Swim Team Earns Scholar All-America Status

For the fifth consecutive semester, the Hollins University swim team has been named a Scholar All-America team by the College Swimming and Diving Coaches Association of America.

To earn the honor, teams must have earned a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher for the Fall 2017 semester. The Hollins swim team last fall boasted a 3.56 GPA, its highest ever.

Coach Patrick Richardson’s squad also has the distinction of holding the highest overall GPA among the college and university swim teams that compete in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference.

 

 

 


Willi Named Interim Athletic Director

Jean Willi, who served in a variety of roles in the athletics department at Bridgewater College, has been appointed interim director of athletics at Hollins.

Willi recently retired from Bridgewater and her accomplishments include 20 years as head coach of the women’s basketball team, where she amassed an overall record of 375-191 and led the Eagles to Old Dominion Athletic Conference championships in 1999 and 2008. In addition, she served the college as senior woman administrator, associate athletic director, deputy Title IX coordinator, student-athlete advisory committee chair, and in many other capacities.

“My exposure to so many different aspects of the day-to-day operations of an NCAA athletic department has prepared me for this opportunity and I am extremely humbled and honored that Hollins would reach out to me,” Willi said.

Patricia Hammer, Hollins’ vice president for academic affairs, stated, “I am excited about Jean taking the position and I am confident she will continue to move our athletics program forward.”


Hollins Captures Old Dominion Athletic Conference Equestrian Title

For the 21st time, the Hollins University riding team has won the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) championship.

Hollins topped five other schools during competition at the university’s Kirby Riding Ring on April 5 to earn its first conference title since 2013.

The quartet of riders representing Hollins at this year’s ODAC championship show included Randi Byrd ’18, Madi Hurley ’17, Madeleine Lohr ’19, and Allison Sherwood ’20. In addition to Hollins taking top team honors, Lohr earned her second consecutive All-ODAC designation and head coach Claudia Roland was named ODAC Coach of the Year for 2017.

 

FINAL TEAM STANDINGS

Champion — Hollins University                       17 points
Reserve Champion — Sweet Briar College       16 points
Third Place — Lynchburg College                     12 points
Fourth Place — Randolph College                       9 points
Fourth Place — Washington & Lee Univ.            9 points
Sixth Place — Bridgewater College                     3 points

 

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Hollins Riding Welcomes New Head Coach

Hollins University has announced that Claudia Roland will become the head coach of the school’s equestrian program in January 2017.

Roland comes to Hollins from Palm Beach, Florida, and brings more than three decades of hands-on experience as a horse trainer, riding instructor, national and international judge, and program director. From 1977 to 2004, she owned and operated Fox Hollow Farms in Atlanta. She designed the barn as well as training and competition courses at the facility. Roland also oversaw all horse and rider training and lessons, and led Fox Hollow Farms in showing extensively throughout the southeastern United States.

Subsequently, Roland served as head trainer for eight years at the Wellington Show Stables and Sunlight Saddle Club in Stuart, Florida, where she designed and managed horse shows and instructed students in proper riding skills, horse care, and competition preparation. Most recently she has worked as a freelance trainer and international judge, conducting private hunter/jumper horse and rider training, and traveling to various locations to provide adjudicating services.

“Claudia is an accomplished horsewoman and trainer, and has a wealth of knowledge in horsemanship, equitation, and hunters,” said Director of Riding Nancy Peterson. “She has guided some of the top riders to qualify at the highest levels of competition, including the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) Medal Finals and the ASPCA Maclay Regionals. She has also coached the winners of the South Carolina Hunter/Jumper Association Governor’s Trophy, the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) Junior Hunters and Children’s Hunters Championship, and the prestigious Bryan Trophy.”

Peterson noted that Roland is one of the premier horse show judges in America. “She has been an ‘R’ Level Judge with the USEF since 1994, and has judged major events such as the International Hunter Derby Championships, the United States Hunter Jumper Association Pre-Green Incentive Championships, and the WEF series in Wellington, Florida, just to name a few.

“What an honor to have such a valued and knowledgeable horsewoman join the award-winning coaching staff at the Hollins Riding Center.”

“Hollins is thrilled to welcome Claudia to our coaching staff,” added Vice President for Academic Affairs Patricia Hammer. “With her vast experience and expertise, we are certain Hollins’ equestrian program will continue to be one of the nation’s strongest.”

