The Rodeo Team at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College (NEO) followed up its busy March with five rodeos in April. In addition to several top-five finishes over month, Leon, Iowa Freshman Alli Masters, Liberal, Mo., Sophomore Ty Kirby, and Watsontown, Pa., Freshman Zane Kilgus all qualified to ride in the College National Finals Rodeo in June. Kicking off the month with the Oklahoma State University Rodeo, the women’s team saw Hartville, Mo., Freshman Bailey Russel earn 5th in the average for Barrel Racing and Jenks, Okla., Sophomore Emily Long take 5th in the average for Breakaway Roping. The men’s team was led by Glenwood, Iowa, Sophomore Henry Dean, who finished 2nd in the average in Team Roping. The teams then headed to Weatherford, Okla., to compete in the Southwestern Oklahoma State University Rodeo. For the men, Ozark, Mo., Freshman Haze Wright picked up the fastest time in the long round of Calf Roping, but Kirby came back to win the average. On the women’s side, Willard, Mo., Freshman Bailey Stuva picked up a top-ten finish in Barrel Racing and Masters won Breakaway Roping.
After Weatherford, the teams traveled to Hays, Kan., for the Fort Hays State University Rodeo, where Kilgus picked up a first-place finish in Calf Roping. He was joined by Kirby, who finished 4th overall. In addition to the men’s finishes, Miami Freshman Jessie Ishmael was top-3 overall in Goat Tying. Back into Oklahoma, the teams competed at Pandhandle State University in Guymon on April 22-24. The women’s team had a strong showing, but Stuva picking up 3rd overall in Barrel Racing and Masters splitting 3/4 in Breakaway Roping. Kirby claimed the Calf Roping title for the men’s team and Bronaugh, Mo Sophomore Mason Couch led the night, winning the Men’s All Around.
The best finishes of the month came at the Colby Community College Rodeo in Colby, Kan. Fort Scott Sophomore Hannah Hughes led the women, winning the average in Breakaway Roping. The men’s team picked up three championships, with Kirby winning the average in Calf Roping and the Team Roping pair of Davis City, Iowa, Freshman Cash Tharp and Amoret, Mo., Freshman Shane Jenkins winning first in the average.
“I was very proud of everyone on this year’s Rodeo Team,” said Head Coach Kolby Ungeheuer. “It was a very trying year, like in all sports. They all competed at a very high level all spring and were a great representation of NEO every weekend! Kirby, Kilgus, and Masters will continue to prepare for the College National Finals Rodeo, which is set to take place June 13-19 in Casper Wyoming. Kirby and Masters ended their regular season first in the region for Calf Roping and Breakaway Roping respectively. Kilgus earned his spot by finished second in the region in Calf Roping. “I am very excited to have three qualifying for the CNFR,” Ungeheuer added. “It is a huge success for a two-year college team to send three to Nationals, and I’m looking forward to getting these three to the CNFR in June and very confident they will perform at a high level on the national stage!” For more information about rodeo at NEO A&M College contact Ungeheuer at Kolby.firstname.lastname@example.org.