Wildcats Prepare for NCEA Championship

MANHATTAN, Kan. – After a fourth place finish at the Big 12 Championship, the No. 8 Kansas State equestrian team will look to carry over their energy into the NCEA Championship, which takes place April 14-16 in Waco, Texas at the Extraco Events Center. K-State opens the first round on Thursday with a matchup against No. 9 Delaware State.

Beginning with the 2016 championship the top-12 overall teams in the nation, Western and Hunt Seat combined, are invited to compete. The NCEA Selection Committee determines and invites these teams based on a number of factors throughout the season. The top-four seeds receive opening round byes.

Last season, K-State defeated SMU in a 10-5 decision in the first round of the National Championship, but fell to Georgia in the quarterfinals, 10-5.

The Hunt Seat team will be led by junior Henley Adkins and Christina Martinelli as well as sophomore Halle Kutsche as they pave the way for the Wildcats in the arena. Martinelli’s standout performance this season has earned her one Most Outstanding Performer (MOP) award, while maintaining a 12-16 season record.

The trio will compete in both disciplines of Hunt Seat this weekend. K-State will add juniors Gretchen Koenen and Rory Reichelt to the lineup in Equitation on the Flat, with junior Taylor Schmidt and Molly Dunn competing in Equitation over Fences to complete the Hunt Seat lineups.

A trio of seniors will lead the Western team once again: Kara Guy, Nicholle Hatton and Danielle Kemper. Kemper will look to continue to be a standout in Horsemanship against a strong Delaware State team. Kemper went 2-2 in the Big 12 Championship while advancing her season record to 12-12-1 with one MOP accolade.

The senior will have the help of juniors Sydney Anson and Alyssa Lombardi as well as sophomores Ashley Anderson and Paige Kemper to round out the robust Horsemanship team.

K-State’s well experienced Reining team will look to Guy, Hatton and Kemper to lay the foundation for the Wildcats in the discipline. Sophomores Brynn Critcher and Kali Retzler will look to secure points in their rides to help advance the Wildcats to the second round of the tournament.

The winner between the Wildcats and Hornets will go on to face No. 1 seed Auburn on Friday, with the final two rounds to be held on Saturday.

Live updates for the match against DSU can be found on K-State’s Gameday Twitter account, @kstate_gameday.

Fences:
Henley Adkins
Molly Dunn
Halle Kutsche
Christina Martinelli
Taylor Schmidt

Flat:
Henley Adkins
Gretchen Koenen
Halle Kutsche
Christina Martinelli
Rory Reichelt

Horsemanship:
Ashley Anderson
Sydney Anson
Danielle Kemper
Paige Kemper
Alyssa Lombardi

Reining:
Brynn Critcher
Kara Guy
Nicholle Hatton
Danielle Kemper
Kali Retzler