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The Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College (NEO) Rodeo Team wrapped up their spring rodeo season by traveling to Hays, Kan., and Guymon, Okla. Strong finishes helped secure a second-place finish in the region among two-year colleges and fifth overall. Along with the strong season, Sophomore Ethan Griffin and Freshman Dawson Turner qualified to ride in the College National Finals Rodeo in Casper, Wyo., in June.

The Rodeo Team traveled to Hays, Kan., to compete in the Fort Hays State University Rodeo on April 20, where the women’s team finished first among two-year colleges and third overall. The men’s team finished second among two-year colleges and fourth overall. Freshman Rush Hodges, from Coweta, Okla., was the buckle winner Saturday night, winning the average in Calf Roping. He was joined in the top ten by Sophomore Ethan Griffin, from Jay, Okla., who took second in Team Roping, and Freshman Jake Clay, from Sapulpa, Okla., who claimed fifth in team roping.

Sophomore Camrin Sellers from Cherokee, Kan., led the women’s team with a second-place finish in Barrel Racing with a time of 34.26 seconds. She was joined by Sophomore Addee Carter from Miami, Okla., who placed in the top-ten for breakaway roping. Carder continued her success in Guymon at the Oklahoma Panhandle State University by placing second in breakaway roping with a time of 5.3 seconds. Sophomore Mackenzie Buetcher from Iberia, Mo., took eighth in barrel racing, pushing the NEO women to yet another first place finish among two-year colleges. The men finished fourth in Guymon on the second place finish of Clay and the fifth-place finish of Griffin.

“I’m very proud of all of these young men and women this year, they have all worked very hard and have continued to accomplish more each and every week as the season progressed,” said Head Coach Kolby Ungeheuer. “It has been a great year for NEO Rodeo and we were very excited to get two qualified for the CNFR! I expect both of these two young men to have great success at this year’s National Rodeo!”

Over the course of the season, riders have also been earning points in the hopes of qualifying for the College National Finals Rodeo, held each year in Casper, Wyo. This year Dawson Turner and Ethan Griffin secured spots by finishing in top-three in the region. Turner gathered 440 points on the season in tie-down roping, giving him a third-place finish. Griffin finished comfortably in second place after picking up 465 points as a team-roping header. The pair will travel to Casper in June to compete against the top college rodeo talent in the nation. For more information on NEO Rodeo, contact Gentry Hutchison at gentrsh@neo.edu

Top photo from left: Addee Carter, Ethan Griffin, Camrin Sellers, Jake Clay, Mackenzie Buetcher, Kolby Ungeheuer. Lower Photo: Graduate Assistant Brady Hagler, CNFR Qualifier Dawson Turner, CNFR Qualifier Ethan Griffin, Coach Kolby Ungeheuer

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