Cowgirls Win Big 12 Championship

March 31, 2012

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MANHATTAN, Kan.-- The Oklahoma State equestrian team claimed the 2012 Big 12 Championship after they defeated the Texas A&M Aggies in tie-breaking fashion, competing to an 8-8 deadlock at Timbercreek Stables on Saturday.

The competition was decided by a raw score tiebreaker, giving the Cowgirls a 3329-3326 advantage.

"This win is a good end to a lot of hard work," head coach Larry Sanchez said. "I could not be more proud of the way that our ladies rode this weekend and where they are mentally at this point in the season."

Samantha Harrison highlighted the day for the Cowgirls, earning Most Outstanding Player honors in equitation on the flat for the championship. She was 1-1 on the weekend with a 15-point triumph over Kansas State in the semifinals.

"We are proud that we could bring home a win," hunter seat coach Suzanne Flaig said. "Many of the girls rode at the top of their game, not only winning their team point but also creating some spread in the raw scores."

Oklahoma State began the day with a 3-1 victory in equitation over fences. Harrison earned the first team point for the Pokes with a 165-143 win, followed by two-straight wins from Sarah Gesick and Allie Joyce.

Ali Rose picked up the lone head-to-head point for the Cowgirls in equitation on the flat with a 164-159 win over her Aggie counterpart. Texas A&Mwon the event, 3-1, deadlocking the overall score at 4-4.

"The team really stepped up to the plate today," hunter seat captain Jordan White said. "We have worked hard for this all season long and it feels great for it to finally pay off."

Katy Krshka continued her dominating freshman campaign with wins in both horsemanship and reining. She improved to 3-1 in the championship. Marissa Dalton joined her in horsemanship, earning a 151-150 win.

With the score 6-6 after three events, the championship hinged on the Cowgirls' performance in reining. Krshka won her head-to-head, 143.5-142, and Christy McElreath defeated her counterpart, 141-140. The Aggies picked up two points in the event, evening the score at 8-8.

After calculating scores through the tiebreaker formula, the Cowgirls were named Big 12 Champions.

"I couldn't be more proud of my team," western captain Caroline Daniels said. "This is a preview of what we're going to do at the national championships."

The Pokes add to the trophy case, becoming the first team in conference history to win multiple Big 12 Championships.

Oklahoma State improved to 10-4 on the season and 6-2 in conference competition. They enter the 2012 NCEA National Championships riding an eight-match winning streak. The Cowgirls will travel to Waco, Texas to take on the nation's best April 12-14.



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