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UT Martin Wins Season Opener at Missouri Valley College


By Ryne Rickman

Marshall, Mo. – It was a highly successful first rodeo of the season for the University of Tennessee at Martin, as the men’s team won the team title and the women’s squad ranked second at the event hosted by Missouri Valley College. The UT Martin men won the rodeo by 140 points over second-place Missouri Valley College, while the women’s squad finished with 350 combined points, behind only Missouri Valley College’s 470 points.

UT Martin boasted the top two cowboys in bareback riding, as Hunter Green and Stetson Bierman began their season with dominant performances. Green topped the field in average (150) and in first round scoring (75); finishing second in the short go (75). Bierman led the event in the short round (76), finishing only behind Green in average (144) and in the opening go (68).

A pair of cowboys earned points for UT Martin in calf roping, led by Chase Thrasher. The junior from Columbia, Tenn. placed fourth with a 23.4 average, fourth with a time of 12.5 seconds in the short go, and sixth with 10.9 seconds in the opening round. Also tallying points was Justin Sailors, whose 31.3 average was good enough for sixth place.

The UT Martin women’s squad received a boost from Jayci Braudrick and Kayla Lombardo in breakaway roping.  Braudrick’s time of 2.6 seconds in the first round was the best in the field; she also placed sixth in average (15.1) and in the short go (12.5). Meanwhile, Lombardo split third in the short round (3.1) and split fourth in average (7.0).

In saddle bronc riding, Robert Haley led the way for UT Martin – winning the average (149), and placing second in both the first go (74) and in the short round (75). Jack Smithson produced a good finish as he led the field in the opening round (75), split third in average (141), and finished fourth in the short go (66).

Hunter Styles performed a solid outing in steer wrestling, as his 4.6 seconds in the first round was the second-best time. He placed fourth with a 12.2 average and a 7.6 time in the short go. Robbie Van Holten finished third in average (12.1), third in the short go (6.7), and split fifth in the first round (5.4).

On the women’s side, Shayne Mallory accrued points in the goat tying event, placing fifth in the second round (7.9) and splitting sixth with a 15.9 average.

A half-dozen UT Martin representatives posted points in team roping. Tyler Brooks joined forces with East Mississippi’s Kayley Kennemer to top the field in the short round (7.8) and place second in average (19.3). Lombardo and Braudrick put the finishing touches on a high-scoring season-opener, finishing third in average (31.1), fourth in the short go (21.8), and fourth in the opening round (9.3). The duo of Jake Glass and Carson Stroup placed third in the opening performance (8.8), and Kailey Schmidt teamed up with West Alabama’s Heather Varner to place fourth with a 9.2 after the first round.

UT Martin gets back into action on Sept. 26-28, traveling to Livingston, Ala. for a rodeo hosted by West Alabama.

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