K-State equestrian’s senior captain Savannah Smith, along with sophomores Henley Adkins and Sydney Anson, each took home most outstanding performer awards against New Mexico State Thursday.
Along with their awards, the Wildcats captured a big win over NMSU with a final score of 14-5, carrying on the second win of the season.
Smith said she felt she received her honors in the competition because she made it a priority to work with her horse and be consistent.
“(The horses) get nervous just like we do, so it’s important to stay on the same page and have a bond when you’re going out,” Smith said.
Smith said she was proud of her teammates who competed in equitation on the flat, as she felt they all featured outstanding performances for the day. Senior captain Madison Wayda and sophomore Henley Adkins received the highest scores for the competition overall, Adkins with a 94 and Wayda sporting a 92. The highest score participants can receive in the Hunt Seat side of competition is 100.
“A 94 and a 92 are huge numbers to mark, so I was really proud of them for coming out and doing well,” Smith said.
Wayda showed high scores in both sides of the Hunt Seat competition with a score of 84 in equitation over fences and a 92 in equitation on the flat. Wayda said she was proud of the team for being supportive of one another during Thursday’s match.
“We had some girls competing for the first time in the ring and they knocked it out of the park,” Wayda said. “Seeing everyone come together has been great.”
Wayda said she felt that hours of practicing no-stirrup work contributed to her and the team’s overall performance Thursday.
Anson said that she was excited about her performance, as it was only her second time showing varsity. Anson received her award in the horsemanship event.
Adkins received the highest score overall on Thursday with a 94 in equitation on the flat, alongside several other teammates who scored in the eighties. Adkins not only left with the accomplishment of her high score but a most outstanding performer award as well.
“It was incredible,” Adkins said. “All the way through the pattern I was just thinking, ‘Take one thing at a time and really try to push it as hard as you can.’ Finally hearing the score was amazing.”
Adkins said that she was most proud of teammate Gretchen Koenen, a sophomore in equitation on the flat, because it was her first competition and she pulled a score of 86. Adkins said that was a strong performance for a first time competitor.
Head coach Casie Maxwell said she felt Thursday’s competition was very good; the girls worked well with one another and had a lot of confidence. However, that doesn’t mean their work is done.
“I think we made more mistakes this week than we did last week, so definitely our goal is to clean that up,” Maxwell said.
Today’s competition will begin at 9 a.m. against South Dakota State. The last time the Wildcats faced the Jackrabbits was in February and resulted in a win of 10-9.
Fans of Western competition will see seniors Kelsey Sousa and Savannah Smith along with juniors Danielle Kemper, Kara Guy and Nicholle Hatton for the upperclassmen.
A large group of underclassmen will also be competing in Western today including: sophomores Anson, Alyssa Lombardi and Kelsey Karanges. Two freshmen, Brynn Critcher and Heidi Schmitz, will get their third chance in the arena.
For the Hunt Seat side of competition, fans can expect to see lone senior Wayda along with sophomores Adkins, Alexis Graves, Taylor Schmidt, Gretchen Koenen and Christina Martinelli. Lone freshman Molly Dunn will get her second chance at competing today.