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Aggies Ready to Defend Big 12 Title

March 28, 2012
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Courtesy: Texas A&M Athletics
(photo: Texas A&M Athletics)
COLLEGE STATION-The defending Big 12 champion Texas A&M equestrian team looks to win its second straight title this weekend when the Aggies travel to Manhattan to compete in the fourth annual Big 12 Equestrian Championship at Timbercreek Stables.

A&M (9-4, 3-3) is seeded third for the championship and will meet second-seeded Baylor (10-3, 4-2) in the semifinals on Friday at 10 a.m. Top-seed Oklahoma State (8-4, 4-2) will face host and fourth-seeded Kansas State (5-7, 1-5) in the other semifinal. The winners will meet on Saturday at 10 a.m. for the Big 12 title.

Schedule of Events

Semifinals: Friday, March 30, 10 a.m.

#3 Texas A&M (9-4) vs. #2 Baylor (10-3)

#4 Kansas State (5-7) vs. #1 Oklahoma State (8-4)

Championship/Consolation: Saturday, March 31, 10 a.m.

Format

Teams will ride four in each discipline for a total of 16 points at stake ... if teams are tied in points at end of competition, raw score will determine the overall winner.

Scoring Updates/Results

Fans can get rider-by-rider scoring updates throughout the Big 12 Championship through A&M's official twitter feed at @AggieEquestrian ... results will be posted on aggieathletics.com, kstatesports.com and big12sports.com as soon as possible following each day of competition.

For More: http://www.kstatesports.com/sports/w-equest/spec-rel/2012-big12-championship.html

Aggie Lineup

Equitation over Fences:  Kat Barkema (Fr.), Lia Chafee (Sr.), Leah Chenelle (Fr.), Maggie Earle (Sr.), Kori Pickett (Jr.), CiCi Riddle (So.), Kelsi Shevlin (Jr.), Emily Williams (Jr.)

Equitation on the Flat:  Marisa Bernal (Sr.), Haley Buchmiller (Fr.), Lia Chafee (Sr.), Maggie Earle (Sr.), Paige Russell (So.), Hannah Soibelman (Sr.), Elizabeth Solch (Sr.), Ellie Wilkins (So.)

Horsemanship:  Kelsey Adams (Sr.), Caroline Ammons (So.), Laura Brainard (Jr.), Amanda Brightwell (Jr.), Molli Jacobs (Fr.), Katie Lisabeth (Sr.), Cassie Mantor (Jr.), Carey Nowacek (Jr.)

Reining:  Lindsey Bernbaum (So.), Courtney Dawe (Sr.), Abigail Grabein (Sr.), Courtney Kile (Jr.), Becca Murray (Jr.), Emma Myers (Jr.), Ashley Skold (RFr.), Laura Sumrall (Fr.)

Big 12 Championship History

This will mark the fourth edition of the Big 12 Equestrian championship, although the first as a fully-supported conference championship. The event was first supported on a limited basis beginning in 2009.

Aggies at the Big 12 Championship

Texas A&M sports a 4-2 record all-time at the Big 12 Championship, winning the title last season at the Brazos County Expo Complex.

Year    Site                  Finish  Record

2009    Stillwater        3rd        1-1

2010    Waco               2nd       1-1

2011    Bryan              1st        2-0

2011 Big 12 Champions

BRYAN, Texas (4/2/11)--Top-ranked Texas A&M brought home the program's first-ever Big 12 title on Saturday, as the Aggies recorded a dominating 11-4 victory over No. 4-ranked Oklahoma State in the finals of the Big 12 Equestrian Championships at the Brazos County Expo Complex ... the A&M western team swept all eight rides on the day, while the Aggie hunter seat squad came within an eyelash of its ninth victory of the year.

Aggies vs the Big 12 Field

Texas A&M has a 33-13 all-time record against the three combined Big 12 opponents ... the Aggies went 3-3 in league play this year, sweeping Kansas State, splitting with Oklahoma State and losing both meets to Baylor-each by one point.

Opponent       Overall Series             Streak              Series at Big 12s

Baylor             A&M leads, 9-6          Lost 2              Baylor leads, 1-0

Kansas St.       A&M leads, 14-2        Won 11           A&M leads, 3-0

Oklahoma St. A&M leads, 10-5        Lost 1              tied, 1-1

Texas A&M in 2011-12

A victory this weekend would give A&M its third-straight double-digit win season and its fourth in the six-year history of the NCEA (formerly Varsity Equestrian) ... the Aggies' schedule and results this season:

Date    Opponent                               Result

S 23     at Delaware State                  W, 7-6

S 24     vs Fresno State                       W, 12-2

O 8      GEORGIA                               W, 13-10

O 15    at (#10) New Mexico State    W, 12-7

O 28    TCU                                        W, 12-7

N 5      (#5) OKLAHOMA STATE    W, 14-8

N 11    at (#7) Kansas State               W, 11-8

N 18    at (#5) Baylor                          L, 11-12

F 3       at SMU (hunter seat only)     L, 4-6

F 3       at TCU (western only)           W, 5-3

F 25     at (#6) Oklahoma State          L, 10-13

M 2      (#7) KANSAS STATE            W, 14-10

M 10    (#6) BAYLOR                         L, 11-12

Racking Up the Awards

Texas A&M riders won 30 of a possible 48 MVP awards throughout the Aggies' competitions this year (63 percent), and the awards were spread across the disciplines ... western riders accounted for 17 with hunter seat riders winning 13 ... individual MVP leaders were junior Carey Nowacek in horsemanship (5), junior Emily Williams over fences (3) and sophomore Lindsey Bernbaum in reining (3).

