Minnesota Crookston Equestrian Signs Three for 2018-19 Squad
CROOKSTON, Minn. – The University of Minnesota Crookston equestrian program announced the signing of three student-athletes to National Letters of Intent. The Golden Eagles welcome Olivia Becker (Deer Park, Wis./New Richmond H.S.), Kayley Melton (Yuma, Ariz./Gila Ridge H.S.) and Morgan Schelske (Zimmerman, Minn./Spectrum H.S.). The three signees are the first for the Golden Eagles heading into the 2018-19 season.
“Olivia Becker is a western all-around rider whom comes to us with a significant amount of experience showing at the breed show level,” said Head Coach Kayla Krueger. “She will represent the Golden Eagles in the Advanced Horsemanship division this coming Fall of 2018 and we could not be more excited to have her join our roster. Olivia has a beautiful presence on horseback and a natural feel one simply cannot teach. I have no doubt she will excel in the intercollegiate equestrian world of catch riding. Welcome to the family Olivia!”
“Kayley Melton comes to us with a wealth of experience showing within the Jumper classes, Equitation on the Flat as well as Equitation over Fences classes,” Krueger said. “She will ride in the Open/Intermediate Level for the Golden Eagles. Kayley’s that type of rider you never want to take your eye off, a commanding presence on horseback that you simply cannot coach and we are thrilled that she has chosen Minnesota Crookston to further her academic and athletic career. Welcome to the family Kayley!”
“Morgan Schelske is joining the Golden Eagle Equestrian team with a strong Hunter Seat background excelling within both the Equitation on the Flat, Equitation over Fences, and Jumper classes,” Krueger said. “She will be starting her intercollegiate career representing the Golden Eagles in the Novice division. Morgan has the drive and energy all coaches look for, a talented young woman that will serve as a strong asset to the Hunt Seat team. Welcome to the family Morgan!”
The three signees will add to a talented young squad that returns most of their roster for the 2018-19 season. The Golden Eagle hunt seat team earned Reserve High Point team in the region during the 2017-18 season. In addition, they sent Amanda Olson (Fr., Winsted, Minn.), Megan Motter (Jr., Cooperstown, N.D.) and Selena Young (Jr., Plymouth, Minn.) to the IHSA Zone Championships in Springfield, Mo. The Minnesota Crookston western squad sent Katie Warner (Sr., Warba, Minn.) to the IHSA Semifinals in Hamburg, N.Y. Additionally, the Golden Eagles competed for the first time in program history at the NCEA National Championships in Waco, Texas, against the best teams in collegiate equestrian. Minnesota Crookston was represented by nine riders at the NCEA Championships. The Golden Eagles return Mazie Pini (Jr., Grayslake, Ill), Young, Rachel Johnson (Fr., Stillwater, Minn.), Whitney Fenna (Jr., Foley, Minn.), Madeline Drayna (So., Milaca, Minn.) and Motter from the squad that went to Waco, Texas.
Olivia Becker (Deer Park, Wis./New Richmond H.S.)
Becker is the daughter of David and Laura Becker. She plans to major in animal science – pre-vet at Minnesota Crookston. Becker was born May 11, 2000. She served as the American Paint Horse Association – National Junior Director from 2014-18.
Kayley Melton (Yuma, Ariz./Gila Ridge H.S.)
Melton earned the A-Team award all four years at Gila Ridge H.S. in Yuma, Ariz. She was an FFA officer. She was an Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) varsity team member. Melton was the 2016 Overall Greater San Diego Hunter Jumper Association (GSDHJA) 3’3” Jumper Champion. She was also the 2016 overall Southern California Horsemans Council 3’3” champion and won 2016 SCHC Horse of the Year.
Melton is the daughter of Shannon and Joel Melton. She was born Oct. 19, 1999. Melton plans to major in equine science. Her mother and grandmother both trained and showed horses. She was out at the barn a couple of days after she was born and has loved being a third generation rider.
Morgan Schelske (Zimmerman, Minn./Spectrum H.S.)
Schelske earned a Minnesota High School Equestrian Association (MHSEA) varsity letter for equestrian. In addition, she was an academic letter recipient for Spectrum H.S. She also letter in track in 2016 and for two years for the United State Equestrian Foundation (USEF). She graduated high school Summa Cum Laude.
Schelske is the daughter of Greg and Robin Schelske. She was born May 15, 2000. Schelske plans to major in animal science-pre-vet.