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.

Gerald Named to Roanoke Valley Horse Show Hall of Fame

L.M. “Sandy” Gerald, head coach of the Hollins University riding team, has been inducted into the Roanoke Valley Horse Show (RVHS) Hall of Fame.

Gerald served as hunter/jumper manager for the RVHS from 2009 – 2014.

According to Lorrie McCloskey, a director of the Roanoke Valley Horseman’s Association (which sponsors the RVHS), Gerald “went way above and beyond in his dedication to making the show a success each year he served as manager. He shared his many talents and trademark positive attitude, and definitely went outside the parameters of the usual duties of a horse show manager.”

McCloskey noted that even though Gerald is no longer the horse show’s hunter/jumper manager, he continues to work with the RVHS as the organization seeks to hold an event in 2016.

“His commitment to the past and future success of the Roanoke Valley Horse Show is unparalleled. He is one of the most universally loved members of the horse show team, and a most deserving member of the Roanoke Valley Horse Show Hall of Fame.”

Gerald is a seven-time Old Dominion Athletic Conference Coach of the Year and was inducted into the Southwest Virginia Hunter/Jumper Association Hall of Fame in 2006.

Hollins Lacrosse Among IWLCA Division III Academic Honor Squads

The Hollins University lacrosse team is one of 129 colleges and universities from across the nation, and one of six Old Dominion Athletic Conference member schools, that have been cited as Division III Academic Honor Squads for the 2015 season.

Schools with a team GPA of 3.0 or higher are eligible for Academic Squad recognition. Division I, II, III, and NAIA schools that earn this designation are announced annually by the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA).

Hollins Lacrosse’s 2016 schedule kicks off  February 27 with a match at the University of the District of Columbia.

Hollins Welcomes New Basketball Coach

Following an extensive, nationwide search, Hollins University Athletic Director Bill Mannino has named Jenny Logan as the school’s new head basketball coach.

“I am thrilled to become a member of the Hollins community and grateful for the opportunity to contribute to the growth of our student-athletes,” Logan said. “I am looking forward to continuing to develop the basketball program into a strong contender in the very competitive Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC).”

Most recently, Logan was the assistant basketball coach at Mount St. Mary College in Newburgh, New York. She is no stranger to the ODAC: For four years, the Shenandoah Valley native played for the Bridgewater College basketball team. During a stellar senior season, she was team captain and starting point guard, and received All-ODAC honors after averaging nine points, five rebounds, and over three assists per game. After earning her Bachelor of Science degree in health and exercise science at Bridgewater, she went on to complete her Master’s degree in educational leadership at another ODAC member school, Lynchburg College, where she served as assistant basketball coach.

For the past six years, Logan has coached and mentored young basketball players from all over the country as an instructor for Point Guard College Basketball, a nationally recognized basketball camp.

“It is my firm belief that Jenny will be a perfect fit for Hollins,” said Mannino. “I am so impressed with her competitiveness, work ethic, and winning attitude. She will bring to Hollins Basketball the same tenacity and leadership that she showed as an all-conference player.”

“With her experience as a player and a coach, I have the utmost confidence in Jenny leading our program forward,” added Vice President for Academic Affairs Patricia Hammer. “This is an exciting time for Hollins Athletics.”

Logan officially begins her coaching duties on August 17.



New Athletic Director Is a Familiar Face

Hollins University Vice President for Academic Affairs Patricia Hammer has announced that Bill Mannino is the school’s new athletic director.

During the 2014-15 academic year, Mannino served as acting athletic director and chair of the physical education department at Hollins. He has been a member of the Hollins athletic department since becoming head golf coach in 2007. In addition to leading the golf program, he has been a physical education instructor, faculty representative to the Student Athlete Advisory Council, and chair of the Old Dominion Athletic Conference women’s golf coaches.

“Bill is the the leader that this very talented team needs and we are very excited about the vision he brings to athletics,” Hammer said. “His work last year was extraordinary as we made progress in many areas. We are grateful that after careful consideration, he has now accepted the AD position on a permanent basis. With his knowledge and expertise, and working in close collaboration with our coaches and staff, I have every confidence that Bill will guide Hollins Athletics to continued success.”