Big 12 Honors

Texas A&M has claimed a league-high six Big 12 "Rider of the Month" honors this year in the conference's first season of sponsorship:

Fences: Maggie Earle (co-December), Lia Chafee (February)

Horsemanship: Carey Nowacek (November and December), Amanda Brightwell (February)

Reining: Lindsey Bernbaum (November)

Academic Awards Roll In

Texas A&M placed a league-best 18 student-athletes on the inaugural Academic All-Big 12 Equestrian Team, announced by the Big 12 office on March 27 ... highlighting the Aggie honorees was senior Elizabeth Solch, who was one of just two on the entire 52-member squad to boast a perfect 4.0 GPA.

Along with Solch, Lindsey Bernbaum, Amanda Brightwell, Lia Chafee, Courtney Dawe, Maggie Earle, Cassie Mantor, Kori Pickett, Darby Sherrod, Kelsi Shevlin, Hannah Soibelman, Nancy Sorrell, Megan Webb, Erica Whaley and Emily Williams were first-team honorees (3.20 or higher GPA).  Kelsey Adams, Katie Lisabeth and Emma Myers were named to the second team (3.00-3.19 GPA).

Individual Notes

Senior Lia Chafee (Little Compton, R.I.) will end her Aggie career next month as the winningest hunter seat rider in school history, entering the weekend with 42 combined victories ... she is tied for the school record with six career fences MVP awards and ranks second all-time over fences with 30 wins.

Senior Maggie Earle (Fallbrook, Calif.) has a school record 10 career hunter seat MVPs.

Senior Abigail Grabein (Houston) ranks second all-time among Aggie reiners in both wins (32) and MVPs (5) ... is 3-1 with an MVP all-time at the Big 12 Championship.

Senior Katie Lisabeth (Canton, Ga.) ranks third all-time on the A&M horsemanship lists in wins (36) and MVPs (8) ... she has seen more success at Big 12s than any other Aggie rider, going 4-2 with 3 MVPs in her career.

Junior Carey Nowacek (San Antonio) ranks second all-time on the A&M horsemanship charts in victories (37) and MVPs (13) ... she has more MVP awards than any active Aggie rider on the entire roster ... is 4-0 all-time at the Big 12 Championship with one MVP award.

Senior Elizabeth Solch (Cincinnati, Ohio) has 27 career victories on the flat, one shy of the school record held by both Brittney Dodson (2006-10) and Christina Matz (2006-09) ... Solch needs two wins to become the all-time winningest flat rider in program history.

In the Rankings

Texas A&M is the highest ranked Big 12 team in the latest Women's Intercollegiate Equestrian National Coaches Poll, released March 14 ... the Aggies are ranked second behind Georgia ... Oklahoma State is fourth, with Baylor sitting in fifth and Kansas State in eighth.

Women's Intercollegiate Equestrian National Coaches Poll (3/14)

1. Georgia (69)

2. Texas A&M (57)

3. Auburn (56)

4. Oklahoma State (45)

5. Baylor (43)

6. South Carolina (36)

7. New Mexico State (26)

8. Kansas State (22)

9. Southern Methodist (14)

10. Fresno State (9)

Receiving votes - Texas Christian (7), Tennessee-Martin (1)

Timbercreek Stables

Timbercreek Stables became the home of K-State equestrian in the summer of 2010 and is located just 4 miles east of Manhattan. It is just 15 minutes away from the main campus of Kansas State University and the Kansas State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital ... the Kansas State equestrian team has full sets of show jumps and practice jumps as well as a 20x40m PVC dressage arena that is used for varsity competitions ... features include 18 stalls, 22 runs, pasture space, Indoor and Outdoor arena, 2 round pens, and numerous other projects in the works.

Texas A&M is 2-0 all-time at Timbercreek Stables.

Up Next

Texas A&M will participate in the 2012 NCEA National Championships, set for April 12-14 at the Extraco Events Center in Waco ... the Aggies are the top seed on the western side of the bracket and the No. 7 seed on the hunter seat side ... A&M has won three straight western team national championships.

NCEA Championship - Hunter Seat First Round (Thursday, April 12)

#8 TCU vs #9 Kansas State

#5 SMU vs #12 Tennessee-Martin

#6 New Mexico State vs #11 Oklahoma State

#7 Texas A&M vs #10 Fresno State

NCEA Championship - Hunter Seat Quarterfinals (Thursday, April 12/Friday, April 13)

#1 Auburn vs TCU/K-State winner

#4 Baylor vs SMU/UTM winner

#3 Georgia vs NMSU/OSU winner

#2 South Carolina vs A&M/Fresno winner

NCEA Championship - Western Quarterfinals (Thursday, April 12/Friday, April 13)

#1 Texas A&M vs #8 Fresno State/#9 New Mexico State winner

#4 Auburn vs #5 South Carolina/#12 Tennessee-Martin winner

#3 Georgia vs #6 Kansas State/#11 South Dakota State winner

#2 Oklahoma State vs #7 Baylor/#10 TCU winner

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