Jun 04, 2019 9:02 PM
Undefeated once again in their second 8-goal tournament of the season, Crestview Genetics controlled the competition defeating every opponent by a margin of at least four goals leading up to the Tommy Hitchcock Memorial Final on Sunday, June 2. A relatively even first two chukkers of play belied Crestview Genetics’ ultimate takeover as they claimed the third, fourth and fifth periods with an explosive performance from Hugo Lloret. Demonstrating the value of consistent team members, Crestview Genetics (Aiden Meeker, Alan Meeker, Mariano Gracida, Hugo Lloret) captured their third consecutive Tommy Hitchcock Memorial title at New Bridge Polo & Country Club in Aiken, South Carolina, with a decisive 14-7 victory over Upatoi Green (Manuel Martinez, Robert Montas, Omar Cepeda, Eddy Martinez).
Lloret opened the scoring with a penalty conversion to place Crestview Genetics on the scoreboard, but was quickly countered by Upatoi Green’s Eddy Martinez to end the first in a tie. Robert Montas, substituting for an injured Jake Flournoy, contributed the only Upatoi goal in the second as Crestview Genetics inched away outscoring their opponents by one to take the lead. Crestview Genetics unleashed their offensive attack in the third as Lloret scored a hattrick, team owner Alan Meeker adding another goal for an even four to Upatoi Green’s sole Penalty 1 to end the half 7-3 in favor of the 2018 champs.
Unphased by the break in momentum, Lloret continued his onslaught of goals into the second half contributing another three in the fourth. Eddy Martinez punctuated Lloret’s efforts with a Penalty 3 conversion, but a goal from Crestview Genetics’ Gracida widened the gap 11-4. Two unanswered Crestview goals in the fifth further cemented their lead moving into the final chukker. Upatoi Green’s chances slipping through their fingers, they rallied in the sixth besting their rivals with three back-to-back goals to keep the dream alive, but it was too little too late. A final goal from Alan Meeker, his third on the day, doubled Crestview Genetics’ lead to seal the victory 14-7.
Reflecting on a successful spring season Aiden Meeker spoke about Crestview Genetics’ winning approach. “I would say the reason that we have an amazing team is because we all come together and watch game tapes,” revealed Aiden Meeker, Crestview Genetics’ youngest player who received Most Valuable Player in 2018’s Final. “When we watch the films we talk about different strategies and once we find one that works for us we stick to it, adapting it to the other teams, until we need to change,” he continued.
Highlighting family polo, Aiden expressed gratitude to both play and win alongside his father for two out of the three title wins. “It feels amazing to play with my dad, he teaches me so much from his experience,” Aiden said.
Unsurprisingly, Most Valuable Player was presented to Hugo Lloret with nine of his team’s total 14 goals. Lloret’s fourth chukker chestnut mare Barbie, a 10-year old American Thoroughbred, received her second Best Playing Pony honor of the season, presented by Dr. Jillian Barrett of Aiken Audiology with her husband Raymond Barrett and service dog Roosevelt. “Hugo has been my mentor throughout my whole polo career,” Aiden said. “He’s just amazing at what he does and never ceases to amaze me and my team with his knowledge of the game. The best thing is that he doesn’t keep it too himself, he teaches me, so one day I can be as good as him.”
New Bridge Polo & Country Club will host a 12-Goal Trifecta this coming fall 2019. Three national USPA tournaments will be held during the months of September and October. All interested teams are encouraged to sign up for this one-of-a-kind opportunity. For more information, please email Polo Manager, Hayley Bryan at firstname.lastname@example.org or General Manager, Raza Kazmi at email@example.com.
All photos courtesy of ©Katie Roth.
Effective Date: Saturday, May 16, 2020
The suspension of USPA Tournaments and Events will be lifted for USPA Member Clubs in locales where hosting polo matches and tournaments is permitted under applicable state and local laws, executive orders and similar decrees. The USPA Member Clubs in these locales are encouraged to follow all such requirements of their state and local authorities with respect to polo operations. In addition, we also encourage all USPA Member Clubs to take the precautions recommended by the CDC. We are preparing a detailed list of best practices for USPA Member Clubs as they return to hosting USPA Tournaments and Events and plan to circulate these guidelines within the next week. We will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation closely and will notify you if we determine a different course of action is necessary.Read More