Oswego State is a national champion again, but not on the ice this time.
The equestrian team took first place in the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association English and Western National Championship in May.
"It was huge," Meghan Milewski '10 said. "We were shaking and crying."
The equestrian team's national event, hosted by Middle Tennessee State University, was their first national win in about three decades.
"This [win] is the equivalent to winning the NCAA hockey championship," Milewski said.
These riders prepare all year to get a place among the top 20 riders in the nation.
Jennifer Nagel '11 went head-to-head against last year's champion from University of Findlay in Ohio and rode her way into first place. Her competitor, Kaitlyn Morehead, had won the national title the past four years in a row.
For Nagel personally, winning the national championship after 13 years in the saddle was a dream come true.
"I couldn't believe I won until like a week later," she said.
The Oswego State equestrian team is a club organization that competes in national horse show tournaments. The shows test the riders' ability to control the horse while galloping and jumping. Judges also evaluate the general fitness of the horse.
There are about 40 members who currently participate on the team. Not all of them compete or have even ridden a horse before joining the organization. There is no experience required, just an interest in horses.
Many international students participate in the club, said Milewski, equestrian team treasurer. Nagel hopes this national win could be used as a tool for recruiting prospective students to Oswego. She transferred to Oswego after her freshman year.
-- Jose Terrero '10
Jennifer Nagel '11
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