Crookston, Minn.)- The University of Minnesota, Crookston Equestrian teams have started practice and Coaches Brooke Leininger and Nicky Overgaard are excited. “We decided to limit the size of our teams and the hunt seat and western team each have 18 and 19 riders respectively,” say Coach Leininger. “I think that our athletes will benefit from this change, and that it is a change in the right direction.”
After a week and a half of tryouts, the two teams include 14 new athletes. Coach Leininger feels that these new riders will help both teams gain strength. The new riders have the training, skill and talent to be great assets to the team. Tandra Klein (So, Hazen, N.D.), riding for both the western and hunt seat team, brings years of valuable competition experience and expertise. Kelsey Sherman (Fr, Lansing, Mich.), a freshman riding for the hunt seat team, has proven that she is going to be a valuable asset in the jumping and on the flat. Mary Hurley (So, Grand Meadow, Minn.), a seasoned Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) competitor, is an exciting new addition to the western team.
Both teams see many returners come back stronger and more competitive for another year of competition. They were encouraged them to train, compete and stay fit throughout the summer. Returning for a final semester, Jessica Hanson (Sr, Andover, Minn.), Jackie Ezell (Jr, Carlton, Minn.) and Sheena Engelbert (Sr, Bruce Crossing, Mich.) will be valuable assets to the western team as seasoned competitors before they graduate in December. Amanda Peterson (Jr, Rochester, Minn.) returns to the western team after being the only western competitor to compete in the National Semifinals last season. Jenae Hanson (Sr, Andover, Minn.) returns to the hunt seat team for her final semester after being the only hunt seat competitor to compete in the Zone Finals last season. Ashley Copa (So, Fargo, ND) and Lindy Hausauer (Sr, Moorhead, Minn.), both riding for the hunt seat and western teams, looked strong and competitive during tryouts. Laura Critchett (So, Shoreview, Minn.) and Nicole Veres (Jr, Random Lake, Minn.) have ridden well in practice.
The University of Minnesota, Crookston Hunt Seat Equestrian team will open their season on Saturday, September 27 and Sunday, September 28 when they travel to Madison, Wis. for a competition at the University of Wisconsin. Saturday’s competition will start at 1 p.m. while Sunday’s will get under way at 9 a.m. The Golden Eagle Western team will start their season on Saturday, October 4 and Sunday, October 5 when they travel to River Falls, Wis. for a competition hosted by the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. Saturday’s events will get underway at 1 p.m. while Sunday’s competition will start at 9 a.m.
For more information, visit the Golden Eagle Athletics Web site at http://www.goldeneaglesports.com/.
The University of Minnesota, Crookston is a NCAA Division II Institution and a member of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC). Golden Eagle Hockey is a member of the Midwest Collegiate Hockey Association (MCHA). The Golden Eagle Equestrian team is a member of the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA).