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UT Martin Rodeo Teams Excel at Southern Arkansas


By Ryne Rickman

Magnolia, Ark. – The University of Tennessee at Martin rodeo program put on an outstanding showing October 22-24, 2020 at Southern Arkansas. The men’s squad produced its fourth consecutive runner-up finish, while the women’s team set a new season-high in points on its way to a third-place effort.

The UT Martin cowboys dialed up 440 points, which trailed only Missouri Valley College (610) in the men’s standings.  Meanwhile, the Skyhawk cowgirls accumulated 180 points, narrowly missing out on second place on the women’s side behind East Mississippi (475) and Missouri Valley College (185).

A pair of UT Martin cowboys scored points in bareback riding. Stetson Bierman’s 78 in the first round was the second-best score in the field, while his 151 average and 73 short go placed him fourth and fifth, respectively. Bryce Sifford earned points with a 78 in the short round (second) and 144 average (fifth).

Chase Thrasher and Robbie Van Holten each earned team points during the calf roping event. Thrasher’s 23.8 average and 12.3 time in the short go was good enough for back-to-back fourth-place efforts. Van Holten came in fifth place in both average (27.7) and in the second round (16.0).

In breakaway roping, Grace Bryant led the way for UT Martin, as the freshman out of Pendleton, SC posted a time of 3.1 seconds – which was good enough for third place in the field.

UT Martin produced a pair of scorers during the short round of saddle bronc riding. Tyler Pruitt (61) placed third and Jack Smithson (54) came away with a fourth-place finish.

The men’s team did its most damage in steer wrestling, as a trio of cowboys piled up several dominant performances.  Jesse Keysaer topped the field in average (12.4) after finishing second in the opening round (4.7) and third in the short go (7.7). Cole Harmon won the second round with a time of 5.9 seconds, while placing second in average (13.9) and sixth in the first round (8.0). Thrasher also collected points in his second event of the weekend as he finished third in the opening go (5.5), sixth in the short round (16.5), and sixth in average (22.0).

Four members of the women’s squad performed extremely well in the goat tying event. Lauren Heck generated points in all three phases, placing third in the short go (7.5), splitting third in average (14.6), and fourth in the opening round (7.1).  Bryant continued her successful weekend by finishing second in the short go (7.1), splitting third in average (14.6) and splitting sixth in the first round (7.5). Kailey Schmidt’s time of 7.0 seconds flat in the opening go was good enough for third place, while her 15.3 average earned her a sixth-place finish. Jasmin Bakri additionally provided points for UT Martin as her 7.5 time in the first round split sixth.

UT Martin boasted the best duo in the team roping event with Justin Sailors and Cody Hogan topping the field in total points. The junior tandem split first in average (15.2) after placing second in both the opening round (7.7) and short go (7.5). Harmon also joined forces with Carson Stroup as that pair finished fifth in the first round (8.5) and sixth in average (8.5).

Madison McFall came away with points in all three phases of barrel racing, as the junior from Columbia, Tenn. posted times of 30.76 in average (fourth), 15.3 in the short go (fourth) and 15.46 in the first round (sixth).

UT Martin will wrap up its fall schedule on November 12-14, 2020 at Murray State University in Murray, Kentucky.

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