Cottage Grove OHSET Team State Bound

CGHS OHSET State Qualifiers from left to right:  Ryan Bell, Mia Zoll, Brianna Wittmer, Alyssa Jungling and Abigale Lloyd. Courtesy photo

May 05 - The Cottage Grove Oregon High School Equestrian Team barreled through the final South Valley District meet April 21 - 23. With top performances throughout the weekend, the team is sending numerous athletes on to the OHSET State Meet in Redmond, Oregon May 11-14.

The team kicked off their medal run on Saturday night with a 3rd place finish in the Freestyle 5+ Drill Team Performance. That finish gave the Cottage Grove team of Brianna Wittmer, Alyssa Jungling, Mia Zoll, Abigale Lloyd, and Ryan Bell the Silver Medal in Drill and a spot in the state meet.

Sunday morning started strong with a first-place performance in Canadian Flags with a time of 39.47 seconds, almost 5 seconds faster than the second-place team. With a first-place finish in the first meet and then another first-place finish, the Cottage Grove team of Wittmer, Jungling, Lloyd and Bell double medaled, taking 3rd place in the district and earning a state meet berth.
Next up was Birangle, where two athletes and their horse’s loop two poles, one athlete after the other. The Cottage Grove team of Wittmer and Zoll finished fourth in this meet and ended as the South Valley District Silver Medalist and are headed to the state meet. The Team of Lloyd and Jungling finished 7th and are alternates to the state meet.

In barrels where speed is the name of the game, the CG Team had 4 athletes place in the top 11. Lloyd led the CG athletes with a 7th place finish, followed by Zoll at 9th, Wittmer at 10th and Caydence Rubio at 11th. Those fast times helped propel both Zoll (4th) and Lloyd (5th) into the top five in the district and earned both athletes a chance to compete at the state meet in barrels.

Quick hands and turns are crucial for Individual Flags. Ryan Bell whipped through the course with the top time of 9.909 seconds to finish in first place. He was followed by second place finisher Lloyd and Jungling finished in 5th place. Bell finished the regular season as the silver medalist for the district and one of only three athletes to double medal in Individual Flags. Lloyd finished the season in fourth place as the first alternate for the South Valley District.

Lloyd topped off her outstanding season with a first-place finish in Keyhole, the last event of the meet. Lloyd earned double medal status and became the district Gold Medalist in Keyhole. She will represent Cottage Grove at the state meet. Zoll finished in 10th place. The district leader in Keyhole going into the final meet was Cottage Grove’s Alyssa Jungling. Despite an injury right before the event, Jungling’s strong finishes in the previous meets allowed her to be a double medalist and the South Valley District’s Bronze Medalist. She will have the opportunity to race again at the state meet.

Zoll and Lloyd finished 7th and 8th respectively in Pole Bending. In the final district results Lloyd finished 5th overall, Alyssa Jungling 6th and Mia Zoll finished tied for 7th making all three alternates to the state meet.

There were many other strong finishes including a 3rd place finish in Working Pairs for Jungling and Lloyd (5th place in the district overall): Jungling, Zoll and Lloyd finishing 10th, 11th and 12 respectively in Figure 8; and Alyssa Jungling finished in 4th place in Working Rancher (5th in the district overall).

Second year head coach Sara Witty stated “I am really proud of them and cannot wait to see what they can do at the state meet. Their dedication and commitment over a long season (7 months) allowed them to shine throughout the district meets. I am so impressed with the fact that we have five athletes who will represent Cottage Grove High School at the state meet in multiple events. To finish with a Gold Medal, three Silver Medals and two Bronze Medals overall is a huge accomplishment for the team and the individual athletes.”

The team will be heading over to Redmond on Wednesday, May 10th and will start competition Thursday morning and continue through Friday night. The athletes are hoping to become state champions in their events and potentially earn a spot in the top three to earn a chance to continue in competition against Washington High School Equestrian Teams at Regionals.