MARTIN, Tenn. – The Masterson Farms Invitational Hosted by the University of Tennessee at Martin got off to a rousing start today, as the No. 10 ranked Skyhawks accounted for an 11-5 victory over No. 5 Fresno State at the Ned McWherter Agricultural Pavilion.
UT Martin advances to tomorrow’s championship competition against No. 4 SMU, who edged out Delaware State by a slim 8-7 margin today.
The Skyhawks were jumpstarted by a strong Western effort today, as UT Martin claimed seven of the eight team points in horsemanship and reining. The Skyhawks generated a 4-0 sweep in reining and won 3-1 in horsemanship after splitting both Hunt Seat events (2-2 in equitation over fences and in equitation on the flat).
Randi LaChance helped UT Martin start off on the right foot, securing MOP honors with an 86-point effort in equitation over fences. Her total was the best score awarded to any of the 16 competitors today. Reigning National Collegiate Equestrian Association Rider of the Month Abbie Hopkins also continued her fantastic freshman campaign, accounting for a team point with a score of 77 in equitation over fences.
One day after she was named United Equestrian Conference Reining Rider of the Month, Tess Baumann led the way once again with a 73.5-point performance. Her score was tied for the best in the field of 16 competitors. Bobbie Piddock (72 points) and Lucy Eier (70.5 points) also earned team points for the Skyhawks in reining.
In equitation on the flat, Monika Zoromski came through with an 84-point effort that notched a team point for UT Martin. LaChance also capped off a remarkable day with another team point after scoring an 82.
The Skyhawks saved their most dominant performance for last, completing a perfect mark in reining. Freshman Noel Meadows came away with the first MOP of her young career after compiling 68.5 points. Madeline Williams (68 points), Hannah McDonald (67) and Liana Nowak (66) also chipped in great performances as UT Martin rolled to its second consecutive victory over a ranked opponent this season.
Day Two of the Masterson Farms Invitational is set for 10 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 10 at the Ned McWherter Agricultural Pavilion. The Skyhawks will square off against No. 4 SMU for the tournament championship while No. 5 Fresno State takes on Delaware State in the consolation round.