Men’s Third-Place Finish Highlights UT Martin Rodeo’s Spring Opener at East Mississippi

By Ryne Rickman

MERIDIAN, Miss. – The 2019 spring season opened February 21-23 for the University of Tennessee at Martin rodeo teams, as the men’s squad placed third and the women’s team finished eighth at East Mississippi Community College.

The UT Martin men’s team accumulated 440 points, finishing only behind Missouri Valley College (905) and West Alabama (525). The UT Martin women’s squad piled up 110 points in an incredibly tight field, as Missouri Valley College topped the standings with 185 points.

Four UT Martin cowboys reached the finals of bareback riding, led by Hunter Green. The junior from Bastrop, La. secured points in all three phases, finishing second in average (143), splitting second in the short go (70) and finishing third in the opening round (73). Also delivering points in all three phases were Bryce Sifford and Stetson Bierman. Sifford placed second in the first go (74) before taking third in average (137) and fifth in the second round (63). Bierman’s 70 in the short round was good enough to split second, while his 132 average finished fourth and his opening-round 62 placed him sixth. Weston Hamilton earned points for UT Martin with a score of 60 (sixth place) in the short go.

Ross Mitchell and Hunter Styles each tallied points in calf roping for UT Martin. Mitchell’s 10.2 seconds in the first round was the fourth-best time, while Styles’ 12.3 seconds in the short round ranked sixth in the field.

In saddle bronc riding, UT Martin’s Robert Haley and Cody Krueger came away with solid performances. Haley produced a score of 75 in the first round to finish second, while his 75 average held for third place. Krueger’s 47 in the opening round and 47 average both ranked fifth in the final event standings.

A trio of UT Martin cowboys dialed up points in steer wrestling. Cole Harmon split second with a time of 4.9 in the first round and placed fourth in both the short go (8.2) and in average (13.1). Craig Parks piled up points in all three phases, finishing third in average (11.3), third in the short round (6.3), and split fourth in the opening go (5.0). In addition, Styles posted a time of 5.2 seconds in the first round, which earned him sixth place.

Harmon continued his successful rodeo with a strong performance in team roping. Pairing with West Alabama’s Jacob Watt, their times of 19.6 seconds in average and 11.3 in the short go each placed third in the individual standings.

Raegan Taylor breezed through the barrel racing event, sweeping the best times in all three phases. The senior from Camden, Tenn. posted an average time of 27.75 after times of 13.94 in the first round and 13.81 in the short go. Ashley Brooks also accounted for points over all three levels with a 28.27 average (third), 14.11 short round (third) and a 14.16 performance in the opening go (fourth). Madison McFall’s time of 14.15 seconds in the first round was good enough for third place while her 28.55 average ranked sixth in the field.

UT Martin returns to action on March 28-30 at Arkansas-Monticello. UT Martin will host the 51st annual Spring College Rodeo at the Ned McWherter Agricultural Pavilion on April 11-13. UT Martin concludes the regular season at Northwest Mississippi (April 25-27) before traveling to Casper, Wyo. for the 2019 College National Finals Rodeo on June 9-15.

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