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April 14, 2012

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WACO, Texas – South Carolina’s Hunt Seat team ended its run at the 2012 NCEA National Championships on Saturday, claiming fifth-place with a 7-1 victory over Kansas State at the Extraco Events Center.

“I’m proud of our girls for going out with a win today,” South Carolina head coach Boo Major said. “Overall, I think we know our team is much better than our fifth-place finish, but we had some mistakes yesterday against Texas A&M and that ended up costing us. But I’m extremely proud of this group for what they accomplished this season. I also want to congratulate our Hunt Seat coach Carol Gwin because she has worked tirelessly all season with everybody, and to our captain Colvin Hedgepeth. She’s been a great leader for our Hunt Seat girls this season.”

Saturday’s meet began in the covered ring, where the Gamecocks jumped out to an early 3-1 lead after a strong showing in Equitation on the Flat.

Freshman Katherine Schmidt scored first the Gamecocks, as she put up a 155 to defeat the Wildcats’ Larissa Laffey. Junior Carolyn Curcio followed Schmidt with a 127-118 victory over Madison Wayda. And senior Hunt Seat captain Colvin Hedgepeth, in her final ride as a Gamecock, defeated her K-State opponent by 16-points.

“What we saw today is the Flat team we’ve seen all season long,” Major said. “Great rides from beginning to end, and you could tell that they wanted to go out and make up for yesterday’s loss. They all were great, and I’m extremely proud of Colvin for ending her career on a win.”

With a 3-1 lead after the Flat, South Carolina’s jumping team made quick work of the Wildcats, sweeping all four points. Schmidt and Curcio both went 2-for-2 in Saturday’s win.

Curcio scored the first jumping point for the Gamecocks, as she beat her opponent, 165-159. McCormack more than made up for her Flat loss earlier in the morning, as she posted an event-high 180 to drop K-State’s Catherine Avoise’s 141.

Redshirt freshman Amber Henter claimed her first NCEA Nationals point, as she posted the second-highest score, defeating her opponent 170-145. Katherine Schmidt completed her 2-for-2 day and 6-for-6 weekend on Saturday with a 169-163 victory over Sarah Mershon.

“Just like with our Flat team, our Over Fences group is a tough group to beat,” Major said. “Kansas State had some good rides, but our girls have consistently gotten wins all year and they earned the 4-0 sweep today.”

Schmidt’s perfect 6-0 run at the NCEA Nationals brings her season record to 25-7 overall with five MVP’s, and a perfect 8-0 postseason mark. Her 25 wins this season is the most in the NCEA.