SKYHAWK EQUESTRIAN PRODUCES A TRIO OF ARIAT NCEA ALL-AMERICANS
April 4, 2018
MARTIN, Tenn. – University of Tennessee at Martin standouts Abbie Hopkins, Noel Meadows and Madeline Williams were spotlighted today as Ariat National Collegiate Equestrian Association All-Americans.
Hopkins earned second team honors in equitation over fences while Meadows and Williams each brought home honorable mention nods in reining. These three become the eighth, ninth and 10th Skyhawks to claim NCEA All-American accolades in the program’s proud history. Hopkins is just the second UT Martin representative to earn All-American status in equitation over fences (joining Kara Bergenty in 2012) while Meadows and Williams are the first Skyhawks to ever garner All-American awards in reining.
To qualify as an Ariat NCEA All-American, an individual must have a 67 percent or higher winning percentage, excluding ties. They also must compete in a minimum of five competitions in the NCEA format and have at least an adjusted NRS score of 85 for flat, 90 for fences, 77 for reining or 80 for horsemanship.
A freshman from Seekonk, Mass., Hopkins was a mainstay in the equitation over fences lineup. She won eight of her 11 head-to-head matchups in the event, compiling a team-high 76.9 scoring average. She notched back-to-back MOP’s against No. 8 TCU and No. 10 Delaware State on Oct. 6-7, piling up a career-best score of 87 in the latter competition.
Just last week, Hopkins was named to the United Equestrian Conference all-equitation over fences team while also earning UEC Freshman of the Year accolades in the event. Those awards came after she was named NCEA and UEC Equitation over Fences Rider of the Month for October.
Meadows’ freshman campaign was stellar from the start, as she posted six victories to go along with a 69.1 scoring average through the end of the regular season in reining. She was responsible for a MOP with a score of 68.5 points against No. 5 Fresno State on Nov. 9 while setting a career-high with 72.5 points against No. 7 TCU on Feb. 16.
Today’s announcement came after Meadows was also named All-UEC in reining as well as the UEC Reining Freshman of the Year. The Staunton, Va. native was also crowned as the UEC’s November Reining Rider of the Month.
Williams cements her reputation as one of the program’s all-time greats, as she unreeled her best season in 2017-18. She paced the team with seven reining wins, carrying a 69.5 scoring average in that event. She snagged MOP accolades against No. 4 SMU on Nov. 10 and again in the win over Minnesota-Crookston on March 15. Her season-best score of 73 points came in the spring opener on Feb. 16 against No. 7 TCU.
A senior from Fruitport, Mich., Williams collected All-UEC reining honors this season and again as a sophomore in 2015-16.
These three Skyhawks will lead a UT Martin program that was nationally ranked for 16 consecutive weeks into the NCEA Championships, which will be held in Waco, Texas on April 18-21.
Photos courtesy of Grace Salmon