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April 14, 2011

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Kelsey Hart Post-Meet Comments

Championship Central

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WACO, Texas – Dominating performances by South Carolina’s flat and jumping squads led the Gamecocks to a 6-1 victory over Delaware State in the opening round of the Hunt Seat bracket in the 2011 Varsity Equestrian National Championships.

With the win, No. 6 seed South Carolina will face No. 3 Seed Baylor on Friday morning in the second round.

Thursday’s opening round competition got underway in the covered pavilion area as both teams competed in Equitation on the Flat.

South Carolina sophomore Kimberly McCormack, last year’s Hunt Seat MVP at nationals, rode Delaware State’s Kayla Blair to a 137-137 tie.

Following McCormack’s tie, the Gamecocks won the remaining three points, jumping out to an early 3-0 lead.

Redshirt junior Victoria Middleton, competing in her first competition at Nationals since a brain injury sidelined her last year, picked up a 132-121 victory over Elizabeth Tuttle.

Kelsey Hart, the Gamecock freshman who has dominated riders in flat competition this semester, continued her winning ways with a 19-point victory over her opponent. Hart’s score of 146 was an event-high, more than enough to win the point as Ashley Butler earned a score of 127.

Junior Colvin Hedgepeth, competing for the second year in a row at nationals, completed the 3-0 sweep over the Hornets with a 24-point win over Delaware State’s Caroline Foltz. Hedgepeth’s 139-115 victory gave the Richmond, Va. native a career-high eight wins this season.

South Carolina continued to roll in Equitation on the Flat. Freshman Morgan Hale, competing in her first ride at nationals, shut the door on Delaware State as she earned the Gamecocks’ fourth point of the competition. Hale scored a 158, 23 points higher than Ashley Butler’s 135. Hale’s win extended South Carolina’s lead to 4-1 with only two points left to be earned.

With the victory in hand, junior Carolyn Curcio followed Hale’s point by scoring an event-high 161 to defeat the Hornets’ Amanda Hotz, who scored a 140. McCormack, competing in both Hunt Seat events as she has all season, defeated the Hornets’ Elizabeth Tuttle, 152-129.

South Carolina’s competition against Baylor is scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m. on Friday.