EQUESTRIAN TEAM ADVANCES TO INDEPENDENT CHAMPIONSHIP BUT FALLS TO HOST SOUTH DAKOTA STATE
March 30, 2014
BROOKINGS, S.D. – The University of Tennessee at Martin equestrian team turned away Delaware State by an 11-5 margin in the independent semifinals on Friday before narrowly falling to South Dakota State in the championship matchup on Saturday.
The Skyhawks, seeded No. 2 in the four-team field, were knotted at 6-6 heading into the final event Saturday but couldn’t come away with the victory.
The same week that she was named an All-American in equitation on the flat, UT Martin junior Reid Rickett was named tournament MOP in the event.
On Friday against No. 3 Delaware State, the Skyhawks swept the hunterseat competition. Rickett (score of 167), Rachel Crinklaw (155), Hunter Ralston (150) and Nora Wilson (137) each racked up points in equitation over fences. Ralston followed with a score of 177 in equitation on the flat, while Rickett (176), Erin Douglas (159) and Mykaela Van Selus (143) also notched points for UT Martin.
The Skyhawks concluded the competition on a high note with a rousing 3-1 performance in reining. Megan Marie Foley’s 141.5 score led the way while Melanie Aiosa and Samantha Knight recorded scores of 133 and 125, respectively.
The victory led to a championship showdown against the host school, who advanced by upsetting No. 1 Fresno State in a 2056.5-2042 tiebreaker advantage in Western.
The Skyhawks and South Dakota State were evenly matched through the first three phases of the competition. Ralston (167) and Rickett (151) compiled points for UT Martin in equitation over fences while Rickett (178) and Ralston (167) also came up big for the Skyhawks with a point apiece in equitation on the flat.
Kenzie Perry’s score of 147 and Laurel Ellzey’s score of 146 in horsemanship helped the Skyhawks maintain their steady pace. However, despite quality efforts from its reining participants, UT Martin could not manage a point in the event and fell 10-6.
The Skyhawks will now have to wait and see if they will qualify for the upcoming NCEA Championships, held in Waco, Texas on April 17-19.