SKYHAWK EQUESTRIAN HEADS TO NCEA CHAMPIONSHIPS IN SEARCH OF EVENT TITLES
April 16, 2018
MARTIN, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin equestrian team heads to Waco, Texas with national championship aspirations in four different events as part of the National Collegiate Equestrian Association Championships, held at the Extraco Events Center on April 18-21.
This past summer, the NCEA board of directors approved a change to the national championship format – which now includes event titles that are determined through a head-to-head bracket format in each of the four events (equitation over fences, equitation on the flat, horsemanship and reining) that comprise a head-to-head in-season meet.
The Skyhawks find themselves in the national championship hunt in all four events, as they are ranked No. 8 in equitation over fences, No. 8 in equitation on the flat, No. 10 in horsemanship and No. 11 in reining.
In equitation over fences, UT Martin is pitted against No. 9 Fresno State in the opening round. The Skyhawks have faced Fresno State twice this season, splitting the four points during the matchup on Nov. 9 before the Bulldogs claimed three of four points in the United Equestrian Conference Championships on March 30.
Randi LaChance earned MOP honors with an 86-point ride in equitation over fences while second team All-American Abbie Hopkins also won her matchup with a 77 in the regular season matchup against Fresno State. At the UEC Championships, Lindsay Anderson accounted for UT Martin’s lone win in the event with rides of 69 and 67 points against the Bulldogs.
The Skyhawks are also matched up against No. 9 Fresno State in the first round of equitation on the flat. In the two matchups this season against the Bulldogs, the squads dueled to an even 4-4 tie in the event.
Monika Zoromski was UT Martin’s best performer in equitation on the flat against Fresno State in 2017-18, as she was responsible for head-to-head victories in both meets. She accumulated a season-best score of 84 points in the regular season matchup on Nov. 9 before her scores of 66 and 63 in the UEC Championships on March 30 were good enough to earn a team point. LaChance (82 points on Nov. 9) and Hopkins (73 and 68 points on March 30) also garnered team points for UT Martin against Fresno State in equitation on the flat.
In horsemanship, the Skyhawks will take on No. 7 SMU in the opening round. UT Martin faced off against SMU twice this season as the Mustangs tallied five of the eight points awarded in the event.
On Nov. 10 in Martin, Bobbie Piddock seized the Skyhawks’ lone point in horsemanship against SMU with a 73-point effort. UT Martin found more success in the event when it visited Dallas on Feb. 23, as Bailey Newlin and Devon Woods each scored head-to-head victories with scores of 72.5 and 71 points, respectively.
The Skyhawks will battle against No. 6 Baylor in the first round of the reining bracket. This will be the first matchup of the year between these two squads, as UT Martin did not face Baylor during the 2017-18 campaign.
Honorable mention All-American Madeline Williams paces the Skyhawks with seven victories in reining, including a pair of MOP performances. Noel Meadows (six wins, one MOP) also chalked up honorable mention All-American accolades in reining while Liana Nowak (five), Hannah McDonald (four), Megan Aiosa (one) and Sammi Felts (one) have earned victories in the event for UT Martin this season.
The NCEA Championship Central page – which includes live video, live scoring and a schedule of events – can be found at the link above.