April 1, 2011

BRYAN, Texas - Top-seeded Texas A&M advanced to the finals of the Big 12 Equestrian Championship with a 10-6 win over Kansas State Friday afternoon at the Brazos County Expo Complex.

The Aggies (11-1) claimed victories in both the hunter seat and western competitions, sweeping all four disciplines, and will look to earn the program's first Big 12 title on Saturday when they face No. 2-seed Oklahoma State (8-5) at 10 a.m. Admission is free.

"I was proud of the way the team came out and competed today," head coach Tana McKay said. "Sometimes there can be a lot of nerves in a championship setting, especially at home, but I thought the team handled things well, focused and got the job done. We are really looking forward to the opportunity to ride for a championship tomorrow against a very good OSU squad."

A&M staked itself to a quick four-point lead by taking six of eight possible rides in the first half of the show. Junior Lia Chafee (151-143), sophomore Emily Williams (154-130) and senior Brooke Coleman (159-157) claimed victories over fences, with Coleman's score leading the squad.

In horsemanship, junior Kelsey Adams (147-143.5) and sophomore Carey Nowacek (150-141.5) tallied wins, while junior Amanda Brightwell took MVP honors among the 16 riders in the discipline after a 151-139 victory.

Texas A&M needed three points in the second half of the show, which featured simultaneous competitions in equitation on the flat and reining. The reiners topped K-State on raw score, as juniors Courtney Dawe (143.5-128) and Abigail Grabein rode to victory. Grabein took home MVP honors after topping K-State's Emily Stockford, 144.5-128.5.

On the flat, the Aggies would again pick up the victory on raw score, with wins coming from juniors Lia Chafee (150-144) and Hannah Soibelman (152-135).

The Aggies will be making their second consecutive appearance in the Big 12 finals and will face OSU, the team that handed A&M its only defeat of the season just over a month ago. The Cowgirls, 10-5 winners over Baylor in their semifinal matchup on Friday, will look to claim their second Big 12 title and first since 2009.

The fences and horsemanship competitions will take place simultaneously in the Expo Complex's South and East Arenas, respectively, to be followed by the Reining and Flat competitions. A&M's senior class will be recognized prior to the start of the competition. Live results will be available on aggieathletics.com for those unable to attend the show.

The 3,000-seat Expo Complex is located at 5827 Leonard Road in Bryan.



Friday, April 1
Semifinal: (1) Texas A&M 10, (4) Kansas State 6
Semifinal: (2) Oklahoma State 10, (3) Baylor 5

Saturday, April 2
Championship: (1) Texas A&M vs (2) Oklahoma State, 10 a.m.
Third-Place: (3) Baylor vs (4) Kansas State, 10 a.m.




    Equitation Over Fences: A&M 3, K-State 1
    Sarah Mershon (KSU) def. Kori Pickett (A&M), 152-143
    Lia Chafee (A&M) def. Catherine Avolese (KSU), 151-143
    Emily Williams (A&M) def. Shana Barnett (KSU), 154-130
    Brooke Coleman (A&M) def. Kali Yates (KSU), 159-157

    Equitation on the Flat: A&M 2, K-State 2 (A&M wins on raw score, 607-603)
    Rachel Webster (KSU) def. Elizabeth Solch (A&M), 164-161
    Lia Chafee (A&M) def. Stephanie Patterson (KSU), 150-144
    Meredith Finch (KSU) def. Kristin Bell (A&M), 160-144
    Hannah Soibelman (A&M) def. Larissa Laffey (KSU), 152-135


    Horsemanship: A&M 3, K-State 1
    Kelsey Adams (A&M) def. Kelly Bovaird (KSU), 147-143.5
    Amanda Brightwell** (A&M) def. Chayna DeNicolo (KSU), 151-139
    Rachel Wetherell (KSU) def. Katie Lisabeth (A&M), 149.5-144
    Carey Nowacek (A&M) def. Hannah Ribera (KSU), 150-141.5

    Reining: A&M 2, K-State 2 (A&M wins on raw score, 568-541.5)
    Alecia Zimbelman (KSU) def. Randi Standley (A&M), 142.5-139
    Courtney Dawe (A&M) def. Jordan Cox (KSU), 143.5-128
    Samantha Etsell (KSU) def. Becca Murray (A&M), 142.5-141
    Abigail Grabein** (A&M) def. Emily Stockford (KSU), 144.5-128.5

    ** MVP