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UT Martin Cowboys Place Third; Cowgirls Finish Fourth At Pearl River Rodeo
By Ryne Rickman
POPLARVILLE, Miss. – For the second straight rodeo, the University of Tennessee at Martin men’s team came in third place, while the women’s squad claimed a fourth-place effort as the Skyhawks visited Pearl River Community College, March 25-27, 2021.
The UT Martin men’s team posted 355 points, which trailed Missouri Valley (980) and Southern Arkansas (360) in the nine-team field. On the women’s side, UT Martin’s 165 points were the second-highest tally of the season and ranked behind Missouri Valley (310), Arkansas-Monticello (290) and West Alabama (175).
Both Stetson Bierman and Blake Leamon achieved points in bareback riding. Bierman placed second in the short go (78), third in average (150) and split third in the opening round (72). Leamon’s score of 73 points in the second round gave him a fourth-place finish.
Three UT Martin cowboys accrued points in calf roping, paced by Cole Walker. The sophomore from Sparta, Tenn. produced a 23.3 average and a time of 11.1 seconds in the short go, both of which placed third in the field. Cole Harmon came in second place in the opening round (9.8) before finishing fifth in average (26.4) and sixth in the short go (16.6). The third scorer was Robbie Van Holten as his 11.2 seconds in the first round ranked sixth.
Tyler Pruitt nearly swept all three phases in saddle bronc riding as the Chesnee, SC native topped the field in average (149) and short go (75), scoring after his 74 in the opening round ranked second. Jack Smithson’s 71 in the second round gave UT Martin a fourth-place effort.
In steer wrestling, Logan Neal was solid all-around with top-six finishes in each of his three opportunities. His 22.3 average and 14.2 time in the second go were both fifth-place finishes, while his 8.1 seconds in the opening round placed sixth. Walker garnered points in his second event as his 31.6 average and 15.3 time in the short round both ranked sixth.
The duo of Shayne Mallory and Kailey Schmidt stood out for the women’s squad in goat tying. A junior out of Miller, Mo., Mallory scored a 13.3 average (second), a 6.7 in the short go (second) and a 6.6 in the first round (fourth). Schmidt’s time of 6.9 seconds in the opening go split fifth.
UT Martin’s two representatives in the team roping event, Harmon and Carson Stroup, finished second in average (15.7) and placed fourth in both the opening round (7.2) and in the short go (8.5). Chase Thrasher joined forces with Walker to split second in the opening go (6.8) as that same time held to split fifth in average.
Casey Allen additionally chalked up points on the women’s side as her 13.69 seconds in the short round earned a fifth-place tally.
For only the second time this season, a UT Martin cowboy registered points in bull riding as Wyatt Hart’s 76 in the short go was the second-best score in the field. The senior from Blaine, Tenn. also came away with points in bull riding at the rodeo hosted by Three Rivers College on Oct. 15-17.
UT Martin heads to Arkansas-Monticello on April 1-3, 2021.
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