolese led the scoring charge for the Wildcat Fences squad as she captured her second-straight win by blasting SMU rider Julianna Fischer, 167-147. A sophomore for St. James, N.Y., Avolese has now been victorious in nine matches this year.

The K-State English team will take on South Carolina in the fifth-place match of the 2012 NCEA National Championships, with Flat action starting tomorrow morning at 8:30 a.m., and Equitation Over Fences scheduled to begin at 10:30 a.m.

In a near replication of yesterday’s Hunt Seat result, the K-State Western team fell to an SEC opponent on a raw-score tiebreaker to drop a heartbreaking match in the consolation portion of the National Championships bracket.

A season highlighted by numerous quality-wins, including a victory over Baylor in the third-place match of the 2012 Big 12 Championship comes to a close with today’s losses, as the Wildcat Western squad ends the 2011-12 season with a record of 7-5-5.  

To start the day, the K-State Western squad tied with third-seeded Georgia in both Western disciplines, 2-2. With the score knotted at 4-4, a raw-score tiebreaker was used to determine that Georgia had bested K-State, 1112.5-972.

Despite the loss to the Bulldogs, the Wildcat Western squad moved on to the consolation round, where they fell to 10th-seeded TCU, 5-3.

In Horsemanship, K-State and TCU tied at 2 points apiece, before the Horned Frogs downed the Wildcats, 3-1, in Reining.

On the Reining side, junior Sam Etsell closed out the 2011-2012 season with wins over Georgia rider Samantha Belcher (130-125.5), and Katie Grey of TCU (129-0). Etsell, who ended the 2011-12 season on a six match-winning streak, finished the year with a Reining team-high 12 victories.

Sophomore Jesse Johnson kicked off the competition by downing Becca Haaland of Georgia, 135.5-135. Riding in her first year at K-State, Johnson picked up her second win in as many days to end the year with a total of 10 wins

K-State’s Rachel Wetherell defeated Georgia rider Katelyn Van Allen, 144.5-144, and TCU’s Alexis Estrada, 146.5-140.5 to end the year on a tear, having not lost a match during the 2012 postseason, while amassing a total of nine victories for the Wildcats.

Bovaird closed out a stellar junior season for the K-State Western team as she edged Bulldog rider Paige Stawicki, 142.5-142, to card her team-high 13th victory of the 2011-12 season. A sophomore from Tulsa, Okla., Bovaird finished the 2011-12 by winning the eight out of the last nine matches of the year.

Junior Whitney Unkefer picked up a point for K-State as she rode past TCU’s Taylor Prince, 146.5-141, to tally her first win of the 2012 postseason. The Pleasant Valley, Mo., native ended the year with a record of 8-9.

Information and results from tomorrow’s Hunt Seat action from the 2012 NCEA National Championships will be posted on kstatesports.com as soon as they are made available. Fans may also receive up-to-the-minute results from Waco by following @kstate_gameday on Twitter.


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