Hollins riders have captured 19 individual Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) national championships, four Fitch Trophy/Cacchione Cup Individual National High Point Rider championships, and numerous Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) Rider of the Year awards. As a team, Hollins has won two national championships, qualified for IHSA Nationals 12 times, and won the ODAC championship 20 times.

 

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Atlanta Sports Hall of Fame Inducts Hollins Alumna

Julia Voorhees Emmons ’63, former executive director of the 10,000-member Atlanta Track Club and former director of the Peachtree Road Race, the world’s largest 10K, is among the five newest members of the Atlanta Sports Hall of Fame.

Emmons; former Atlanta Falcons linebacker and five-time Pro Bowler Keith Brooking; Atlanta Hawks radio broadcaster Steve Holman; high school, college, and professional basketball coach Bob Reinhart; and cable network sports reporter Craig Sager will be officially inducted at a ceremony at Atlanta’s Buckhead Theater on February 17, 2017.

The Atlanta Sports Hall of Fame’s mission is to honor Atlanta sports heroes, remember great moments in Atlanta sports history, and preserve the past from which future generations can learn and take pride.

In her 22 years as head of the Atlanta Track Club, Emmons was very active on the national running scene. She served as chair of women’s long distance running for USA Track & Field from 1990-1996. She directed the men’s and women’s marathons and race walks for the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, and was on the U.S. women’s track and field team for the 2004 Athens Olympics as assistant coach for endurance events. In 2005, Emmons served as an assistant manager for the U.S. track and field team at the World Championships in Helsinki.

Emmons is one of the Distinguished Graduates that Hollins is showcasing during the university’s 175th anniversary celebration in 2016-17.


Hollins Soccer Shares a Holiday Treat with RAMS Students

In what has become an annual tradition, the Hollins University soccer team recently led an afternoon of learning and fun with students at the Roanoke Academy for Math and Science (RAMS).

Head Coach Robin Ramirez and team members taught the fundamentals of soccer and played the game with the youngsters. After sharing a snack, players read to the students as part of their “Fun Friday.”

A statement on the RAMS webpage noted, “The willingness of [the] Hollins University soccer team, head coach, and RAMS staff to make this a reality is rewarding and inspiring for all those involved. We at Roanoke Academy for Math and Science truly appreciate the women’s team [taking] time to spend with our children. To connect with them in a variety of settings is a testament to [their] ability to become a source of inspiration and serve as role models.”

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Hollins Alumna Among the Most Influential Women in Tampa Bay Sports

Tampa Bay Downs President and Treasurer Stella Thayer ’62 has been named one of the most influential women in Tampa Bay sports by the Tampa Bay Times.

Thayer, who began riding horses when she was five years old, has been involved with Tampa Bay Downs for more than 50 years. In 1986 she outbid New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner to purchase the horse racing facility. “Soon after,” the Times reports, “Thayer named controller Lorraine M. King as Tampa Bay Downs’ general manager. It marked the first time in turf history a thoroughbred track had separate female ownership and management.”

The Times adds, “Thayer has been a pioneer for bay area women in the business world, too. She was the first woman to preside over the Tampa Chamber of Commerce and has served on a number of boards.”

Read more about Thayer’s remarkable career here.

 


Byrd Advances to IHSA Nationals

Elizabeth “Randi” Byrd ’18 is heading to the 2016 Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) National Championships after an outstanding performance at the Zone 4 Regional Championships on Saturday, April 9.

Byrd won the Intermediate Equitation on the Flat title at the zonal competition, hosted by the University of Mary Washington at Hazelwild Farm in Fredericksburg. She was one of two Hollins riders who participated in the event: Jessica Michael ’17 captured fifth place in her division, Walk Trot Canter.

The IHSA Nationals take place May 5 – 8 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky.

Photo: Joined by Hollins Riding Head Coach Sandy Gerald, Randi Byrd ’18 displays her Zone 4 championship ribbon.


Hollins Riders Earn Regional Berths

A pair of Hollins riders are moving on to regional competition as the Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association (IHSA) “postseason” gets under way.

Randi Byrd ’18 and Jessica Michael ’17 have earned spots in the Zone 4 Championship Show after strong showings during the IHSA event at Randolph College on March 19. Byrd finished atop the final standings in Intermediate Flat, while Michael was Reserve Champion in Walk, Trot, Canter. Hollins just missed sending a third rider to the Zonal Championships when Sara Baygents ’16 captured fifth in Novice Fences at the event.

Byrd and Michael will look to qualify for IHSA Nationals when they compete at the University of Mary Washington on April 9.