Wildcats Advance Both Squads at VENC

WACO, Texas - With wins over Delaware State and Tennessee-Martin, both the Western and Hunter Seat squads of the seventh-ranked Kansas State equestrian team advanced to the second round of competition at the Varsity Equestrian National Championships on Thursday afternoon.

K-State's No. 6 seed Western squad took down 11th-seeded Delaware State, 6-2, in its opening-round matchup in the Western bracket. The 10th-seeded Wildcat Hunter Seat squad was then able to upset No. 7 seed UT-Martin by a 5-3 margin to advance to round two in that bracket.

In Western action, the Reining riders provided a huge boost for the Wildcats on the afternoon, sweeping Delaware State in the discipline. Senior team captain Laura Browne scored a team-high 143 on her way to defeating DSU's Amanda Hotz, 143-137.5. Fellow team captain and senior Alyssa Freeman picked up her 10th win of the season, riding past Morgan Scuse, 141.5-128.5. Senior Mikaela Sundgren also picked up her 10th win on the year, taking down Jennifer Pierson, 141-133. Completing the sweep for the Wildcats was senior Courtney Watters, who defeated Brittni Collins to notch her 15th career win.

The Wildcats rounded out the 6-2 victory in the Horsemanship arena, splitting the discipline 2-2 with the Hornets. Senior Tara Hallan notched her team-high 12th win of the season by riding past Morgan Scuse, 141-127. Fellow senior Kaylee Stout rounded out the Wildcat victory by defeating Alica Maynard, 132-128.

In the Hunter Seat bracket, K-State got things started in Equitation on the Flat, defeating UT-Martin 3-1. Junior Natasha Vincent got things started for the squad, taking home her point by defeating Kesly Abell, 161-156. Sophomore Staphanie Patterson kept the ball rolling, narrowly edging out Katelyn Rattner by a 139-138 margin. Freshman Larissa Laffey picked up the final Wildcat point, taking down Caroline Cramer, 154-147, for the third win of her freshman campaign. 

In Equitation over Fences, K-State was able to ride to a 2-2 draw with the Skyhawks to close out the overall victory. Senior team captain Kendall Marvin picked up her 26th career win by defeating UT-Martin's Brittany Kasprack, 161-153. Freshman Kali Yates notched the deciding point in the competition, riding past Caroline Cramer, 175-143, to wrap up the upset.

Both squads will ride again tomorrow morning at the Heart O' Texas Fair Complex, as second round competition gets underway. The Western squad will take on No. 3 seed Oklahoma State for the fourth time this season, while the Hunter Seat squad will face the No. 2 seed Auburn Tigers for the second time. Results will be posted on kstatesports.com as they become available.

-k-statesports.com -