Hunter Seat riders make strides, take third at Virginia Tech
February 21, 2016 | Blacksburg, Va.
Liberty University's women's Hunter Seat equestrian team enjoyed its best performance to date over the weekend, scoring a team-high 34 points and placing third behind host Virginia Tech and Wake Forest on Sunday afternoon in Blacksburg.
Sophomore Erin Wassem captured blue ribbons in both of her classes on Saturday, tying for Champion Rider honors, before freshman Morgan Faber finished first and second in her two events on Sunday, narrowly missing the Champion Rider distinction.
|Erin Wassem (left) displays her blue ribbons and Champion Rider award beside junior captain Liz Chenelle at Virginia Tech.|
Junior team captain Liz Chenelle continued her strong comeback from an injury that sidelined her for most of the fall semester as she won her class's competitions on Saturday and Sunday. Meanwhile, Liberty freshmen Zoe Leppke and Anna Davidson also received blue ribbons and Leppke earned one red ribbon for second place along with senior Courtney Kerns, junior Rebecca Oldham, and freshmen Claire Gill, who took home two. In all, the Lady Flames had more than 25 percent of their 28 entries earn blue ribbons and nearly 50 percent claim blue or red ribbons over the two-day event.
"It was a phenomenal weekend for this young team," Liberty first-year Head Coach Jim Arrigon said. "It's fun to see last semester's work finally come together. We had pieces scattered all over and we're starting to put the pieces together now."
The Hunter Seat team will complete its regular-season competition March 19 at Averett before junior Cassie Steptoe, Chenelle, senior Brittany Kimmel, junior Leah Wright, and possibly Leppke begin IHSA Regional Finals equitation on March 20, also at Averett. Leppke hopes to pick up the points needed to qualify for regionals at the March 19 show.
Liberty will move to a new region of competition starting next season, in the same classification as Mary Washington, Richmond, VCU, Old Dominion, and William & Mary, as well as others.
"We're working hard the rest of this season, but really looking forward to next year's move," Arrigon said.
This weekend, Liberty's Western riding team travels to St. Andrews (N.C.) University for its final regular-season show on Saturday and the IHSA Regional Finals on Sunday. Senior Micah Armbrust and sophomores Karie Hicks and Avonlea Kisner have already qualified for postseason competition while junior Kayla Sims will try to gain the final few points she needs on Saturday to compete again on Sunday.