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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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No. 2 A&M celebrates Senior Day with 10-8 victory over No. 3 SMU

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Texas A&M rider Devon Thomas during Texas A&M’s match against South Carolina on Saturday, Feb. 10, 2024, at Hildebrand Equestrian Center. (Adriano Espinosa/The Battalion)

No. 2 Texas A&M equestrian made its seniors proud by defeating No. 3 SMU 10-8 on Senior Day at the Hildebrand Equine Complex on Saturday, Feb. 24.

Seniors Claire Beesaw, Keesa Luers, Maggie Nealon, Alexis Ortiz, Ella Petak and Devon Thomas were honored for their commitment to the program.

“Senior Day is always kind of bittersweet,” coach Tana McKay said. “It is funny how they all say how four or five years just flies by. This was a great group for us and they worked really well together. I’m glad we could send them out on a high note.”

To start out Flat, Nealon got a 80-75 win over junior Hensley Humphries. The Mustangs wouldn’t let up though, with senior Katy Merchant and sophomore Augusta Iwasaki scoring an excellent 93 and 89 over Devon Thomas’ 85 and sophomore Devan Thomas’ 84.

The Aggies quickly bounced back with junior Rylee Shufelt defeating junior Emma Engel 86-85 and Brombach triumphing against senior Taylor Madden with the same score. A&M came away with a 3-2 lead while upping its Flat record to 8-1-1 this season.

The first two matchups in Reining led to no points scored with junior Lauren Hanson and graduate Taylor Zimmerman matched at 71.5. That was followed by graduate Emmy-Lu Marsh tying senior Chalyce Head at 68.

Luers had the Aggies one point away from victory by beating graduate Dani Latimer 68-66, but senior Shelby Clausen wouldn’t let SMU go down without the fight, besting sophomore Gracie Casebolt 71.5-69.5. Junior Mattie Gustin closed it out for the Maroon and White with a narrow 67.5-67 win over Anderson.

Sophomore Alexa Leong and junior Brooke Brombach took the first two matchups in Fences by scoring 86 and 87, respectively. The Mustang trio of Iwasaki, Humphries and sophomore Hannah Hoch was too much for the Maroon and White, which brought SMU within 7-6.

Horsemanship was a tense event with SMU senior Nya Kearns triumphing against junior Millie Landon 75.5-73 to knot up the score. Junior Ellie Gerbrandt outperformed graduate Lily Anderson, 76-72. Sophomore Alexa Black outclassed A&M’s Petak with a score of 74.5-63.5.

The Maroon and White’s junior Hanna Olaussen prevailed by the thinnest of margins over freshman Jayna Lagace with a 72.5-72 victory. Graduate Cori Cansdale gave the Aggies the lead by winning 72.5-69.5 against graduate student Caroline Nielson.

Although SMU won the raw score battle 1558-1540, A&M won the event battle, 10-8.

“I’m really proud of how they performed today,” McKay said. “We had a short week to kind of get back in the right frame of mind but it’s always nice having a home meet and getting back on your home turf.”

The Aggies head to Alabama to face SEC rival Auburn at the Auburn University Equestrian Center on Saturday, March 9.

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About the Contributor
Eric Liu
Eric Liu, Sports Writer
Eric is a sophomore computer science major from Houston, TX. He is also double minoring in English and statistics. While at The Battalion, Eric has covered football, men's basketball, baseball, tennis, swim & dive and equestrian.
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