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Tarleton rodeo teams clinch two regional titles

STEPHENVILLE, TEXAS—As the dust settled Saturday evening at the Lone Star Arena in Stephenville, several Southwest Region titles found their way home to Tarleton State University. Record-breaking crowds gathered to watch Tarleton’s men’s and women’s rodeo teams crowned as Southwest Regional Champions.

Even after a third-place showing at their hometown rodeo held April 22-24, Tarleton men finished 655 points ahead of second-place Vernon College. The women came in second at the last season rodeo, but still pulled off the regional title with a lead of 613 points more than second-place Western Texas College of Snyder.

Kody Engle captured the women’s all-around honors at the Tarleton Stampede splitting first and second straight across in the breakaway and a second-place overall finish in barrel racing. Cassie Vierstra kept up her quest for a spot at national competition by placing second in the long go and fourth in average for the girl’s goat tying.

Justin Brashear and Chase Williams dominated the tie-down roping with first- and fourth-place overall finishes, while Calvin Brevick placed second in the team roping average.

The rough stock guys collected points on their side of the arena, as well. Tol Cawley placed fourth in the saddle bronc riding and Craig Wisehart finished second overall in the bareback riding.

With all points tallied and posted, four Tarleton women earned a trip to compete in the College National Finals Rodeo (CNFR) in Casper, Wyo., on June 13-19.

Individually for the women, Cassie Ward finished as the region’s top All-Around Cowgirl. She also was ranked third in barrel racing and fourth in goat tying for the year-end standings.

Moving up the ranks over the weekend to secure Reserve All-Around Cowgirl honors was Kody Engle. She also finished first in the breakaway roping for the year-end.

Other CNFR qualifiers include Kylie Ward for her second-place finish in year-end barrel racing and Vierstra for a second-place year-end finish in the goat tying.

In the men’s division, Tarleton qualified seven men for CNFR competition—with all finishing in the top three of their event.

Chase Williams captured the region’s All-Around Cowboy honors with year end finishes of first in tie down roping and fourth in team roping-heading.

Finishing strong in the regional team roping competition was Clay Norell second place in heading, K.C. Curtis third place in heeling and Chad Williams fourth place in heeling.

Tate Owens (saddle bronc) and Craig Wisehart (bareback) both finished second for the year-end in their respective evens.

Stephenville’s own Harve Stewart finished first overall in the region’s bull riding.

Tarleton student K.C. Curtis was also named the Walt Garrison Award recipient for the Southwest Region. This award goes to a young man or woman who competes in collegiate rodeo while exhibiting a great deal of integrity and perseverance in their daily lives. Curtis will be eligible to compete at the national level for this award and scholarship monies.

Other awards bestowed to Tarleton students included horse of the year. Men’s horse of the year went to Chase Williams’ calf horse, Stubbs, and women’s horse of the year went to Kylie Ward’s barrel horse, Diva N Red.

“I am really looking forward to taking this group of talent to nationals,” said Mark Eakin, head rodeo coach at Tarleton who was also selected as Coach of the Year for the region. This award is voted on by coaches and competitors.

“I think we have a real good shot at bringing home two national titles. I would like to say “Thanks” to all the fans, businesses, volunteers, community members and Tarleton faculty who pitched in to help make this year a success. We couldn’t have pulled it off without them.”


 

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