UT MARTIN EQUESTRIAN RACKS UP ALL-UNITED EQUESTRIAN CONFERENCE SEASON AWARDS
March 29, 2018
DALLAS, Texas – Four University of Tennessee at Martin student-athletes combined for a total of seven All-United Equestrian Conference awards this evening, as the league’s best were recognized at a banquet on the eve of the conference championship.
The four-person all-conference teams in each event included UT Martin representatives Devon Woods (horsemanship), Noel Meadows (reining), Madeline Williams (reining) and Abbie Hopkins (equitation over fences).
In addition, Woods was crowned UEC Horsemanship Freshman of the Year, Meadows earned UEC Reining Freshman of the Year status and Hopkins dialed up UEC Equitation Over Fences Freshman of the Year accolades. That trio joins current teammate Randi LaChance (2017 Equitation on the Flat) as the only Skyhawks to win a UEC Freshman of the Year honor.
Woods’ four victories in horsemanship rank second on the team while the Escondido, Calif. native also nabbed one of UT Martin’s four MOP honors in the event in 2017-18. She earned the top finish with a career-best score of 76 in the win over No. 8 South Dakota State on Feb. 24. She also posted head-to-head victories at No. 10 Delaware State on Oct. 7, at No. 5 SMU on Feb. 23 and against Minnesota-Crookston on March 16. Overall, she accounted for an average horsemanship score of 72.6 over six meets.
Hailing from Staunton, Va., Meadows is tied for the team lead in reining wins (six) while generating a 69.6 scoring average over nine competitions. She was named MOP in the Nov. 9 victory over No. 5 Fresno State while also edging out her competitors from No. 10 Delaware State (Oct. 7), No. 4 SMU (Nov. 10), No. 7 TCU (career-high score of 72.5 on Feb. 16), No. 8 South Dakota State (Feb. 24) and Minnesota-Crookston (March 16). She was named the UEC Reining Rider of the Month for November, becoming only the seventh Skyhawk representative to ever claim that award.
Tonight’s announcement marks the second career All-UEC honor for Williams, as she also tallied all-reining accolades in 2016. The senior out of Fruitport, Mich. has notched team-highs in victories (six), average score (69.8 in all nine competitions) and MOP’s (two) in the reining category. She claimed the MOP title against No. 4 SMU on Nov. 10 and against Minnesota-Crookston on March 16 while also capturing team points against No. 3 Auburn (Sept. 22), at No. 10 Delaware State (Oct. 7), against No. 5 Fresno State (Nov. 9) and against No. 7 TCU (season-best score of 73 points on Feb. 16).
Hopkins has secured a team-high seven victories in nine opportunities in equitation over fences, carrying a team-best 80.3 scoring average in that event. The Seekonk, Mass. native locked up MOP accolades on back-to-back days against No. 8 TCU and at No. 10 Delaware State on Oct. 6-7, accumulating a career-high score of 87 points in the latter meet. Additionally, she seized wins against No. 5 Fresno State (Nov. 9), No. 4 SMU (Nov. 10), No. 7 TCU (Feb. 16), No. 8 South Dakota State (Feb. 24) and Minnesota-Crookston (March 16). Her strong debut season was spotlighted in October, when she was named NCEA and UEC Rider of the Month in equitation over fences.
These four Skyhawks have helped the program to a top-10 ranking in 16 consecutive weeks after UT Martin had been ranked on just nine total occasions since the organization began its weekly polls during the 2012-13 season. The Skyhawks currently rank No. 8 in the country heading into their UEC semifinal showdown against Fresno State tomorrow at 10 a.m.
Photos courtesy of UT Martin University Relations/Grace Salmon/Eric Zoromski