With a team of underclassmen this year, K-State equestrian’s expectations for Friday’s competition are unknown as the season gets underway.
The No. 6 Wildcats will face No. 2 South Carolina on Friday in the first meet of the season. K-State finished last season with a 13-3 loss in the NCEA National Championship against Auburn on April 18.
Head coach Casie Maxwell said right now the team is just focusing on the task at hand – competing against South Carolina. Maxwell said the Gamecocks are a seasoned team that has a lot of experienced riders.
“We’ve (K-State) got a young, fresh team who is anxious to get out there so it should be a good match,” Maxwell said.
Senior Madison Wayda and sophomore Henley Adkins will be leading the Hunter Seat team while senior Savannah Smith and junior Danielle Kemper will be leading the Western team in Friday’s competition. A total of 18 riders will be competing Friday.
Also competing for the Hunt Seat side are sophomores Alexis Graves, Christina Martinelli, Taylor Schmidt, Gretchen Koenen and freshman Molly Dunn.
In Western fans will see senior Kelsey Sousa, juniors Emily Castellini, Kara Guy, Nicholle Hatton, sophomores Alyssa Lombardi, Kelsey Koranges, and freshman Brynn Critcher and Heidi Schmitz.
Maxwell explained in a previous interview that the Purple and White Scrimmage held just two weeks ago was a chance to get all riders in the arena in a show format.
“Doing this at the beginning of the season just kind of lets us see a preview of what our athletes are riding like – kind of gets us prepared for that first real countable competition,” Maxwell said. “It gives them an opportunity to kind of shake their nerves out and for those freshmen, it gives them that first opportunity to get in the competition arena in this format.”