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April 22, 2006

Albuquerque, N.M. – South Carolina’s hunt seat team will have a chance to defend its title as the Gamecocks defeated New Mexico State 810-707 to advance to the championship round of the Varsity Equestrian Championships Saturday afternoon. USC will compete against SEC opponent Auburn for the title. The Gamecocks’ total points were the highest of the day two competitions. The season came to an end for the western team lost a heartbreaker to Kansas State 848-846.

“We are very excited about tomorrow. We rode really well today and we are back in the championship round,” said head coach Boo Duncan. “We are disappointed that the western team did not advance but we had very close and competitive rides.”

South Carolina swept the event as each Gamecock rider defeated her opponent. Kristen Terebesi was the high-point scorer as she claimed a 160-138 victory over Krystal Mack over fences. Defending hunt seat champion Tara Brothers was the high-point spread victor as she posted a 25-point win over Meg Keely, 132-107 in equitation on the flat. In the final two equitation events, Sarah Lowe defeated Mack by three, 134-131, and Kelley Campbell beat Claire Manatt 102-97. In over fences, Lindsay Pace defeated Beth Robison 128-107 and Brothers defeated Keeley 142-123.

“The hunt seat team just blazed through the day,” said Duncan. “We are looking forward to facing Auburn tomorrow. They are on fire right now. However, we have a lot of confidence going into the competition. We are glad to get the chance for another title.”

In the western competition, Kansas State won by just two points in a very close ride. Rachel Sternoff and Katie Grossnickle both won their rides as they earned victories 143.5-142 and 143.5-138.5, respectively. Allison Bradley fell by half a point to Jana Lechtenburg, 141.5-141 and Courtney Borton lost to Lindsey Salsbury 144-137.5.

In reining, Laura Pipkin recorded a victory for the Gamecocks 138-126.5. Lindsay Williams and Sara Weller tied, 140-140 and Sternoff lost to Salsbury, 141.5-139.5.

“It was disappointing to not make it further on the western side but we had good competitions both days,” said Duncan. “I am very proud of the girls.”