Freshman Elizabeth Benson rode to a perfect 8-0 in the national championship meets
April 20, 2013
AUBURN, Ala. -
The Auburn equestrian team defeated Georgia, 3-1, in a ride-off competition to win the 2013 NCEA Overall National Championship Saturday at the Extraco Events Center in Waco, Texas.
The Tigers also won the Hunt Seat National Championship earlier in the day en route to the overall title.
"What a night," Auburn head coach Greg Williams said. "We finished in a tie for points with Georgia for the overall when we won the Hunt Seat. They had to finish all the Western events before we could do our final ride-off. Elizabeth Benson raked in two huge wins in the Hunt Seat, and Cheyenne Cracraft sealed the championship with a great ride in reining. This is a great win for Auburn thanks to Coach (Lisa) Helfer and Coach (Jessica) Braswell and our outstanding seniors."
The Hunt Seat team defeated No. 1 seed Baylor, 5-3, in the semifinal round to advance to the championship, taking equitation on the flat 3-1 and tying over fences, 2-2. Auburn picked up points on the flat from Hasbrouck Donovan (171-162), Elizabeth Benson (192-162) and Lindsay Portela (158-128), while Benson (188-175) and Quincy Hayes (148-140) rode to wins over fences.
In the championship round against No. 3 seed Georgia, the meet was tied at 2-2 after flat as Auburn earned points from Portela (177-171) and Benson (189-173). Benson (194-139) and Jennifer Waxman (176-158) earned points in the 2-1 win over fences, giving the Tigers their third Hunt Seat National Championship in six years.
Auburn and Georgia went to a ride-off to determine the overall national champion. Benson defeated Georgia's Carly Anthony, 194-188, on the flat and 170-110 over fences, while Cheyenne Cracraft defeated McKenzie Lantz, 143.5-138.5, in reining to take a 3-1 victory and win the overall national championship.
Auburn has twice before won both the Overall and Hunt Seat national titles. The Tigers previously took home the overall title in 2006, the Hunt Seat title in 2008, and won both titles in 2011.
Auburn will celebrate its national championships at Toomer's Corner in Auburn Sunday night at 7:30 p.m. The public is invited to join the team to roll the trees, as cleanup will be halted for the team's celebration.
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