Archive for the ‘Horse sports’ Category

Ally Roberts collects all the ribbons. (Photo courtesy Jennifer Roberts)

They don’t call her “Rally Ally” for nothing.

Former Coupeville High School volleyball ace Ally Roberts is also an accomplished equestrian, and she saved her biggest performance for her last time in the saddle.

Roberts, who is on her way to graduating from Western Washington University, won a regional championship in Advanced Western Horsemanship Saturday, and will stretch out her farewell tour a bit farther.

While Saturday’s meet at Evergreen State Equestrian Park was the final one of the regular season, the WWU captain now advances on to the post-season.

As regional champ, Roberts is off to West Virginia in late March to compete in the national semifinals.

A top-two finish there would send her to the national championships.

For Roberts, this is the perfect cap on her collegiate sports experience.

“It was such an awesome way to finish out our regular season!,” she said. “It’s been a long time coming and it all finally happened.

“This is an accomplishment I’ve been trying to achieve for the past three years!”

Roberts opened the meet by nabbing first in her class, which allowed her to “point out,” earning her enough points over the course of the season to qualify for regional competition.

Once there, she faced off with riders from Central Washington University, the University of Washington, the University of Oregon, Washington State University, and Oregon State University.

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CHS grad Ally Roberts (second from right) continues to collect ribbons as a college athlete. (Photo property of Western Washington Equestrians Facebook page)

Ally Roberts is going out with a bang.

The Coupeville High School grad is nearing the end of her run at Western Washington University, but, before she graduates, she intends to pick up a few more ribbons and trophies.

Roberts is captain of the WWU equestrian team, continuing a run of horse-related success which began when she was just a young rider back on Whidbey Island.

Western Washington won team high point both days running this past weekend at an eight-team equestrian meet, while Roberts claimed 1st in her class.

The event was a Hunt Seat competition, where riders jumped over fences and rode on the flat.

WWU went up against Oregon State University, the University of Oregon, the University of Washington, Central Washington University, Washington State University, Willamette University, and the University of British Columbia.

While she was happy with her own performance, Roberts was especially thrilled to see her teammates soar as well.

“It’s a huge accomplishment for a young team,” she said. “Most of our team graduated last year, so we are primarily a freshman driven group.

“And they SHOWED UP this weekend!!”

Roberts is nearing the end of her run at WWU, but going out as a team leader makes the experience that much better.

“Getting to be a captain made it that much more fulfilling, because I’m so excited to see where the team will go in the next couple years” she said. “Since I am graduating in the summer I am coming to an end in my college career, which is bittersweet, but it has been a great three years on the team.”

The season isn’t done just yet, however, as WWU hosts a show in Lynden the first weekend of February.

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Even as a freshman, Ashley Menges loved being on the volleyball court. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

“Smashley” rises up to flick a winner.

The end of the road, as Menges and Emma Smith bring a close to a successful run with Coupeville High School coach Cory Whitmore.

Ashley Menges was the glue.

During her four-year run at the heart of the Coupeville High School volleyball program, “Smashley” gave the Wolves a bit of everything.

She could smoke service winners, flip end-over-end to save balls which looked like goners, soar into the heavens to smash spikes, and deliver perfect lil’ set-ups for her teammates to get the glory.

Through it all, the transcendent young woman who ended her career as a team captain, as a key player on back-to-back league title teams, as a state meet veteran who helped CHS to three straight 10+ win seasons, was pure class.

Menges is talented, is a firecracker on the floor, and worked as hard as anyone.

But it was her willingness to take on whatever role was necessary for the betterment of the team which made the biggest impression on those in the stands.

Want her to be a setter? Check.

Want her to be a big-time hitter? Check.

Want her to dominate from the back-line, sacrificing her body (and her stats) to do the dirty work? Check.

Through it all, Menges played with great joy.

Teaming up with Emma Smith and Maddy Hilkey, or Maya Toomey-Stout and Chelsea Prescott, or any of a thousand other teammate combinations, the versatile Wolf ace lived and breathed for volleyball.

Well, when she wasn’t riding her horse and taking all the medals in equestrian competitions, at least.

Menges balanced her love for horses and spikes through a torrid four-year high school run that was all about winning.

As a sophomore, she was part of new CHS coach Cory Whitmore’s first team, which finished 11-6 overall, claiming the Olympic League title with an 8-1 mark.

A year later, Menges and Co. went a flawless 9-0 in conference action (winning all 27 sets they played against Klahowya, Port Townsend, and Chimacum).

