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A&M Advances to Big 12 Finals

March 30, 2012
Courtesy: Texas A&M Athletics
(photo: Texas A&M Athletics)




Friday, March 30, 2012

MANHATTAN, Kan.-Junior all-conference reiner Becca Murray's victory sealed Texas A&M's return trip to the finals of the Big 12 Championship on Friday afternoon as the third-seeded Aggies defeated second-seeded Baylor 9-6 at Timbercreek Stables.

The team victory puts A&M (10-4) into the championship Saturday at 10 a.m. against top-seeded Oklahoma State (9-4). The Bears, meanwhile, fall to 10-4 and will face host Kansas State (5-8) in the consolation round.

With A&M holding on to a one-point lead and just two rides left on the afternoon, Murray recorded a 136-118.5 win over the Bears' Olivia Rogers for the clinching point. Murray's triumph capped a strong day for the Aggie western team, which won six of eight overall.

Baylor took the early lead, squeaking by the Aggies 2-1 in a fences competition that saw a spread of just two points on raw score (606-604). Senior Maggie Earle rode to a 157-all draw with Kara Fergusson then, after the Bears took the next two rides, freshman All-Big 12 honoree Leah Chenelle got a victory in her first Big 12 championship appearance with a 152-136 defeat of Ashley Ann McGehee.

The next portion of the competition saw flat and horsemanship going on concurrently, and it was there that the Aggies took control by winning five of a possible eight points. 

In horsemanship, A&M opened with three straight wins. The first came thanks to Big 12 Rider of the Year Carey Nowacek, who remained undefeated all-time at the Big 12 Championship by downing Chelsea Retmier 141.5-126. Kelsey Adams followed with a one-point defeat of Meghan Murphy, and All-Big 12 honoree Amanda Brightwell then topped Bryn Lindley 144-142.

On the flat, A&M's first point came from senior All-Big 12 rider Elizabeth Solch, who tied the school record for career wins in the discipline (28) with a 155-151 victory over Kim Woodsum. Senior Marisa Bernal gave the Aggies a one-point lead heading into the final event thanks to a 151-140 defeat of the Bears' all-conference rider Lisa Goldman.

In reining, sophomore Lindsey Bernbaum took the first ride and put A&M one win away from victory with a six-point defeat of Katie Berg. After a Baylor victory cut the Aggie lead to one, Murray sealed the win with her ride and senior Courtney Dawe soon followed with a 136.5-130 victory over Amber Mooney for the day's final point.

Saturday's showdown with the Cowgirls  is a rematch of last year's Big 12 finals, one which saw Texas A&M defeat OSU 11-4 at the Brazos County Expo Complex. The teams split two meetings this year, with each winning in its home arena.

Fans can get rider-by-rider scoring updates 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 the competition.

(#3) TEXAS A&M 9, (#2) BAYLOR 6

Friday, March 30, 2012 - Timbercreek Stables - Manhattan, Kansas

Semifinals - Big 12 Equestrian Championship

HUNTER SEAT: Baylor 4, Texas A&M 3

Equitation over Fences (BAY 2, A&M 1)
Maggie Earle, A&M tied Kara Fergusson, BAY, 157-157

Sam Schaefer, BAY def. Lia Chafee, A&M, 172-165

Lisa Goldman, BAY def. Emily Williams, A&M, 141-130

Leah Chenelle, A&M def. AshleyAnn McGehee, BAY, 152-136

Equtation on the Flat (BAY 2, A&M 2)

Sam Schaefer, BAY def. Haley Buchmiller, A&M, 144-140

Elizabeth Solch, A&M def. Kim Woodsum, BAY, 155-151

Taylor Brown, BAY def. Hannah Soibelman, A&M, 153-133

Marisa Bernal, A&M def. Lisa Goldman, BAY, 151-140

WESTERN: Texas A&M 6, Baylor 2

Horsemanship (A&M 3, BAY 1)

Carey Nowacek, A&M def. Chelsea Retmier, BAY, 141.5-126

Kelsey Adams, A&M def. Meghan Murphy, BAY, 147-146

Amanda Brightwell, A&M def. Bryn Lindley, BAY, 144-142

Parris Rice, BAY def. Katie Lisabeth, A&M, 147-118

Reining (A&M 3, BAY 1)

Lindsey Bernbaum, A&M def. Katherine Berg, BAY, 135.5-129.5

Ellie Powell, BAY def. Abigail Grabein, A&M, 135-133

Becca Murray, A&M def. Olivia Rogers, BAY, 136-118.5

Courtney Dawe, A&M def. Amber Mooney, BAY, 136.5-130


Team Records: A&M 10-4, Baylor 10-4

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