April 17, 2008
WACO, Texas -
Baylor's equestrian team posted two victories in first round action in the Baylor-hosted Varsity Equestrian National Championships (VENC) on Thursday at the Heart O' Texas Fair complex.
Baylor's sixth-seeded hunter seat team downed 11th-seeded UT Martin, 7-1, posting a 4-0 triumph in Equitation Over Fences and a 3-1 Equitation on the Flat victory. In Fences, freshman Kendra Vicary led the Bears with a ride of 166 while Nicole Brown followed closely with a score of 165. Mary Smitson posted a four-point win with a score of 158 and Heather Healy won her ride by a 10-point margin.
"Not a bad start for us today," said head coach Ellen White. "But, we've got to stay strong. Of course this was not the competition that we'll have in the next round. It's just going to be harder."
In Western competition the ninth-seeded Bears upset No. 8 New Mexico State, 6-2, avenging an earlier season loss. Nicole McCoy, Allison Orosz and Lindsey Tomko all posted Horsemanship wins, ensuring a 3-1 margin of victory. Tomko led all Baylor riders with a score of 147 while McCoy tallied 144 and Orosz scored 141.5. Although she posted Baylor's second-highest score at 144, Lindsay Douglas lost to her opponent by 1.5 points.
In addition to winning Horsemanship 3-1, the Reining team won by the same margin. Sophomore Madelyn Mooney posted the team's highest score at 146.5. Also registering victories for the Bears were Katrina Buss with a score of 142.5 and Valtie Riddle's tally of 141.
"The team has just really peaked at a point to where they're winning now, which is the time to win. We've been struggling this season," said western coach Trista Armstrong. "The girls have been going home and watching videos and doing things we wouldn't normally do if we were winning. We've been creative and working really hard to try figure out what we could do to be unbeatable. The girls did a very good job today."
In first round bye action, the Western team will face top-seeded TCU while the Hunter Seat team will take on Georgia, the competition's third-ranked team.