MARTIN, Tenn. – Coming off a national No. 10 ranking last season, the University of Tennessee at Martin men’s rodeo team wasted little time making an impact in 2013-14, winning the Missouri Valley College rodeo by 180 points in the season-opener.
UT Martin’s men compiled 760 points to edge host Missouri Valley College, who tallied 580 points.
In calf roping, Lane Mitchell split third and fourth in the average (20.2) after fourth-place finishes in the first go (9.7) and in the short go (10.5). Will Lummus placed third in the short go with a score of 11.4, finishing sixth in the average (21) while Jacob Dagenhart also placed sixth in average (20.8) after he finished first in the first go (8.8) and sixth in the short go (12).
Kaytlyn Franklin (9.2, fourth in average) and Meredith McDonnell (16, fifth in average) represented the UT Martin women’s team in breakaway roping. Franklin was fourth in the short go (5) while McDonnell secured fourth place in the first go (2.9) and fifth place in the short go (13.1).
UT Martin boasted the top three finishers in steer wrestling. Dagenhart was first in the average (10.7) after splitting fifth and sixth in the first go (6) and splitting first and second in the short go (4.7). Lummus finished second with an 11.3 average after splitting first and second in the short go with a score of 4.7. Austin Duckett placed third in the average (11.5) after a second-place finish in the first go (4.6) and a fourth-place finish in the short go (6.9). Clay Brewer also produced an outstanding showing early, taking first place after the first go with a score of 4.2.
In team roping event, Clay and Lane Mitchell accounted for a second-place finish in average (14.5) after they split sixth in the first go (7.4) and claimed first-place honors in the short go (7.1). Dagenhart teamed with Southern Arkansas’ Kelly Beahm to capture sixth with a 6.5 on 1 average after a 6.5 performance in the first go. Cody Inman also joined forces with Troy’s Nelson Wyatt to split third and fourth in the first go (7.2).
Kayla Baier turned third-place performances in the first go (14.02) and short go (14.19) into a No. 3 finish (28.21) in barrel racing. Mary Francis Gorsuch (28.28 average, fourth) split fourth and fifth in the first go (14.1) before following that up with a second-place finish in the short go (14.18). Also representing UT Martin in the event was Nealey Dalton, who tallied a 14.1 while splitting fourth and fifth place in the first go.
Matt Smith put the finishing touches on UT Martin’s successful weekend, finishing third in the average (75) in bull riding after posting the same score in the first go.
UT Martin resumes action on Oct. 3-5 when it makes the short trip to Murray State.