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Randolph Wins First ODAC Equestrian Title Since 2005

Randolph captured its first ODAC riding championship title since 2005 behind four All-ODAC performances from its team of riders.
Randolph captured its first ODAC riding championship title since 2005 behind four All-ODAC performances from its team of riders.

SBC's Peterson Doubles as Rider and Rookie of the Year

SWEET BRIAR, Va. --- A long championship drought ended on Friday afternoon at the Harriet Rogers Riding Center at Sweet Briar College as Randolph College rode a stellar performance from its four-woman team to capture the 2018 ODAC Equestrian Championship title. The WildCats hoisted the league hardware for the first time since 2005 (then as Randolph-Macon Woman's College).

All four of Randolph's riders earned All-ODAC honors on the way to picking up a chart-topping 15 points. Sweet Briar and Hollins University tied with 13 points apiece. The Vixens were awarded second place on tiebreakers, marking the program's second straight reserve champion finish. Washington and Lee University and championship host Lynchburg College tied with nine points each with the Generals receiving fourth place on tiebreakers. Bridgewater College rounded out the six-team event with seven points.

Related Information: Full Championship Results

For the third time in four years, one rider earned ODAC Rider and Rookie of the Year laurels. Sweet Briar's Lily Peterson topped the field with an 83.250 average following both rounds of equitation over fences, joining fellow Vixen riders Makayla Benjamin in 2015 and Emily Scholsberg in 2016 as dual award winners. Benjamin, meanwhile, continued her strong performance as she along with W&L senior Jane Chiavelli earned All-ODAC recognition for a fourth time.

Randolph mentor Chris Mitchell received ODAC Coach of the Year accolades after seeing his four riders finish fourth, sixth, and tied for 10th on the way to the league title. Lynchburg's Christina Antonucci was tabbed the ODAC/Virginia Farm Bureau Insurance Scholar-Athlete of the Year award winner by the conference's sports information directors. Antonucci, last season's top rider, added All-ODAC honors to her scholar-athlete award with a runner-up finish.

Related Inforomation: All-Time ODAC Equestrian Championship Results

Randolph opened with a superior showing in the first round of fences. Molly McLaughlin (87.50), Carley Stirewalt (82.50), and 2017 ODAC top rookie Kirby Tidmore (81.50) accounted for a 251.50 team score. The WildCats' dropped score of 77.25 by Caroline Houston was also a strong effort. McLaughlin's score was the top individual mark of the round.

SBC's Peterson and HU's Randi Byrd tied for the #1 position in the second round of fences with 84.50 averages. Byrd's score, however, was paired with 83.0 and 82.0 averages by Logan Landfried and Madi Szurley, respectively, helping Hollins recover from last place in the first round to first place in round two.

The final round over the flat not only saw Randolph collect enough points to wrap up its team title, but featured Sweet Briar edging Hollins by just 1.25 average points to win the round. Benjamin (83.25) and Katie Balding (85.00) combined for 168.25 points, while Byrd (85.50) and Szurley (81.50) posted a combined 167.00 points. Randolph's duo of Tidmore (84.875) and Stirewalt (77.50) helped the WildCats to fourth on the flat with 162.375 points.

Posted below are the full team standings from the 2018 ODAC Equestrian Championships, as well as the All-ODAC Riding Team.  For more information, visit the websites of any of the participating schools, or go to the ODAC's home on the Internet at www.odaconline.com. Don't forget to become a fan of the ODAC on Facebook an follow @odacathletics on Twitter and Instagram.

ODAC Rider of the Year: Lily Peterson, Sweet Briar
ODAC Coach of the Year: Chris Mitchell, Randolph
ODAC Rookie of the Year: Lily Peterson, Sweet Briar
ODAC/Va. Farm Bureau Insurance Scholar-Athlete: Christina Antonucci, Lynchburg

ODAC Points Standings
1. Randolph 15 pts.
2. Sweet Briar + 13 pts.
3. Hollins 13 pts.
4. Washington and Lee * 9 pts.
5. Lynchburg 9 pts.
6. Bridgewater 7 pts.

+ Sweet Briar was awarded second place based on tiebreakers (cumulative point total over fences)
* Washington and Lee was awarded fourth place based on tiebreakers (cumulative point total over fences)

All-ODAC Riding Team
1. Lily Peterson, SBC 83.250
2. Christina Antonucci, LC 82.500
3. Charlotte Radcliffe, W&L 82.375
4. Molly McLaughlin, RAND 82.250
5. Jane Chiavelli, W&L 82.1875
6. Kirby Tidmore, RAND 81.500
7. Samantha Van Winter, BC 79.375
8. Makayla Benjamin, SBC 78.250
9. Madi Szurley, HU 77.750
10. Caroline Houston, RAND 77.250
10. Carley Stirewalt, RAND 77.250