After finishing 12-2 in regular-season play, the Wolves split matches at districts, knocking Cascade Christian out in a winner-to-state rumble.

It was the first time Coupeville volleyball had punched a ticket to the big dance in 13 years.

While the Wolves fell to powerhouses Castle Rock and Lakeside (Nine Mile Falls), it remains a huge turning point for the CHS program.

That carried over into Menges’ senior season this past fall, as she and Smith accepted the roles of team captains as Coupeville moved to the tougher North Sound Conference.

Along with stepping to the forefront, Menges also slid into a new position late in her career, moving out from setter to patrol the floor on the right side.

That allowed the team greater flexibility, while giving “Smashley” a chance to live up to her nickname.

And she did, helping the Wolves survive and thrive.

Coupeville (11-5 overall, 7-3 in league) claimed second-place in their new six-team surroundings, twice smushing arch-rival South Whidbey in key matches and giving undefeated league champ King’s some of its toughest bouts.

In her final moments in a Wolf uniform, Menges fought on every play, helping the Wolves make a run which came up just short at districts.

The CHS spikers pulled off a stunning come-from-behind win over Cedar Park Christian, however, avenging a late-season loss and eliminating their league rivals.

Then, Menges and Co. went five brutal sets against Nooksack Valley the day before Halloween, their season ending on a miracle, bloop shot which somehow worked its way through a maze of Wolves and found the floor.

The loss hurt at the time, but it never took a bit of the shine off of Menges, of how hard she played, how much she honored herself and her teammates through four years with her attitude, her skills, and, most of all, her heart.

Ashley’s mom, Jennifer, was always one of the most-enthusiastic Wolf fans, and her daughter deserved every one of those cheers.

Today, the dynamic duo have something more to celebrate, as the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame opens its doors to welcome “Smashley” into its hallowed halls.

After this, you’ll find her hanging out at the top of the blog, up under the Legends tab.

It’s a fitting residence for a young woman of great talent, strength, and grace, a killer on the court and an even-bigger winner in real life.

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Coupeville senior Madison Krieg has spent the summer riding to glory with her new horse. (Photos courtesy Krieg)

Claiming a championship saddle at the huge Bailey’s Barrel Bonanza.

Krieg and her steed, Hottie, come flying down the course.

Want to find Madison Krieg? Look for the nearest horse.

The Coupeville High School senior is a natural-born talent in the world of equestrian riding, and her summer was chock-full of big meets, big finishes and getting to know her newest steed.

Krieg’s fourth horse is a high-energy winner named Hottie, and the duo have been tearing up the circuit since coming together.

“I have had her for about three months and they have been probable the most exciting months of my horse career!,” Krieg said.

The duo kicked off their partnership with a 4th place finish at July’s Whidbey Island O-Mok-See in Langley, taking down some “serious competition” at a gaming show which includes multiple events such as poles, figure eight and barrels.

After that, Krieg and Hottie spent the hotter months bouncing from show to show, including the Monroe Fair, piling up ribbons and awards as they went.

The biggie was Bailey’s Barrel Bonanza in Rochester, which attracted 500+ riders “from every age, and people that have come from very far distances with some very, very fast horses.”

Despite only being together for a short month at the time, the duo claimed 1st place in their division, earning a championship saddle, the first of Krieg’s career.

“That was amazing!,” she said.

Krieg and Hottie wrap the summer series next weekend at the PNW Les Schwab O-Mok-See in Seattle, but that doesn’t mean their riding days are done.

“That’s when the real fun begins, because my final year in WAHSET (Washington High School Equestrian Team) will start!,” Krieg said. “I can’t wait and I know me and Hottie will have a blast this year!”

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Megan Thorn and Rebel show off their Western Gaming ribbons after competing at the Washington State Fair in Puyallup. (Photo courtesy Thorn)

Ride hard, ride fast and make ’em remember your name.

Coupeville High School junior Megan Thorn, with a lil’ help from her trusty steed, Rebel, rocked the Washington State Fair, running away with three ribbons in Western Gaming competition.

The duo finished 4th in poles, 7th in barrels and 8th in key pole while riding in Puyallup.

The big finish at the year’s biggest event capped a whirlwind first year together.

Thorn and Rebel have spent the past 12 months getting to know each other, and have quickly become an extension of each other when they are in the arena.

“Had an awesome year at state!,” Thorn wrote on Facebook. “I couldn’t even imagine my year without him. I can’t wait for Rebel and I to improve even more.”

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