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Rodeo team ‘bucks’ to third place

Published (Volume 76, No. 8)

The UTM rodeo team finished third with 215 points in last weekend’s Southern Arkansas University (SAU) rodeo in Magnolia.

Southern Arkansas won the men’s team title at the rodeo, while the University of West Alabama (UWAL) was second.
“This is the first time since 1997 that someone other than UWAL, Missouri Valley or us has won a men’s rodeo,” said UTM head rodeo coach John Luthi. “That shows how competitive this region is going to be. We have to look at this as just one of 10 rodeos.”

Luthi’s team enjoyed some success at SAU’s rodeo, but the effort was more pleasing than the results.

“We had a great effort, so that’s not the fault of any one person,” Luthi said. “This was like any other rodeo, some things went well and we wish others would have gone better.”
In the bareback riding the cowboys dominated for a second weekend in a row.

In the first-go, Josh Shackleford split first place with a 76-point ride. Scotty NeSmith won third with a 74-point rid, and Whit Ashe took third place with a 67-point ride. In the second-go, NeSmith made an 80-point ride to take home first in the round and in the average. He was followed closely behind by Shackleford in second place in the second-go and in the average. Ashe won third in the average.

“Bareback is one of our mainstay events where we have been able to score points,” Luthi said. “It has allowed us to be consistent.”

In the team roping Randall Gillespie and partner Bradley Hobbs from Murray State University roped their steers to win the event. The team won first place in the short-go with a 7.1 second run. In the average, the team finished with 14 seconds flat on two steers, 6.2 seconds of a lead over the competing teams.

The women’s team finished the weekend in fifth place with only 20 points.

Lyndsie Brower brought home the only points for the women’s team in the goat tying. Brower tied her goat in 9.3 seconds in the short-go to win fourth place. She finished fourth in the average with a combined time of 19.5 seconds.
The team will travel to Troy State University in Troy, Ala., this weekend to compete in the third Ozark Region rodeo of the spring season.
“This might be the toughest part of our season,” Luthi said. “We have six rodeos this fall and three in a row right here with midterms. That makes it extremely tough for everyone involved.”