WACO, Texas – The University of Tennessee at Martin equestrian team pushed No. 1 Baylor to the limit today, but the defending national champion escaped with a 5-2 win in the second round of the National Collegiate Equestrian Association championship at the Extraco Events Center.
The No. 9 seeded Skyhawk Hunter Seat team, who punched their ticket to the second round with a tiebreaker victory over Kansas State on Thursday, was on par with Baylor through Equitation over Fences. NCEA second team All-American Kara Bergenty (166 score) and Reid Rickett (158) each accounted for points early on to result in a 2-2 tie halfway through. For Rickett, it was her third win in as many rides against some of the nation’s best at the NCEA.
Bergenty split with Baylor’s Taylor Brown (score of 147 apiece) in Equitation on the Flat, but ultimately Baylor would go on to record the three remaining points.
Although UT Martin’s season came to a close today, the Skyhawks had a reason to hang their heads high after turning many heads throughout their seventh straight NCEA appearance.
“Today’s scores were extremely close,” UT Martin head coach Meghan Cunningham said. “As competitive as we were against the No. 1 seed, our program rose to a new level and our athletes rose to the challenge exceptionally."