April 19, 2012
MANHATTAN, Kan. – Kansas State equestrian student-athletes Kelly Bovaird and Meredith Finch each earned Big 12 Rider of the Month honors, for their performance in Horsemanship and Equitation on the Flat, respectively, for the month of March and April, in an announcement by the Big 12 office.
This month’s award marks the second time this season that Finch has earned the conference’s top honor as she was named Rider of the Month for October, while Bovaird was honored for the first time in her career.
“I am extremely proud of Kelly and Meredith for having such an outstanding season and finishing the year on a high note with this award,” said K-State head coach Casie Lisabeth. “They have been great leaders, both in and out of the arena.”
A sophomore from Tulsa, Okla., Bovaird ended the 2011-12 season by winning seven out of eight duals, including a perfect 5-0 record in the month of March. She kicked off the final month of the regular season by edging Texas A&M rider Molli Jacobs, 73-72, followed by a 73.5-67.5 victory over Baylor’s Rachel Nenkervis.
In the final match of the 2011-12 regular season, Bovaird rode past Mamie Tomlin of Oklahoma State, 80-78, to capture her second match-MVP award of the year, with the first coming against TCU's Courtney Chown on October 22.
Bovaird kicked off the 2012 postseason by downing her counterparts from Oklahoma State and Baylor, respectively, to lead the Wildcats to their first-ever win and a third-place finish at the 2012 Big 12 Championships.
At the 2012 NCEA National Championships, she picked up two-consecutive wins as she defeated Hillary Baysinger of South Dakota State (146-134.5) and Georgia’s Paige Stawicki, (142.5-142).
On the year, Bovaird tallied a total of 13 wins, which was tops for the entire Wildcat squad.
A Somerville, Ohio, native, Finch earned the last two wins of the regular season by blasting Texas A&M’s Maggie Earle, 85-59, on March 2, and downing Jordan White of Oklahoma State, 82-77, on March 17, to card match-MVP honors for the third and fourth times on the year.
In opening round action of the 2012 Big 12 Championship, Finch again defeated OSU’s White, 160-147, to tally her eighth total victory of the season.
Finch closed out 2012 with a dominate postseason run, where she was the only Wildcat English rider to finish the 2012 NCEA National Championships with an undefeated head-to-head record, as she rattled off four-straight wins over Dami Stiegler (TCU), Jennifer Delman (Auburn), Courtney Line (SMU) and Kimberly McCormack (South Carolina).
For her performance at the 2012 NCEA National Championships, Finch was named Most Outstanding Player in Equitation on the Flat.
Overall, Finch ended the 2011-12 season with an English team-high-tying mark of 12 victories.