Wildcats Fourth at Big 12 Championships

STILLWATER, Okla. The Kansas State equestrian team dropped a tough battle with Texas A&M, 12-4, in the final round of the Big 12 Championships on Saturday.


The Aggies defeated the Wildcats to take home third place, while the Wildcats finished in fourth place at the championships. No. 3 Oklahoma State took home the crown as it knocked off top-seeded Baylor, who finished second.


K-State and Texas A&M were neck-and-neck on the Western side as each squad won two matchups in the reining and horsemanship disciplines, but the Aggies picked up eight straight wins on the Hunter Seat side to take the win.


Two Wildcat riders picked up wins in the horsemanship discipline as K-State battled a 2-2 tie. Senior Alyssa Freeman and junior Mikaela Sundgren won two highly contested battles as Freeman upset Randi Standley, 146-144.5, and brought home MVP honors, while Sundgren defeated Sibyl Parsons, 146.5-142. Freeman owns a 12-3 overall record in horsemanship after the win with one MVP crown.


"My goal for this weekend was to push my rides to a new level,” said Freeman. “The horse I rode was very talented and I was extremely pleased that I was able to execute a precise and aggressive pattern."


In the reining discipline, two riders brought home victories as well. Sophomore Alecia Zimbelman led the Wildcats with another win on the weekend, while senior Tara Hallan joined her and also garnered her first MVP honor of the season.


Zimbelman upset undefeated Tara Christiansen by a tight margin, 148-147.5, and is now 10-4-1 on the season with three MVP honors. Christiansen was previously 11-0 on the season before Zimbelman's ride to victory.


"I was very excited,” said Zimbelman “I knew I had to go in there and have an aggressive ride after her big score. The horse worked really well for me."


Hallan defeated Genna Fishgold, 144-137, to move to 4-2 on the year with one MVP award.


"I'm really honored to have been awarded MVP today,” said Hallan. “I just put into effect what I was told about the horse and it worked to my advantage."


Whitney Snyder’s tough 161-157 loss to Erin Ivy over fences and Jenny Giraldin’s 153-146 setback to Christina Matz were the Wildcat highlights on the Hunter Seat side. Both of these matchups produced the MVP’s for those disciplines.


In addition to the Big 12 Championships, senior Hannah Schroller competed  at the IHSA Hunter Seat Regional competitions on Saturday. Schroller won her class in Intermediate Equitation on the Flat and must now place in the top two at Zones on Sunday to go to the IHSA Nationals. Schroller will travel to Foxton Farm in Romney, Ind., to compete on Sunday at 10 a.m. at the IHSA Zones.


"I felt really confident walking into the Regional show ring today,” said Schroller. “I've been working really hard with the coaches to prepare, and all of that extra work helped me feel comfortable going into today. I had a great draw, and winning the class was an added boost of confidence heading to Zones tomorrow."


Kansas State's next varsity competition is April 16-18 at the Varsity Equestrian National Championships in Waco, Texas.


Complete results from Saturday's competition against Texas A&M are as follows.





Equitation on the flat:
Whitney Snyder 122 vs Tegan Zealy 155

Jenny Giraldin 146 vs Christina Matz 153

Katie Mellon 115 vs Britney Dodson 143**

Leslie Yates 115 vs Megan Webb 137

Equitation over fences:

Whitney Snyder 157 vs Erin Ivy 161**

Kendall Marvin 140 vs Kristi Waldal 157

Ashley Collett 129 vs Brooke Coleman 154

Leslie Yates 120 vs Lindsay Smith 145

Hunter Seat Totals: KSU 0 TAMU 8

Alyssa Freeman 146** vs Randi Standley 144.5

Jana Lechtenberg 140.5 vs Caroline Gunn 145.5

Laura Browne 141.5 vs Katie Lisabeth 144.5

Mikaela Sundgren 146.5 vs Sibyl Parsons 142


Kaylee Stout 136 vs Amanda Ryan 145

Tara Hallan 144** vs Genna Fishgold 137

Alecia Zimbelman 148 vs Tara Christiansen 147.5

Dani Pettera 127 vs Maggie Gratny 134

Western Totals: KSU 4 TAMU 4




**MVP Award Winners