The Yelm High School equestrian team concluded its regular season on Thursday, April 28 on a high note, as the team has 11 different athletes who will go on to the state competition.
The state competition will take place over four days in Moses Lake. It starts on May 19 and wraps up on May 22.
Leading up to the conclusion of the regular season, many of Yelm’s competitors collected accolades. Ashlyn Aven and Katelyn Cederberg each took home two gold medals. Aven secured the gold in huntseat equitation, while Cederberg took home a gold in pole bending. The duo also racked up another gold in working pairs.
The Tornados also had a strong showing of silver medal recipients. River Grew received silver in the hunt seat over fences, while Aven continued her strong showing by receiving silver medals in showmanship and stock seat equitation. Hailey Pederson was able to collect a silver medal in the hand trail competition. Aven, Cederberg, Hailey Pederson and Emily Pederson collected a silver ribbon after the in-hand obstacle relay as well.
Other silver medals included Aven, Cederberg, Cayla Jackson and Kadence Henkel, who took second in the Canadian flags competition. Earning silver again was Aven, Cederberg, Hailey Pederson, Alyssa Peck, Madison Englund, Della Coble and Joshua King in the freestyle six competition.
Athletes on the team also secured several bronze medals. Emily Pederson placed third in hunt seat equitation, Cederberg won a bronze medal in hand trail, and Hailey Pederson won the bronze in showmanship. Coble and Englund also placed in third and secured the bronze medal in cow sorting.
The great showing earned 11 different Yelm competitors a trip to the state competition. They include Aven, Cederberg, Hailey Pederson, Emily Pederson, Coble, Englund, Grew, Jackson, Henkel, Peck and King.
Several Tornados reflected on the regular season as they prepare for the state competition.
“I’m very proud that my mare and I made it to state for the last time. I couldn’t thank my teammates, coaches and mom enough for helping me get here,” Jackson said. “I’m so excited to see how we all do at state and grow from this amazing experience.”
Emily Pederson was excited that she accomplished her goals during her first year on the team.
“I am very proud to be going to state this season because it is only my first year in WAHSET (Washington High School Equestrian Team) and it was my goal to qualify for state and I ended up qualifying in three events,” Emily Pederson said. “I am very excited to continue my time with this team and my horses to hopefully qualify for more events in the future.”
Much like Emily Pederson, Henkel is also proud to see her work pay off.
“I’m so excited to be going to state this year as a junior. I have been wanting to go to state for a very long time now, and I couldn’t thank my coaches, the girls on my team enough for helping me and communicating with each other so greatly,” Henkel said. “I’m so excited to see what we can do at state.”
Six of the Tornados will participate in more than one event at the state competition. They include Aven and Cederberg who will take part in eight events, Hailey Pederson with six events, Emily Pederson with three events, and Coble and Englund taking part in two events.
Following the conclusion of the state tournament, coach Christine Aven will be on the hunt for new members to join the team for the 2022-2023 school year.
“We really need more athletes for next year, grades 9 through 12 are welcomed,” Aven said. “Yelm is going to have fantastic equestrian representation in a wide variety of disciplines at the state championship competition.”
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