Mannino began overseeing the day-to-day operations of the Hollins athletic department in July 2014. During his term as acting athletic director, the department made three new hires, numerous facility improvements, and an overall upgrade of games management for home events.

“I look forward to leading such an outstanding staff and working in conjunction with senior administration to help our athletic programs move forward,” Mannino said. “I feel that if we can continue the momentum that we established last year, we have a great opportunity to improve the student-athlete experience and produce teams that our fans can really get behind in terms of support and give our alumnae pride in their alma mater.”

Mannino graduated from Temple University in 1997 after a distinguished collegiate golfing career and went on to compete as a professional. He returned to his alma mater to serve as head golf coach from 2001 – 2004. Since becoming golf coach at Hollins, he has led a pair of golfers to the NCAA national tournament and seen three golfers earn All American Scholar status.

Hollins Names New Volleyball Coach

Hollins University Acting Director of Athletics Bill Mannino is pleased to announce the hiring of Katherine Lawson to the position of head volleyball coach.  Lawson is no stranger to the Hollins campus community as the newly appointed coach has worked in the Hollins admission department since July 2009.

“I am extremely honored to be the new head volleyball coach at Hollins University,”  Lawson said. “While I am excited to work with the athletic department and returning team members, I am also looking forward to recruiting new student-athletes to Hollins.”

Lawson, a Bridgewater College graduate, is very familiar with the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC).  In addition to twice been named All-ODAC second team during her four-year playing career, she also earned ODAC Scholar-Athlete accolades.  As a three-year starter, Lawson set four individual volleyball records, two of which are still standing, as well as serving as team captain while wearing an Eagles uniform.

After graduating cum laude from Bridgewater, Lawson embarked on her career in the education field.  For three years Kat taught in the foreign language department at Hidden Valley High School while staying connected to the volleyball community by serving as an assistant coach at the Roanoke County high school.  Lawson continued to serve on the Hidden Valley staff upon coming to Hollins as an admission counselor and assistant director of admission in 2009, helping lead the Titans to back-to-back final four appearances (2010 and 2011) in the state tournament.

Mannino is very excited about the future of the volleyball program. “Today is a big day for the Hollins volleyball program and the entire athletic department. Kat was a terrific volleyball player in the ODAC and will prove to be an excellent role model for our student-athletes.  In addition to having strong ties to the volleyball community within the Roanoke and Shenandoah Valleys, Kat brings an energy and understanding that will be a great benefit to the program.”

Lawson will take over the day-to-day duties of the volleyball program immediately.  For the remainder of the academic year, Lawson will continue to serve in the admission department as an application processor as well as recruiting student-athletes and overseeing spring volleyball practice.

The Roanoke, Virginia, native will continue to reside in the community with her husband, Ty, and son, Benjamin.




Whitewater Racers Capture Second at Collegiate Race Series National Championships

American Canoe Association Collegiate Race SeriesHollins University canoers and kayakers earned second place in the Women’s Championship competition at the annual American Canoe Association Collegiate Race Series National Championships, held November 1 on the Rappahannock River in Fredericksburg, Virginia.

Hollins topped teams from Warren Wilson College, the University of Alabama, and Sweet Briar College to finish second. Albion College claimed this year’s women’s national championship.

The event took place on the whitewater portion of the Rappahannock, which features several major rapids.

Photo by David Reep

Hollins Riders Capture Titles at IHSA National Championships

ihsa2012Hollins University junior Sarah Brown and sophomore Catherine Hensly each won national titles today at the 2012 Intercollegiate Horse Show Association National Championships under way at the Hunt Horse Complex in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Brown, from Troy, Virginia, topped riders from the University of Colorado, Penn State, Cornell University, Boston University, and the University of Connecticut to win the Intermediate Equitation Over Fences (Individual) competition.  Her victory represents the first time a Hollins rider has won a national title in this class.

Hensly, who hails from Virginia Beach, won the Walk Trot Canter Equitation (Individual) competition, defeating riders from Penn State, Miami University, Colgate University, the University of Georgia, Virginia Tech, and Xavier University.

Junior Emma Lane Poole of Blue Bell, Pennsylvania, also delivered a standout performance, taking third place in Open Equitation Over Fences.

