Cowgirl equestrian captures first overall national title in program history
Monday, April 18, 2022
Media Contact: Emma Trainor | Equestrian Media Contact | 405-744-7714 | firstname.lastname@example.org
For the first time in program history, the No. 1 Oklahoma State equestrian team won the overall NCEA National Championship after defeating No. 3 Texas A&M, 11-9, on Saturday in Ocala, Florida.
The championship came in OSU's return to the final round of the national tournament for the first time since 2013. Oklahoma State's overall national championship will stand alongside its previously won six Western National Titles and one individual champion.
"Honestly, I could not be more proud of this group of girls," head coach Larry Sanchez said following the victory. "They left everything on the line, trusted the process, and did more than we ever expected them to do. They deserve every bit of this."
The first event of the day was Reining, where Texas A&M jumped out to a 3-2 lead. JoJo Roberson defeated Taylor Masson with a slim 214-212.5 victory to get things underway, while Quincee Clark secured the second Cowgirl point, winning her match 217.5-211.5.
For the Aggies, Emmy Lu Marsh and Marissa Harrell both came away victorious, winning 213-204.5 and 217.5-209.5, respectively. The event's final point came down to a re-ride between Lisa Bricker and Hannah Lovrien, in which Bricker was able to best the Cowgirl senior, 211.5-209.
Flat began shortly after the conclusion of Reining. OSU started the event well, as captain Abigail Brayman topped Rhian Murphy, 261.5-256. Katie Pelzel tacked on another point in her final ride as a Cowgirl with a 257.5-222.5 victory, followed by the Big 12 Flat Rider of the Year, Hope King, who won her match, 259-253.
Texas A&M didn't let the meet slip away, however, when Kaitlyn Lovingfoss and Devon Thomas both picked up points to end the event.
Following the first two events of the day, the meet was tied, 5-5, at the halfway point.
Claire McDowall and JoJo Roberson put the Cowgirls back on top. McDowall pulled out the tight point with a score of 222-221.5, while Roberson took down Hanna Olaussen, 226.5-221. Cori Cansdale bested Natalie Vargo, 225.5-221.5, to cut the OSU lead back down to one.
Freshman Riley Hogan did not shy away from the big stage, claiming a huge point, 258.5-256, to put the Cowgirls up 10-8 with a pair of matches remaining. Devon Thomas downed Hope King, 263-251, to set up a potential tiebreaker scenario heading into the final ride of the meet.
First Team All-American Sydnie Ziegler would not let that happen, as she defeated Kaitlyn Lovingfoss, 250.5-249, to secure the national title for the Cowgirls.
Oklahoma State finished the season with a record of 15-2, breaking the program record for wins in a season of 14 that was previously set in 2009. The Cowgirls defeated a No. 1 overall ranked team two separate times throughout the year, only lost one meet over nearly the last five months of the year and capped off their historic run with a national championship trophy.
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