(Crookston, Minn.) – The University of Minnesota, Crookston Hunt Equestrian team kicks off the 2007-2008 campaign this Saturday and Sunday when they travel to Madison, Wis. for a competition at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The Golden Eagles are led by first-year head coach Brooke Marcus. She is assisted by former Golden Eagle head coach Nicky Overgaard. Marcus handles the Hunt team while Overgaard oversees the Western team.
On the Hunt team, Ashley Copa (Fr., Fargo, N.D.) and Laura Critchett (Fr., Shoreview, Minn.) are both strong, seasoned riders that bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the team. Co-captain Nicole Veres (Fr., Random Lake, Wis.) and Kayla Klein (Fr., Hazen, N.D.) are two more newcomers that should provide good talent for the Golden Eagles. “I am excited to see such young talent and look forward to helping them develop as riders and competitors over the next four years,” says Coach Marcus. She also looks for returnees such as co-captain Ashley Seiler (Sr., West Concord, Minn.), Chrissy Radintz (So., Maple Grove, Minn.), Emilee Clark (Sr., Fort Branch, Ind.) and Jenae Hanson (So., Andover, Minn.) to place well in the regional and zone competitions that will be held in March at UW-Madison. Coach Marcus has strong expectations at the national level as well. “I am looking for these new freshman and returnees to make a strong run for the national competition in May in Los Angeles.”
The Western team will open their season on October 6-7 when they travel to River Falls, Wis. for a competition at the University of Wisconsin- River Falls. Coach Marcus and Coach Overgaard expect big things with the Western team as well. Co-captain Jackie Ezell (So., Carlton, Minn.) is expected to advance quickly through the Open Division. She put up big numbers in Advanced Horsemanship last season. Co-captain Sheen Engelbert (Sr., Ewen-Trout Creek, Mich.) brings tremendous strength to the team. “Sheena’s consistency as a rider shines through whether she is on a real tough draw or a real easy draw at the show,” says assistant coach Nicky Overgaard.
The Western team has several other returnees that are looking quite strong including Amber Miller (Sr., DePere, Wis.), Lindy Hausauer (Jr., Moorhead, Minn.) and Jessica Hanson (So., Andover, Minn.). Hausauer is coming off a strong finish as she competed in the Western semifinals last season in California where she finished in the top eight. Miller also had a strong season as she qualified for regional competition. Hanson is a few points away from qualifying out of the Beginner Western Horsemanship division. Coach Overgaard expects Hanson to place in the top two at regionals and possibly make a strong run for the national competition in May. She is also excited about Ashley Copa on the Western side. Copa is a strong all-around rider.
For more information, visit the Golden Eagle Athletics website at 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).