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Both UT Martin Teams Place In Top-Five At Rodeo Hosted By Arkansas-Monticello


By Ryne Rickman

Monticello, Ark. – The University of Tennessee at Martin rodeo teams traveled to the rodeo hosted by Arkansas-Monticello March 12-14, 2020, as the women’s squad placed second and the men’s team finished fifth in the final standings.

The UT Martin women’s team nearly brought home its second victory of the season, as it finished with 235 points – only five behind winner Southern Arkansas. The UT Martin men’s squad collected 335 points as Missouri Valley College (810 points) topped the men’s side.

Three UT Martin cowboys tallied points in bareback riding. Stetson Bierman put together a great showing by finishing first in the short go (79), second in average (153) and second in the opening round (74). Hunter Green split third in the first go (72), and placed fourth in both the short round (71) and in average (143). Blake Leamon also registered points, splitting third in the opening round with a 72, while his 72 average was good enough for sixth place.

Will McCraw came away with a pair of fifth-place performances in calf roping, earning that designation in the short go (11.9) and in average (24.2).

Four of UT Martin’s cowgirls put in major work in breakaway roping. Anna Scott split second in average (5.8) and in the first round (2.6), while finishing fourth in the short go (3.2). Kayla Lombardo also added points in all three phases by splitting second in the short round (3.0), placing fourth in average (6.0), and splitting fifth in the opening go (3.0). Casey Allen’s 8.3 average and 5.2 in the short round placed fifth in both performances. Kailey Schmidt (16.2 average, 12.2 short go) finished sixth in both of her performances.

In saddle bronc riding, Tyler Pruitt finished fourth across the board with scores of 137 in average, 67 in the first round, and 70 in the short go. Jack Smithson’s 66 average and 66 in the opening round earned him fifth-place finishes in both categories, while Robert Haley’s 76 in the second go was the second-best score in the field.

A pair of UT Martin cowboys notched points in steer wrestling, led by Chase Thrasher’s times of 5.2 seconds in the first round (fifth place) and 16.0 seconds in average (sixth place). Robbie Van Holten recorded a fourth-place effort with a time of 4.8 seconds in the short go.

Kaitlyn Thompson and Lombardo each provided scores in goat tying. Thompson’s 8.4 in the first round split third, while her 17.7 average split fourth, and her 9.3 in the short go placed sixth in the field. Lombardo’s first-round time of 8.4 seconds was good enough to split third with Thompson.

Five cowboys delivered scoring efforts in team roping for UT Martin. Ethan Wheeler joined forces with Strand Barricklow from Southern Arkansas to place first in average (11.5), first in the opening round (4.7), and third in the short go (6.8). Cole Walker teamed up with Blane Maxwell from Three Rivers College to place second in the short round (5.3) and third in average (14.3). The all-UT Martin tandem of Van Holten and Wyatt Hart finished fifth in average (19.7), fifth in the second round (11.4), and split fifth in the opening go (8.3). Tyler Brooks partnered with East Mississippi’s Kayley Kennemer to place third in the opening round with a time of 7.7 seconds.

Summer Conley excelled in the barrel racing event as her 15.65 in the first go led the field. The Jackson, Ga. native added second-place finishes in both average (31.54) and in the short round (15.89). Casey Allen additionally earned a second-place finish for UT Martin with a time of 15.72 seconds in the first round, trailing only her teammate Conley for the best time.

In bull riding, Wyatt Hart came away with the best score (80) of the second round – which was also the highest of any of the seven awarded scores in the event.

Because of the COVID-19 outbreak, the Ozark Region announced on March 17 that the remainder of their season has been cancelled, which includes the March 26-28 rodeo at Pearl River Community College in Poplarville, MS, the UT Martin rodeo, and the Northwest Miss. Community College rodeo in Senatobia. The 52nd installment of the University of Tennessee at Martin Spring College Rodeo, scheduled for April 16-18, has been cancelled, the Skyhawk Athletic Department announced March 17.

Good news! On March 17, Summer Conley was named Student-Athlete of the Week.

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