Equestrian to Visit Tennessee For Spring Opener

Junior Meredith Finch

Jan. 24, 2012

MANHATTAN, Kan. – The seventh-ranked Kansas State equestrian team will kick off the 2012 spring season as it heads to Martin, Tenn., to take on eighth-ranked New Mexico State on Friday, followed by a match with host Tennessee-Martin on Saturday. Both matches will get underway at 10 a.m., from the Ned McWherter Agricultural Pavilion.

“The entire team is amped up to get on the road and start competing again,” said K-State head coach Casie Lisabeth. “It has been two months since our road win against Oklahoma State and we are still thriving on that last win, but anxious to get back out there and do more. The team returned from winter break rejuvenated, ready to work and they have been practicing great these past two weeks. We need to have smart and sensible rides while making a strong impression this weekend.”

The Wildcat Hunt Seat squad will be led into action by juniors Meredith Finch and Larissa Laffey, both of whom have earned Big 12 Rider of the Month nods in October and November, respectively. Finch has tallied two match-MVP awards to go along with four wins during the 2011 fall season. Laffey ended 2011 on a tear, winning four consecutive duals over riders from Oklahoma State, Texas A&M and TCU.

K-State’s Western team is headlined by sophomore Kelly Bovaird and junior Whitney Unkefer. Named an honorable-mention All-American last year, Bovaird has not disappointed this season as she is currently tied for the team lead in wins with five. She was also named match-MVP for her performance against her counterpart from TCU.

Unkefer has arguably been the Wildcat’s most successful rider this season. The Pleasant Valley, Mo., native has amassed a Western team-high mark of three match-MVP awards, to go along with five wins in the fall season.

Results for this weekend’s duals will be posted on kstatesports.com as soon as they are made available. While the lineup for Saturday’s match against Tennessee-Martin may change, below is the list of riders that will compete against New Mexico State on Friday.

Equitation Over Fences:
Catherine Avolese
Shana Barnett
Kate Hennessy
Larissa Laffey
Sarah Mershon
 
Equitation on the Flat:
Jacquelyn Bogstad
Meredith Finch
Larissa Laffey
Madison Wayda
Rachel Webster
 
Horsemanship:
Kelly Bovaird
Amelia Crites
Hannah Ribera
Whitney Unkefer
Rachel Wetherell
 
Reining:
Jordan Cox
Sam Etsell
Jesse Johnson
Emily Stockford
Alayna Warner