Five Wildcats Named to NCEA Honorable Mention Team

Emily Stockford

April 2, 2012

MANHATTAN, Kan. – Five Kansas State equestrian student-athletes were named to the 2012 National Collegiate Equestrian Association (NCEA) honorable mention All-American team,  in an announcement by the organization on Monday.

Juniors Sam Etsell (Reining) and Larissa Laffey (Equitation on the Flat) and sophomores Kelly Bovaird (Horsemanship), Sarah Mershon (Equitation Over Fences) and Emily Stockford (Reining) garnered honorable mention All-American honors, in their respective disciplines.

Each rider met a series of three criteria, including achieving a minimum of 67% winning percentage, excluding ties, having competed in a minimum of 5 competitions in the NCEA format and having at least an adjusted NRS score of 85 for Equitation on the Flat, 90 for Equitation Over Fences, 77 for Reining and 80 for Horsemanship.

“I am thrilled to have five athletes on the All-American list,” said K-State head coach Casie Lisabeth. “We had one rider make it last year and this year our team goal was to have at least one rider per event, which we have accomplished. These girls have worked really hard all season and kept a very strong record to earn this award.”

A third-year rider from Arlington, Wash., Etsell has racked up a slew of post-season awards in 2012, having been named a unanimous selection to the 2012 All-Big 12 Reining team, as well as earning the title of Most Outstanding Performer in Reining at the 2012 Big 12 Championship, last weekend in Manhattan. This season, Etsell owns a record of 9-3-2, with one match-MVP award. The nine wins are a career-high.

Like Etsell, Laffey has seen her share of success in 2012 postseason, as she was named to the 2012 Academic All-Big 12 first team as well as the 2012 All-Big 12 team, where she was a unanimous selection in Equitation on the Flat. On the year, Laffey has carded a career-high total of 10 wins, which is tied for tops on the Hunt Seat squad, and two match-MVP awards.

Bovaird, a 2012 All-Big 12 selection, garnered honorable mention All-American honors for the second season in a row, as the Tulsa, Okla., native was named a VENC honorable mention All-American a year ago. This year, Bovaird has carded a total of 11 wins, which is tops on the K-State squad, to go along with one match-MVP award. For her career, Bovaird owns a record of 23-9 and needs one win to tie her career season-best.

A unanimous pick on this year’s All-Big 12 Fences squad, Mershon has tallied an English team-high-tying 10 wins for the 2011-12 season. A product of Flower Mound, Texas, Mershon has piled up a career-high 10 wins on the season, including a career-best winning streak of six matches.

The K-State equestrian team will be back in action in two weekends as it will head to Waco, Texas, to compete in the 2012 NCEA National Championships, April 12-14 at the Willis Family Equestrian Center. K-State has had an extraordinary amount of success at the National Championships, as the Wildcats have registered back-to-back Reserve National Champion honors in Western.

Check back with for updates and information regarding the K-State equestrian team.