November 14, 2017

MARTIN, Tenn. –
The University of Tennessee at Martin made the biggest leap of any team in the new National Collegiate Equestrian Association national rankings, as the Skyhawks are now No. 8 in the latest poll presented by Farnam.

The No. 8 ranking is the highest in program history in the NCEA polls, which started in 2012-13. UT Martin had previously been ranked No. 9 or No. 10 on 15 different instances – five of which occurred this season.

The boost to the Skyhawks’ national ranking was based in large part to a successful showing in the Masterson Farms Invitational Hosted by UT Martin last week. The Skyhawks went toe-to-toe with a pair of top-5 teams, defeating No. 5 Fresno State (11-5) on Thursday before being barely edged out by No. 4 SMU (8-7) in Friday’s championship competition.

In equitation over fences last week, Randi LaChance and Monika Zoromski chalked up MOP accolades while the other two points came via Abbie Hopkins, who also carried a team-best 79.5 scoring average. UT Martin tallied a 72.1 team average in the event.

A trio of Skyhawks garnered team points in equitation on the flat, led by Hopkins’ MOP performance against SMU. As a team, UT Martin was responsible for an 80.8 scoring average, paced by team points once again from LaChance and Zoromski.

Bobbie Piddock won her head-to-head matchup in horsemanship during both competitions last week to guide a Skyhawk squad that averaged 71.4 points. Tess Baumann (team-high 72.3 scoring average) and Lucy Eier also emerged victorious for team points.

In reining, Noel Meadows, Madeline Williams and Hannah McDonald each accumulated two team points apiece while Liana Nowak split her two decisions. As a team, UT Martin averaged a score of 67.9 and was led by Meadows’ 69.0 average.

The Skyhawks have concluded the fall portion of their schedule and will open the spring with a home competition against current No. 9 TCU on Feb. 16.