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A&M Loses Big 12 Title in Tiebreaker

March 31, 2012
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Courtesy: Texas A&M Athletics
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(photo: Texas A&M Athletics)
MANHATTAN, Kan.-The Texas A&M equestrian team missed defending its title by the slimmest of margins on Saturday afternoon, as the third-seeded Aggies fell in a tiebreaker to top-seeded Oklahoma State in the finals of the Big 12 Championship at Timbercreek Stables.

With the score deadlocked at eight after all 16 rides were complete, judges ran the scores through the tiebreaker formula, after which the Cowgirls came out on top, 3,329-3,326. The victory gives OSU (10-4) its second Big 12 title, while the Aggies fell to 10-5.

A back-and-forth competition came down to reining, as the teams entered the four-rider event tied 6-6. It looked as if Oklahoma State would win the title in regulation after the Cowgirls won the first two rides to put them one victory away from the trophy, but Texas A&M fought back once again. The Aggies, who erased two deficits on the afternoon, picked up wins from senior Abigail Grabein, 143-142 over Jenna Blumer, and sophomore Lindsey Bernbaum, 136.5-132.5 over Big 12 Rider of the Year Caroline Daniels, to tie the meet at 8-8 and send the outcome to the computers for the tiebreaker.

OSU took the early lead by winning three of the four rides over fences. The Aggies' win came from senior Maggie Earle, who defeated Samantha Elser 159-157 to put her team on the board.

As the meet shifted to concurrent competitions in horsemanship and on the flat, the tide began to turn A&M's way.

Wins in horsemanship by junior Carey Nowacek, 150-146.5 over All-Big 12 selection Lauren Halvorson, and senior Katie Lisabeth, 149-141 over Lindsey McMullen, gave A&M a victory in the discipline by raw score.

Meanwhile, on the flat, Texas A&M deadlocked the show at six by claiming an impressive three of four rides. Victories came from true freshman Haley Buchmiller, 147-128 over Big 12 Rider of the Year Jordan White, and senior Marisa Bernal, 144-143 over Ellie Sparks. In addition, Elizabeth Solch's 164-161 win over Samantha Harrison was an historic one, as the senior became A&M's all-time career leader on the flat with her 29th victory.

Texas A&M now turns its sights to the National Collegiate Equestrian Championships in two weeks in Waco, Texas. The three-time defending champion western team is the top seed for the event and will face either Fresno State or New Mexico State in the quarterfinal round. Meanwhile, A&M's seventh-seeded hunter seat squad will battle 10th-seeded Fresno State in the first round. Both competitions get underway on Thursday, April 12.

(#1) OKLAHOMA STATE 8, (#3) TEXAS A&M 8*

Saturday, March 31, 2012 - Timbercreek Stables - Manhattan, Kansas

Big 12 Equestrian Championship Finals

* OSU wins championship in raw-score tiebreaker, 3,329-3,326.

HUNTER SEAT: Oklahoma State 4, A&M 4  (OSU wins on raw score)

FENCES (OSU 3, A&M 1)

Maggie Earle, A&M def. Samantha Elser, OSU, 159-157

Samantha Harrison, OSU def. Kelsi Shevlin, A&M, 165-143

Sarah Gesick, OSU def. Leah Chenelle, A&M, 171-163

Allie Joyce, OSU def. Lia Chafee, A&M, 165-147

FLAT (A&M 3, OSU 1)

Haley Buchmiller, A&M def. Jordan White, OSU, 147-128

Elizabeth Solch, A&M def. Samantha Harrison, OSU, 164-161

Ali Rose, OSU def. Hannah Soibelman, A&M, 164-156

Marisa Bernal, A&M def. Ellie Sparks, OSU, 144-143

WESTERN: A&M 4, Oklahoma State 4 (A&M wins on raw score)

HORSEMANSHIP (A&M 2, OSU 2 - Aggies win on raw score)

Marisa Dalton, OSU def. Amanda Brightwell, A&M, 151-150

Katy Krshka, OSU def. Kelsey Adams, A&M, 151.5-150

Carey Nowacek, A&M def. Lauren Halvorson, OSU, 150-146.5

Katie Lisabeth, A&M def. Lindsey McMullen, OSU, 149-141

REINING (A&M 2, OSU 2 - Aggies win on raw score)

Christy McElreath, OSU def. Courtney Dawe, A&M, 141-140

Katy Krshka, OSU def. Becca Murray, A&M, 143.5-142

Abigail Grabein, A&M def. Jenna Blumer, OSU, 143-142

Lindsey Bernbaum, A&M def. Caroline Daniels, OSU, 136.5-132.5

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