by: PAMELA GANDY/Editorial Assistant
The South Plains College rodeo teams started their season with a successful first rodeo in Portales, New Mexico.
The SPC men’s rodeo team has 16 members, five sophomores and 11 freshmen. The team’s sophomores include Michael Benavides from Tatum, N.M.; Jose Domenigo from Citra, Fla.; Shane Hancock from Fountain Green, Utah; Dylan Kirkland from Farwell, Texas; and Coy Surrett from Buhl, Idaho.
The freshmen on the team include: Colton Brown from Nocona, Texas; Kade Cotton from Midland, Texas; Keegan Dement from Weatherford, Texas; Grady Egly from Oelrichs, S.D.; Denton Halford from Stephenville, Texas; Rylie Hayes from Val Marie, Canada; Luis Igleias from Fabens, Texas; Cameron McCarley from Happy, Texas; Payson Moore from Clovis, N.M.; Sidney Stewart from Stanton, Texas; and Edgar Tarango from Levelland, Texas.
The women’s rodeo team has 13 members, with five sophomores and eight freshmen. The sophomores on the team are: Jessica Gray from Sparr, Fla.; Kortney McReynolds from Ruidoso, N.M.; Shay Spitz from Lamar, Colo.; Teryn Tate from Clovis, N.M.; and Cara Vierstra from Twin Falls, Idaho.
The freshmen on the team include: Megan Burbidge from Elwood, Utah; Kara Burns from Rigby, Idaho; Ilyssa Glass from Jal, N.M.; Baylee Henderson from Williamsburg, N.M.; Rainy Robinson from Caldwell, Idaho; Lindsey Sharp from Levelland, Texas; Callie Wharton from Santo, Texas; and Sierra White from Tulia, Texas.
The team’s first rodeo of the season was held Sept. 17-Sept. 19 in Portales, N.M. SPC was well represented and had a large number of students who placed in various events.
In breakaway roping, Viestra finished the first round in sixth place. Burns placed third in the long round and sixth in the average, McReynolds finished second in the long round.
Gray placed second in the first round of goat tying, and Burbidge qualified for the short round in goat tying.
The SPC barrel racers were also successful in Portales, with White placing third in the average, and Robinson placing fifth.
In team roping, Halford and his partner Colton Mathews, from Snyder, won the short round. McCarley and Sharp placed fourth in the average.
Surrett won the short round in steer wrestling. He also placed fifth in the average. Hays finished fourth in the average.
The team finished their first rodeo with outstanding results, and assistant coach KC Curtis is confident that the team will continue to be competitive throughout the rest of the season.
“We’ve got a bunch of good kids this year,” Curtis said. “We have a lot of talent in every event.”
The 2014-2015 SPC rodeo team ended their season last year without any individuals qualifying for the College Nationals Finals Rodeo in Casper, Wyoming.
However, Curtis said she strongly believes that the team will likely have members who advance to the national finals this year.
“This year, we have enough talent in all of the events,” said Curtis. “We should have one person in every event make it to Casper.”