BRIDGEWATER, Va. – The Tournament of Champions series brought some of the top riding programs in the country together for some quality competition this season.
The three-show series provided the Bridgewater riders with the opportunity to showcase their talents against some of the best riders in the nation.
The Bridgewater riding program hosted a national level Tournament of Champions event for the first time this past weeknd and, as host for the show, the Eagles were allowed to enter two teams. The Bridgewater riders swept the top spots with the Crimson team taking the blue ribbon and Gold team taking the reserve championship.
The final TOC show of this season, hosted at the Bridgewater College Equestrian Center, not only showcased the program’s talent, but allowed the team to display the depth of its talent as evidenced by its 1-2 finish.
The competition was intense as six of the teams participating at the BCEC this past Saturday – Virginia Intermont, Goucher, Wisconsin, Penn State, St. Andrews and Mount Holyoke – competed at the 2012 IHSA national show.
Taylor Rose led the Eagles with a pair of first-place performances in the open division. Bridgewater riders took home five first-place ribbons and five second-place ribbons during Saturday's event.
Saturday's victory for Bridgewater was the first Tournament of Champions victory for the program. The Eagles had come close before with four second-place finishes.
The BC riders finished this year's three-show series as reserve champion, finishing just a single point behind Virginia Intermont.
Bridgewater opened the Tournament of Champions competition back in September with a fifth-place finish at Goucher. Bridgewater added another fifth-place team effort at Otterbein before completing the series with its championship performance at the BCEC.
TRACK HEADED TO THE BIG APPLE - Several Bridgewater track athletes are heading to New York City this weekend for the prestigious Armory Collegiate Invitational.
More than 100 colleges and universities will be attending the meet, including many teams ranked in the Division I Top 25 men’s and women’s polls.
The Eagles will be sending five athletes to the meet that will feature only a handful of Division III entrants.
Scheduled to run for the BC women will be standout Olivia Mills. Mills earned a spot in prestigious championship 5K race against some of the top collegiate runners in the nation. The race is set for a 3:43 start Friday afternoon.
For the men, sophomore Luke Sohl will run in the College 5K on Saturday morning at 9:07 a.m. The Eagles will have two entrants in the College 800. Tim Wisniewski and Nevin Heckman will both run in the first section Saturday afternoon at 12:20 p.m.
The men’s distance medley relay team will also compete Friday evening at 8:28 p.m. The Eagles will be running in the second of two sections. Running for the Eagles will be Sohl, Heckman, Wisniewski and Sam Gunther.
RECORD-BREAKER – When a record hangs around for 40 years, that’s something special. Sophomore distance runner Luke Sohl wiped out the oldest mark in the men’s track & field record books this past weekend when he set a new standard in the indoor mile with a time of 4:20.48.
Doug Coleman, who was inducted into the Bridgewater College Athletic Hall of Fame in 2008, had held the record since 1972 when he ran the indoor mile in 4:21.5. A slew of talented runners had taken their best shot at the record over the past 40 years, but all came up short until Sohl eclipsed the mark on the Liberty University track.
BEAT THE BEAST - Remember to wear black on Thursday evening for Beat the Beast night when the Bridgewater women’s basketball team hosts Washington and Lee at 7:00 p.m.
All gate receipts and donations will go to benefit the Melanoma Research Foundation as the Eagles do their part to Beat the Beast – Melanoma.