April 11, 2002
Oklahoma State's women's equestrian team is set to host the Zone Seven Championships on April 14 at 9 a.m. at the Animal Science Arena. The Hunter team will compete in the morning session and the Western team is slated to compete in the afternoon session.
"We are really looking forward to it," head coach Larry Sanchez said. "It's a really good competition because we get to see who gets to go to nationals as individuals. As far as the team competiton is concerned, we learned that our Hunter team received an automatic berth to nationals. So no matter how we place we will still send the team to nationals. We would like to be zone champions in both the Western and Hunter, but in the Hunter we are moving to the next step no matter how we do."
The four teams competing in the western side are Oklahoma State, Texas A&M, Colorado State and New Mexico State. Out of those four teams, Texas A&M and Colorado State have already earned automatic berths to the national championships by winning their region.
"Out of that four-team competition the only team we must finish ahead of is New Mexico State," Sanchez said. "Of course we are not going to just shoot for that, but to win the zone championships. We know we can beat all these teams on any given day so I hope we put that day together."
In the Hunter competition, each regional champion has already earned a berth to nationals. The teams competing will vie for the honor of the Zone Seven Champion.
"We do have somewhat of a home-field advantage, but what I have been trying to teach the girls all week is that being in the same arena might be nice but it is a different setting," Sanchez said.
Individually, six riders of the Western and Hunter team will be competing for berths to the National Championships. To qualify for zones a rider must finish in the top three in their respective class. OSU had three riders capture regional championships to advance to the zone championships, with three others advancing after finishing in the top three of their class.
Western rider Chandy Hale advanced after finishing second in Intermediate, while sophomores Corrie Janssen and Crissy Meeks each finished third in the Open Fences and Open division, respectively, to advance.
OSU will return to action on April 20 as they travel to Gainesville, Fla., to compete at the Varsity Championships, hosted by the University of Florida.