MARTIN, Tenn. –The University of Tennessee at Martin rodeo teams, both men and women, return to action for the first time since November, 2012, when they compete at the Cossatot Community College Rodeo in Texarkana, Ark., beginning Thursday night through Saturday’ championship finals.
“Everyone is healthy and ready to go,” UT Martin rodeo coach John Luthi said. “This is a good rodeo.”
The UT Martin men’s team won four of the five fall rodeos and finished second in the final rodeo of the year at Troy.
The UT Martin women’s team was slow to start but finished strong with a sixth-place showing at West Alabama, a first-place effort at Southern Arkansas and a fourth-place finish at Troy.
The men’s team currently leads the Ozark Region with 3,585 points, while the women’s team is in fifth place.
UT Martin cowboy Ben Walker currently leads the region in the all-around. Ty Hughston is leading the region in the saddle bronc, while Tyler Waltz is currently second in the bareback riding. Matt Smith leads the bull riding, while Walker is fourth in the tie down roping. Jordan Thrasher is 60 points away from the lead in the steer wrestling.
John Alley and Ben Walker lead the team roping for headers, while Clark Adcock leads the team roping heelers.
On the women’s side, Lauren Wagner is third in the barrel racing, while Natalie Fletcher is fifth in the breakaway roping.
“It doesn’t matter how you start,” Luthi said. “It matters how you finish.”