EQUESTRIAN TEAM DOWNS FRESNO STATE AND SOUTH DAKOTA STATE, WINS INAUGURAL SKYHAWK INVITATIONAL
March 25, 2013
MARTIN, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin equestrian team picked up a victory over Fresno State on Friday and a win over No. 9 South Dakota State on Saturday to emerge victorious in the first-ever Skyhawk Invitational, held at the Ned McWherter Ag Pavilion on the campus of UT Martin.
The Skyhawks tied Fresno State 8-8 but was awarded the win because of the raw points tiebreaker (2359.25 to 2352.25). UT Martin then defeated South Dakota State on Saturday in convincing fashion, posting a 12-4 victory.
“What a great accomplishment this team made to win the first-ever nonconference tournament for our sport,” Skyhawk head coach Meghan Cunningham said. “We had solid rides all weekend long with very minimal mistakes. Our athletes stepped up like we haven’t seen all year and we came together as a team for this win. While we did not gain any MOP’s for the event, it goes to show the consistent rides from every student-athlete.”
Against Fresno State, UT Martin fell behind 6-2 in hunterseat but bounced back with a tremendous 6-2 effort in western to force the tiebreaker.
In Friday’s equitation on the flat, Hunter Ralston and Mykaela VanSelus each tallied points for UT Martin. In horsemanship, Amy Guenther, Candice Fulcher and Kathryn Gorsuch all picked up points for the Skyhawks. Michelle Chulock, Megan Marie Foley and Guenther each accounted for points for UT Martin in reining to complete the comeback.
On Saturday, UT Martin jumped out to a 6-2 start in hunterseat before cruising through western with an identical 6-2 score to clinch the tournament win.
In equitation on the flat, Kara Bergenty, Reid Rickett, VanSelus and Ralston all were responsible for points for the Skyhawks. Nora Wilson and Katie Miranda rounded out a good round for UT Martin by grabbing points in the equitation over fences event.
Gorsuch and Guenther wrapped up a successful weekend by earning points in horsemanship, while Chulock, Fulcher, Guenther and Foley all secured points for the Skyhawks in reining to ice the tournament victory.
Cunningham was very pleased with the support shown towards her team during the weekend and in the days leading up to the historic win.
“I’d like to thank all of those who came out and supported this event as well as our sponsors,” Cunningham said. “A to Z Vet Supply, Nutrena, Wendy’s, Coca-Cola, Cottage Tails, Chuck Latham Associates, Inc., Platinum Performance, Dorothy Bowman, Dr. and Mrs. Gary Hixson and family and the Foley family all played instrumental roles in this event and their support is very much appreciated.”