Sweet Briar claims ODAC reserve championship, Rider and Rookie of the Year

Lily Peterson and Theodore
ODAC Rookie and Rider of the Year Lily Peterson with Sweet Briar’s Theodore

First-year Lily Peterson earned Old Dominion Athletic Conference Rider of the Year and Rookie of the Year laurels, while the Vixens claimed their second straight finish as reserve champion at the 2018 ODAC Equestrian Championships hosted by Lynchburg College at Sweet Briar’s Harriet Howell Rogers Riding Center on Friday.

Randolph won the ODAC Championships finishing with 15 points, while the Vixens scored 13 and picked up a tiebreaker over Hollins to earn the title of reserve champion. The Vixens sat second in the team standings after the opening round of over fences, but fell to fourth following the second round.

On the flat, Sweet Briar riders excelled as first-year Katie Balding and senior Makayla Benjamin combined for the top team score on the flat, posting a team total of 168.25. Sweet Briar recorded the highest team score on the flat as the Vixens were the lone team to have both riders tally an individual score of 83 or higher.

Peterson notched the top individual score with an average score of 83.25. After the opening round of over fences, Peterson held the sixth-highest score, but the second round saw Peterson tie Randi Byrd of Hollins with the top score in the round at 84.5.

Benjamin recorded the eighth best score as an individual, joining Peterson as an All-ODAC honoree. With her All-ODAC laurels from 2018, Benjamin becomes a four-time All-ODAC selection.

Three of the past four years, the ODAC has seen a Sweet Briar rider earn Rider of the Year and Rookie of the Year, with Peterson joining Benjamin and junior Emily Schlosberg. Randolph’s Chris Mitchell was named ODAC Coach of the Year, while Lynchburg’s Christina Antonucci was recognized as the ODAC Virginia Farm Bureau Insurance Scholar-Athlete of the Year.

All-ODAC Team (tie for the 10th spot means 11 members)
1. Lily Peterson, SBC — 83.250

2. Christina Antonucci, LC — 82.250
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

Final Team Results
1. Randolph — 15 points
2. Sweet Briar (via tiebreaker) — 13 points
3. Hollins — 13 points
4. Washington and Lee (via tiebreaker) — 9 points
5. Lynchburg — 9 points
6. Bridgewater — 7 points