AMHERST, Mass. (March 10, 2012) – The Mount Holyoke College riding team closed out its regular season with a bang, grabbing High Point honors at Sycamore Stables today. With their eighth title of the season, the Lyons secured their fourth straight Zone 1, Region 3 Championship. They finished 57 points in front of the University of Massachusetts Amherst in the final regional standings.
Mount Holyoke will face off against the three other regional winners at home in the Zone 1 Championships on April 7. The top two finishers at that event will advance to the National Championships.
With her performance today, Margaret Swanson secured High Point Rider honors for Region 3. By doing so, she guaranteed herself a spot in the National Championships. The senior finished the year with 86 points, narrowly edging out sophomore Alexa Lohrer (2nd place – 81 points) and first year Hannah Thornton (4th place – 60 points). It was the fourth straight season that a Mount Holyoke rider earned the Cacchione Cup for Region 3. In 2010, Lindsay Sceats took home the crown before winning the national Cacchione Cup.
The Lyons racked up 42 points on the day to secure the title. They were followed in the top three by Smith College (31) and UMass (27). The remainder of the field consisted of Westfield State University (25), Amherst College (23), Springfield College (15), Williams College (11) and Hampshire College (6).
Swanson was named High Point Rider for the second week in a row after taking home top honors in her sections of the open flat and open fences divisions. Junior Morgan Cooley claimed both Reserve High Point Rider and Novice High Point Rider honors with her first place showing in her section of the novice fences division. Meanwhile, senior Rebecca Hicks was named Intermediate High Point Rider for the second consecutive week after her first place performance in the intermediate flat division.
Mount Holyoke's remaining blue ribbons came from first year Ila Addanki (intermediate flat), sophomore Kristen Engholm (walk-trot-canter), junior Sally Gibb (intermediate fences), first year Jessica Murray (novice flat), junior Jessica Stephens (walk-trot) and sophomore Flynn Vickowski (intermediate flat).
With their performances today, Thornton (open fences) and Stephens (walk-trot) each qualified for the Zone 1, Region 3 Regional Championships. Thornton had previously qualified in open flat.
The event will take place at Hadley Farms on Saturday, March 31. A total of 18 Lyons will compete in 23 classes. Also included in the group will be Swanson (open flat, open fences), Lohrer (open flat, open fences), Hicks (novice flat, novice fences), Engholm (walk-trot-canter), Gibb (novice fences), Vickowski (novice flat, novice fences), senior Brenna Cogswell (novice flat), junior Paulina Erni (walk-trot), senior Jasmine Haddad (novice fences), sophomore Felicia Harrsch (intermediate flat), senior Jordan McMullen (novice flat), senior Courtney O'Connell (intermediate flat, intermediate fences), sophomore Ella Pittman (novice flat), senior Haley Streibich (walk-trot-canter) and senior Laura Tolosa (walk-trot-canter).
Final Zone 1, Region 3 Standings
1. Mount Holyoke College – 316
2. University of Massachusetts – 259
3. Smith College – 196
4. Westfield State University – 151
5. Springfield College – 118
6. Amherst College – 110
7. Williams College – 70
8. Hampshire College – 37
9. Landmark College – 32