Founded in 1967, the IHSA encompasses 29 Regions in nine Zones with more than 300 member colleges in 45 states and Canada. The organization represents more than 6,500 riders.

“I Could Not Do Everything I Do If I Wasn’t at Hollins”

carmanThroughout most of her life, Hollins University senior Macy Carman has naturally blended leadership and sportsmanship. But lately, the environmental studies major from Billings, Montana, is going the extra mile to strengthen those inner qualities.

Carman first started taking riding lessons at the age of four and three years later became a member of Pony Club, a youth equestrian organization that serves more than 100,000 members in over 30 countries. “Pony Club is dedicated to developing young people as riders, leaders, team players, and teachers,” Carman says. “It focuses on responsibility and building good character as well as becoming good horsemen and women.”

In 2010, Carman was elected to the National Youth Board of the United States Pony Club (USPC). When the youth board chose her as chair in January 2012, she not only went on to design a campaign, appear on a radio show, and meet with groups of the British Pony Club, she was also nominated and elected to the USPC Board of Governors.

“That’s been the most exciting thing. Going in, I didn’t know how much I would be able to do as a youth member, but the rest of the members of the board have given me so much opportunity to have a real say.”

Carman’s dedication to her sport is a big reason why she’s earned such a prominent role in the USPC. After spending two years on the Hollins riding team, she decided to concentrate on three-day event riding, or eventing, one of the most demanding disciplines of equestrian competition. “Eventing is the triathlon of horse sports,” she explains. “The first day is dressage, where you ride a set of prescribed movements and are scored by a judge. The second day is cross-country, which is what eventing is best-known for – galloping over terrain and jumping natural or fixed obstacles. The final phase is show jumping, a course of stadium fences in an arena. It was originally designed as a test of discipline, bravery, and stamina for military horses.”

While Carman mostly competes during the summer months because of her academic responsibilities the rest of the year, training for eventing is a year-round job. “My horse is stabled about 15 minutes away from campus and we train six days a week. It’s an investment of time and financial resources, but it’s important for his fitness and my fitness.”

In addition, Carman has worked for international eventer and Pan American Games Gold Medalist Michael Pollard, and served as a groom for the U.S. eventing team during its trip to Holland during the fall of 2011.

Hollins’ Batten Leadership Institute has also had a profound influence. “I’ve always been classified as the leader, the Type A personality who took over group projects,” Carman notes. She admits to having been “a little dubious” at the outset about what the program could teach her. However, as a result of Batten, she says she has discovered the tremendous value in playing a supportive role. “I’ve learned to delegate, trust, and support others and realize that I don’t have to do everything, to look at a situation and not take over. It’s important to balance those things.”

One of the approaches Carman says she has learned in Batten that is helping her meet her responsibilities within the USPC is taking a “balcony perspective” when performing her board work. “It’s stepping back and saying, ‘What’s happening here?’ That’s fairly easy to do in the classroom but much harder when you’re in a situation with real results on the line. But just having the awareness of needing to look at the overall picture is really important. You have to look at how the board itself is functioning and what you need to change to get the results you want, rather than just focusing on the results themselves. Batten has helped me to prioritize and put the focus on the process rather than the product.”

While deeply committed to equestrian competition, the USPC, and the Batten Leadership Institute, Carman has still found time to serve at Hollins on the Senior Legacy Committee, the Student Athletic Advisory Committee, and in the Office of Admission. She also enjoyed what she calls a “life-changing” adventure, studying abroad her junior year in London and interning with the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management. The trip culminated with a solo trip to Scotland, where she hiked to the top of Arthur’s Seat, a dormant volcano that’s the highest point in Edinburgh. “It was the most liberating experience of my life. It’s given me a whole new perspective on who I want to be and where I want to go from here.”

Carman is now applying to architecture schools with the hope of embarking on a career in sustainable architecture. The encouragement she has received at Hollins has given her every confidence she will succeed.

“When I went to Holland last year, it was very short notice, just 48 hours, and it ended up I was gone eight days during midterms,” she recalls. “But my teachers, they knew me, they knew I could catch up, and they were so supportive. That’s the thing I love the most about Hollins, everyone wants to make it work. I could not do everything I do if I wasn’t at Hollins.”