No. 1 Baylor equestrian (12-5) 2017 season came to an end in another dramatic meet, falling in the quarterfinals of the NCEA National Championship to No. 9 TCU (7-10), 9-7, on Saturday afternoon at Extraco Events Center.
The meet started with reining, with the Horned Frogs jumping out to an early 3-1 advantage.
Ginger Chant took the lone point of the discipline for the Bears, notching a meet-high 137.5.
Flipping to fences, BU and TCU split, 2-2, with Alicia Gasser and Savannah Jenkins notching the first Hunt Seat points for the Bears. Gasser’s 174 was the meet-high score, with Jenkins posting the second-highest at 168.
Back to the Western arena for horsemanship, the Bears struggled again, going 3-1 in the discipline and falling behind 8-4 in the meet total.
Abbi Demel was the bright spot for the Bears, posting a 141.5 to claim her point.
Trailing by four and needing a sweep on the flat to force a tiebreaker to raw scores, the Bears started strong with big winning margins by Jenkins and Gasser.
The Bears fell short, splitting the final two points to drop the 9-7 decision. Samantha Howell notched the second-highest flat score of the meet, with a 170.
STAT OF THE MEET
21.3 – Baylor’s lead over TCU in the raw scores, taking the 2404.3 – 2383.0 advantage despite the 9-7 deficit in overall points. The tiebreaker left the Bears one point shy of the victory.
“TCU is a tough team to beat. All of these teams are tough. It’s interesting, all year we compete with five in each event and then when we get to the championships and we have four. TCU is probably a very strong four-man team. That’s what makes them not necessarily come in at their ranking like they ride. They’re a great group. We’re a great group too. We just didn’t bring it today.” – Baylor head coach Ellen White
“Coming into the flat, it was a hard position for us to be in. But I had no doubt in my mind that we could do it. Everyone rode their hearts out. We controlled what we could control and that’s all we were really asked to do. It’s disappointing, but I’m so thankful for everything that’s come my way. I gave it what I had. I did it for my school and this team.” – Baylor Hunt Seat senior Alicia Gasser
“Honestly, it could have come down to any discipline, so the fact that we did almost pull it out was exciting for me. Being a senior, knowing that was the last time, at least I ended on two good rides. So, I’m blessed for that, but it definitely makes it harder knowing this is the end of the road at NCEA for me.” – Baylor Hunt Seat senior Savannah Jenkins
With Baylor's season concluding on Friday afternoon, the Bears will be back in competition in the fall of 2017.