The No. 2 Georgia equestrian team defeated No. 7 Fresno State, 12-3, on Friday to advance to the semifinal round of competition at the NCEA National Championship.
With the win, Georgia advances to the NCEA semifinal round and will take on Auburn at 8:30 a.m. CT on Saturday. Third-seeded Auburn defeated No. 6 South Carolina, 12-4, to advance to the semifinal.
On the opposite side of the bracket, No. 5 Texas A&M toppled No. 4 Oklahoma State, 14-1, and No. 9 TCU upset No. 1 Baylor, 9-7. The winner of Texas A&M versus TCU will face the winner of Georgia versus Auburn for the 2017 NCEA National Title. The final round is scheduled to begin on Saturday, April 15 at 1:30 p.m. CT.
“Today was a great day with each event earning three points,” head coach Meghan Boenig said. “These riders have tons of confidence and showed that today with great rides, especially in difficult situations. It’s hard to have a rest day and then come out swinging against a team that already competed and showed really great strength. We are not done yet! It’s a quick turnaround and we’re ready to face Auburn once again.”
Georgia jumped to a 3-1 lead after Equitation Over Fences. Freshman Sydney Hutchins earned the first point with a 171-144 defeat over Natalie Wendt. Senior Liza Finsness claimed the next point for Georgia by edging Kylina Chalack, 168-167, before senior Meg O’Mara rode to an event-high 172-80 victory over Fresno State’s Madelyn Keck.
Georgia extended its lead in Reining, adding three points. In the lead-off position, Claudia Spreng rode to a 136.5-130 defeat over Fresno State’s Paige Burton, before Lindsey Cheek defeated her opponent, 135-0. Graysen Stroud claimed another point for the Red and Black with a 139.5-136.5 victory over Taylor Brown.
Halfway through the competition, Georgia led Fresno State, 6-2.
Georgia clinched the victory to advance to Saturday’s semifinal round after earning three points in Equitation on the Flat. Maddie Newman rode to a tie against Fresno State’s Madelyn Keck with a score of 148. O’Mara rode to an event-high 178 to defeat Alexandra Dirickson’s 167. Addyson Cord earned another point for the Red and Black, before senior Liza Finsness closed the event with a 164-150 victory over Sierra Swaffar.
Georgia took a 3-1 decision in Horsemanship. Graysen Stroud scored a 148 to top Rachel Williams of Fresno State’s score of 144.5. Georgia’s Payton Anderson rode to an event-high 150 to defeat Taylor Brown, before Bailey Anderson bested Taylor Dixon’s score, 149.5-129, to earn the final point for Georgia.
The NCEA has partnered with EQSportsNet to provide live coverage of the NCEA National Championship. EQSportsNet’s live video feed will be free for the NCEA National Championship. To watch this year’s NCEA National Championship, visit https://eqsports.net/schedule to create an account or log into an existing account.
Live scoring and more information about the 2017 NCEA National Championship can be found at gado.gs/nationals.