LC's Antonucci Earns Top Rider Honors
FOREST, Va. --- For the third time in four years, drama featured at the ODAC Equestrian Championships with a tight finish after three classes of competition at the Kirby Riding Ring and Stables at Hollins University. The host proved the victor, collecting 17 points to deny Sweet Briar College a third straight league crown by just one point. Lynchburg College rounded out the top-three with 12 points, earning the Hornets their first out-right third-place finish since 1995.
While we didn't see a repeat of last season's ride-off on Wednesday at Hollins, HU did need late production from its riders to hoist the program's 15th overall conference trophy and its first since 2013. Entering the final class, equitation on the flat, Hollins sat second in the standings with 10 points, two shy of the Vixens. Riders Madeline Lohr and Randi Byrd combined for a 171.500 total to win the flat and secure seven points towards HU's final tally. That combined with Sweet Briar's four points from finishing third on the flat provided HU with its winning margin.
Related Information: Full Championship Results
Lynchburg senior Christina Antonucci was stellar throughout all three stages of the championship on way to securing ODAC Rider of the Year honors. Her 86.250 final average, which is comprised of her performances on both equitation over fences classes, was 1.500 average-points clear of SBC's Makayla Benjamin, who finished as the runner-up for the second straight season after capturing conference top-rider laurels in 2015.
HU first-year mentor Claudia Roland earned ODAC Coach of the Year accolades after leading Hollins to the team title. Randolph College's Kirby Tidmore secured ODAC Rookie of the Year honors as the top-finishing first-year rider. Washington and Lee University senior Ashley Ooms received ODAC/Virginia Farm Bureau Insurance Scholar-Athlete recognition from the league's sports information directors.
Related Inforomation: All-Time ODAC Equestrian Championship Results
Hollins topped the six-team field in the first fences class, picking up seven points behind its top-three scoring averages from Byrd (85.000), Lohr (80.750), and Madi Hurley (74.500). LC's Antonucci was the top individual with 85.000 scores from both championship judges.
Sweet Briar pushed into the lead by winning the second class over fences. Benjamin had a team-best 86.000 average, which included an 88.000 score from one judge. Olivia Fabian Slocum posted an 81.500 average, and 2016 ODAC Rider and Rookie of the Year, Emily Schlosberg, rounded out the Vixens' scoring trio with a 78.000 average.
Antonucci again proved the best over fences, securing an 87.500 average. She received an 89.000 score from one judge, which marked the highest jumping score earned by any rider on the day. Antonucci's success continued on the flat with scores of 85.000 and 90.000 for an 87.500 average.
Posted below are the full team standings from the 2017 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: Christina Antonucci, Lynchburg
ODAC Coach of the Year: Claudia Roland, Hollins
ODAC Rookie of the Year: Kirby Tidmore, Randolph
ODAC/Va. Farm Bureau Insurance Scholar-Athlete: Ashley Ooms, Washington and Lee
|ODAC Points Standings|
|1. Hollins||17 pts.|
|2. Sweet Briar||16 pts.|
|3. Lynchburg||12 pts.|
|4. Randolph+||9 pts.|
|4. Washington and Lee||9 pts.|
|6. Bridgewater||3 pts.|
+ Randolph was awarded fourth place based on tiebreakers (cumulative point total over fences)
|All-ODAC Riding Team|
|1. Christina Antonucci, LC||86.250|
|2. Makayla Benjamin, SBC||84.750|
|3. Madeline Lohr, HU||82.625|
|4. Morgan Hoke, RAND||82.125|
|5. Olivia Fabian Slocum, SBC||81.500|
|6. Jesse Burgett, LC||79.500|
|7. Samantha Van Winter, BC||79.000|
|8. Jane Chiavelli, W&L||78.625|
|9. Kirby Tidmore, RAND||78.500|
|10. Caleigh Wells, W&L||78.063|