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Influx of young talent, willingness to try new events leads to success in first meets

SUBMITTED PHOTO - Team captains Hailey Giddings, Lexee Padrick, and Carrie Padrick after a team penning event. Wilsonville took second place overall at the second of three league meets. In its second league meet of the year, the Wilsonville High School Equestrian team did quite well for itself. Nabbing the top spots in seven individual events, claiming first place amongst the middle sized teams, and second place as a team overall, the Wildcats are looking good heading into the third and final meet of the season.

Part of that success has had to do with incoming talent. A handful of freshman have brought a new energy to the program, and more senior members of the teams have stepped into leadership roles. Everyone is in it for the team, and fulfilling their roles well, according to head coach Lori Jersey.

"We have seven freshman athletes, and it is phenomenal to have that type of infusion into the program," Jersey said. "These are seven athletes that are very skilled, disciplined, and have been very successful to start as well."

"We have greater teamwork and team spirit than we've ever experienced," Jersey added. "I think it's the energy and the vibe with all these girls. That piece alone has been very noticeable and significant, everybody has definitely noticed it which is great."

Having these new bodies on the team allows Jersey and her coaching staff to plug the kids into different slots to maximize point-scoring potential. Flexibility in events is something that has been a priority this year, especially if a rider falls out due to illness or some other circumstance.

"We're asking athletes to step out of their comfort zone," Jersey said. "Those younger newer athletes that are being asked to do something a little different than what they're accustomed to, they have not only accepted the challenge, but have been very successful with it."

That would be an understatement, to say the least. Wilsonville as a team scored 604 points in its last meet, a full 78 points ahead of the next mid-sized school West Linn. Competitors Lexee Padrick, Brooklyn James, Hailey Giddings, and Sydnie Jersey all took first place in one or more events, with several other team members finishing in the top 10 of their respective events.

To keep the momentum in Wilsonville's favor, Jersey wants her team to stay focused on the prize: qualifying riders for the state meet. After all, the team has done well so far this year, why not aim to send as many of your representatives off as you can?

"Now that we're at this third meet, everybody needs to stay on point and continue doing what they're doing," Jersey said. "We're not asking anybody to do anything they haven't already done. They just need to believe in themselves, know they can do it because they've already done the hard part, and know what they need to do. The important thing would be to just believe in themselves, believe in the team, and execute one final time which will allow many of them to go on to state."

Another interesting piece of the OHSET teams narrative is the opening up of the team to eighth graders. While they will not be able to compete on the team, they will be able to act in support roles to assist the competing team members. It's what Jersey calls a "groom" role.

"OHSET, as a state, has opened up the program to eighth graders to come on in a non-compete capacity," Jersey said. "They can come and learn about the program, help out, and assist the other athletes. What it's doing is allowing them to see firsthand what OHSET is about. Then when they get to high school, they will know if this is a program they want to participate in. I look forward to having more conversations this summer and answering any questions about the program."

Full results from the second district meet are below.

Hunt Seat Equitation:

18. Brooklyn James—70 pts

21. Kendall Shanklin—68.5 pts

27. Jude Tinkler—65 pts

30. Regan Szambelan—61.5 pts

33. Carly Shanklin—58.5 pts

Hunt Seat Over Fences:

10. Regan Szambelan—56.5

In Hand Trail:

1. Lexee Padrick—112 pts

3. Carly Shanklin—99.5 pts

10. Kendall Shanklin—96 pts

11. Brooklyn James—95.5 pts

23. McKenna Lowry—70 pts

Trail Equitation:

1. Brooklyn James—85 pts

11. Kendall Shanklin—59 pts

14. Hailey Giddings—57.5 pts

17. Carrie Padrick—45.5 pts

20. Aurora Barkley—30.5 pts

Reining:

1. Hailey Giddings—83 pts

6. Kathryn Compton—47.5 pts

Showmanship:

3. Brooklyn James—80.5 pts

5. Lexee Padrick—75.5 pts

13. Carly Shanklin—72.5 pts

16. Kendall Shanklin—71 pts

23. McKenna Lowry—57 pts

Western Horsemanship:

1. Brooklyn James—85.5 pts

5. Kendall Shanklin—77.5 pts

15. Carly Shanklin—66.5 pts

Working Rancher:

1. Lexee Padrick—69 pts

3. Regan Szambelan—66 pts

4. Hailey Giddings—63 pts

6. Carrie Padrick—60.5 pts

9. Carly Shanklin—56.5 pts

15. McKenna Lowry—35.5 pts

Barrels:

1. Sydnie Jersey—15.081 seconds

15. Jude Tinkler—18.976 seconds

21. Aurora Barkley—22.462 seconds

24. Kathryn Compton—24.039 seconds

Keyhole:

3. Kathryn Compton—8.123 seconds

5. Regan Szambelan—8.27 seconds

8. Aurora Barkley—9.764 seconds

17. McKenna Lowry—19.291 seconds

Figure 8:

8. Sydnie Jersey—11.443 seconds

16. Regan Szambelan—12.488 seconds

18. Jude Tinkler—13.331 seconds

20. Kathryn Compton—13.661 seconds

21. Aurora Barkley—13.648 seconds

35. McKenna Lowry—22.467 seconds

Pole Bending:

4. Sydnie Jersey—23.088 seconds

11. Aurora Barkley—27.433 seconds

16. Kathryn Compton—31.392 seconds

Individual Flags:

9. Hailey Giddings—16.007 seconds

10. Lexee Padrick—16.054 seconds

11. Sydnie Jersey—16.103 seconds

19. Jude Tinkler—25.813 seconds

Steer Daubing:

1. Hailey Giddings

3. Lexee Padrick

Working Pairs:

2. L. Padrick, H. Giddings

4. J. Tinkler, R. Szambelan

In Hand Obstacle Relay:

3. C. Shanklin, L. Padrick, K. Shanklin, B. James

8. M. Lowry, R. Szambelan, C. Padrick, H. Giddings

Team Versatility:

4. A. Barkley, R. Szambelan, C. Padrick, H. Giddings, K. Shanklin

11. S. Jersey, C. Shanklin, L. Padrick, B. James

Canadian Flag Race:

10. J. Tinkler, S. Jersey, C. Padrick, L. Padrick, H. Giddings

Two Man Birangle:

7. L. Padrick, H. Giddings

8. A. Barkley, S. Jersey

9. J. Tinkler, R. Szambelan

15. K. Compton, C. Padrick, B. James

21. M. Lowry, C. Shanklin

Freestyle 5+:

3. J. Tinkler, A. Barkley, K. Compton, S. Jersey, R. Szambelan

Team Penning:

3. K. Compton, S. Jersey, R. Szambelan

4. C. Padrick, L. Padrick, H. Giddings

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