NO. 8 UTM HEADS TO LONE STAR STATE IN SEARCH OF UNITED EQUESTRIAN CONFERENCE TITLE
March 28, 2018
MARTIN, Tenn. – The No. 8 ranked University of Tennessee at Martin equestrian squad travels to Dallas, Texas this weekend for the sixth annual United Equestrian Conference championship, held at the Dallas Equestrian Center.
The Skyhawks will make a bid for their second UEC title in program history, as five different schools have won the league championship in each of the first five years of the conference’s existence. UT Martin won the inaugural title in 2013 and was followed by South Dakota State (2014), Fresno State (2015), New Mexico State (2016) and Delaware State (2017).
Seeded No. 2 in the four-team field, the Skyhawks will square off against third seed Fresno State at 10 a.m. on Friday, March 30. The other semifinal features nationally ranked SMU (No. 6) and South Dakota State (No. 9). The championship and consolation round is set to begin at 9 a.m. on Saturday, March 31.
UT Martin is 2-2 against the UEC field this season, defeating then-No. 5 Fresno State by an 11-5 margin at home on Nov. 9. The Skyhawks fell in both matchups against SMU (8-7 against the then-ranked No. 4 Mustangs on Nov. 10 at home; 15-3 at then No. 5 SMU on Feb. 23) and turned away then-No. 8 South Dakota State by a 10-6 margin on Feb. 24 in Dallas.
The Western discipline helped UT Martin to the victory over Fresno State, as the Skyhawks outscored the Bulldogs by a combined 7-1 margin in horsemanship and reining. Noel Meadows (reining) and Randi LaChance (equitation over fences) each garnered MOP accolades in the competition.
In the slim home setback against SMU, UT Martin nabbed three of the four MOP’s as Monika Zoromski (equitation over fences), Abbie Hopkins (equitation on the flat) and Madeline Williams (reining) all earned top honors in their respective events. Exactly 15 weeks later in Dallas, the Skyhawks were able to tie the host Mustangs in horsemanship (2-2) but could not find the same success as their matchup in the fall.
UT Martin’s luck changed the next day against the Jackrabbits, as the Skyhawks produced three MOP winners in their win over South Dakota State. LaChance (equitation on the flat), Lindsay Anderson (equitation over fences) and Devon Woods (horsemanship) led the charge as UT Martin swept the horsemanship portion by a clean 4-0 margin.
Live stats – as well as links to the official tournament program and bracket – can be found at the UEC Championship Central page located at the link above.