WACO, Texas - South Carolina's fifth-seeded Western team kicked off its run at the 2013 NCEA National Championships on Thursday with a 6-2 win over No. 12 seed New Mexico State at the Extraco Events Center. The Gamecocks now advance to the second round of the Western bracket, where South Carolina will face fourth-seeded TCU on Friday morning.
"I was very pleased with how well everybody rode today, and I think our Western girls improved on a lot of the things they wanted to work on after SEC's," South Carolina head coach Boo Major said. "In order to do well at nationals, you need both ends of your lineup to ride well, and we definitely got that from our Horsemanship and Reining teams today."
The Gamecocks took control of Thursday's meet early, as the Reining team won 3-of-4 points over the Aggies to give Carolina a 3-1 lead.
Sophomore Cody McMillion scored the first of three straight points for the Gamecocks when she defeated New Mexico State's Tara Wislon, 134-133. Sophomore Layla Choate gave Carolina a 2-0 after she picked up a 138-133 victory over Stefanie Story. Senior Amanda Pope continued the scoring streak for the Gamecocks, dropping the Aggies' Marissa Bartman, 135.5-122.
In Horsemanship, the Gamecocks followed the Reining team with a 3-1 victory.
Redshirt junior Johnna Letchworth, riding against New Mexico State's team-high score of 147 by Jessical Woolsey, scored a 151 to win her point. Letchworth's 151 was the event-high score and the highest Horsemanship score of all 32 riders in Thursday's opening round. Sophomore Sam Chiodo followed with a 146.5-143 victory over Megan Gould to give the Gamecocks a 5-1, and junior Alison Ceresani scored South Carolina's sixth point of the meet with a 141-139 victory over Courtney Cruse.
South Carolina's Western team now moves on to the second round, where the Gamecocks TCU will face-off at 10 a.m. ET. Friday's meet will begin with Reining in the morning, and Horsemanship will follow in the afternoon.
In the Hunt Seat bracket, the Gamecocks earned a first-round bye and did not compete on Thursday. Seeded second in the Hunt Seat bracket, South Carolina will face No. 10 seed Texas A&M on Friday. The Aggies knocked off No. 7 seed Oklahoma State on Thursday, and Texas A&M upset the Gamecocks last year at nationals, 6-2. Due to a change in the schedule, Friday's meet will begin with Equitation Over Fences at 10 a.m.
Auburn Defeats Baylor 5-3
AUBURN, Ala. – Auburn Equestrian’s No. 8 seed Western team got off to a strong start at the 2013 NCEA National Championships defeating Baylor, 5-3, Thursday at the Extraco Events Center in Waco, Texas.
“The girls rode great,” Auburn head coach Greg Williams said. “They are all focused and ready to go. The second round will be full of intensity and great rides.”
Auburn defeated Baylor, 3-1, in reining and tied, 2-2, in horsemanship to preserve the victory. Indy Roper (140.5-140), Cheyenne Cracraft (136-131.5) and Katsy Leeman (134.5-132.5) each won their points in reining, while Leeman (142.5-128.5) and Stephanie Rucci (147-133) earned wins in horsemanship.
“Today was a great step in preparing us for tomorrow,” Leeman said. “We were very confident and plan to carry that over against Oklahoma State where we go against the top-seeded team. Our overwhelming team spirit was definitely unmatched today.”
The Tigers move on to the second round and will face No. 1 seed Oklahoma State on Friday. Auburn’s Hunt Seat team will begin competition after a first-round bye as it takes on No. 12 South Dakota State, who upset No. 5 TCU, 1107-1015, in raw score on Thursday.
Live scoring is available for each day of competition at http://www.baylorbears.com/sports/w-equest/ncea-live-scoring.html.
Follow Auburn Equestrian on Twitter at @aubequestrian and on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/AUEquestrian.
Hunt Seat and Western Squads Advance to NCEA Quarterfinal Round for A&M
WACO, Texas – The Texas A&M equestrian western and hunter seat squads will both advance to the National Collegiate Equestrian Association quarterfinals after first-round wins today at the Extraco Events Center.
The No. 6 seed western team took a 5-2 win over No. 11 seed Fresno State, and the 10th-seeded hunt seat squad rode to a 5-3 upset victory over No. 7 Oklahoma State. The western team will compete against No. 3 seed Georgia in the quarterfinals tomorrow and the hunter seat team will show against No. 2 seed South Carolina, both starting at 9 a.m.
Live scoring for both events can be found at www.collegiateequestrian.com and www.baylorbears.com, and via the A&M equestrian Twitter feed at @AggieEquestrian.
“I was very impressed with our team as a whole today,” Head Coach Tana McKay said. “We had some strong and confident rides. We’re looking forward to some great competition with fellow SEC schools, South Carolina and Georgia tomorrow.”
The hunt seat squad got started first with equitation over fences, ending the event with a 3-1 lead on the Cowgirls. Kori Pickett, Emily Williams and Haley Buchmiller each had wins for A&M. The Aggies’ only loss in over fences was a one-point score difference.
A 2-2 tie in equitation on the flat was all the hunt seat team needed, as the squad took a 5-3 victory over OSU to advance to the quarterfinal round. Freshmen Hannah Williams and Marlena Parker secured victories for the Aggies in equitation.
Western also ended the first event with a lead when the Aggie reiners took a 3-1 lead on Fresno State. Wins by Ashley Skold, Lindsey Bernbaum and Becca Murray were crucial as western entered the horsemanship portion of the competition. A&M’s only reining loss was by just .5 points.
Fresno State only won one ride in horsemanship, and the A&M western squad took a 5-2 victory to advance to the quarterfinal round. Carey Nowacek and Cassie Mantor took horsemanship victories for the Aggies, and Molli Jacobs rode to a tie.