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Texas Tech Judging Teams Shine at Denver’s National Western Stock Show

Texas Tech Judging Teams Shine at Denver’s National Western Stock Show

Texas Tech’s judging teams scored two first place wins and a second place showing last week at the National Western Stock Show in Denver. “These teams show the balance and strength of the program we’re building at Texas Tech, said Mark Miller, Tech’s San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo Distinguished Chair in Meat Science. “They’re a hard working group that truly understands the value of teamwork.”

In its 107th year, the 16-day National Western Stock Show features judging contests, rodeos, horse shows and Colorado’s largest tradeshow. Attendance is normally more than 600,000.

Livestock Judging

In livestock judging, Texas Tech won the overall title by five points over Oklahoma State. Kansas State, Colorado State and the University of Nebraska completed the top-five teams. Three of the top-ten individuals were members of Tech’s team. The team is coached by Tech Assistant Professor Ryan Rathmann and graduate student Brady Ragland.

Team members include:

  • Caetlyn Avant, a junior from Copeville
  • Dan Crownover, a junior from Italy
  • Blake Davis, a junior from Paragould, Ark.
  • Lane Halfmann, a junior from Garden City
  • Bo Hutto, a junior from Hondo
  • Emily Jackson, a junior from Waco; (tenth high individual)
  • Valerie Manning, a junior from Mabank
  • Tanner Martin, a junior from Roscoe
  • Logan Mason, a junior from Lazbuddie
  • Kaitlyn Meyer, a junior from Temple
  • Kevin Murnin, a junior from Miles City, Mont.
  • Stephanie Neuhaus, a junior from Dora, NM
  • Jordan Richburg, a junior from Deltona, Fla.; (high individual)
  • Nick Rieke, a junior from LaOtto, Ind.; (ninth high individual)
  • Matt Savage, a junior from Seminole
  • Isaac Wenzel, a junior from Hamilton

Meat Judging

In meat evaluation Texas Tech had a 10-point victory, winning the beef judging, overall beef and specifications divisions. Teams from Texas A&M, Oklahoma State, Angelo State and the University of Wyoming completed the top-five teams.

Team members are:

  • Brittany Blum, a sophomore from Howe
  • Colton Campbell, a sophomore from Artesia, NM
  • Kylan Carson, a sophomore from Olton
  • Taelar Childers, a sophomore from Nevada
  • Colton Coker, a sophomore from Roby, (tied for tenth high individual)
  • Aaron Faulkner, a junior from Lenapah, Okla.
  • Trey Garza, a sophomore from Edinburg
  • Nick Hardcastle, a junior from Wheeler
  • Greg Howard, a junior from Bremen, Kan.
  • Mallory Jones, a sophomore from Anson
  • Kirby Kennedy, a sophomore from Lampasas
  • Kristen Knight, a sophomore from Shallowater
  • Clayton Krause, a junior from New Braunfels
  • Austin Langemeier, a sophomore from Marion, (ninth high individual)
  • Jacob Mikel, a junior from Vicky, Mo.
  • Tyler Nueman, a sophomore from Hondo
  • Kassandra Ognoskie, a sophomore from Orting, Wash.
  • Bailey Joe Pennington, a sophomore from Sonora
  • Luke Sellers, a junior from Denver City
  • Christy Woerner, a sophomore from Fredericksburg, (third high individual)
  • William Wunderlich, a sophomore from Fredericksburg

The 21-member team had three individuals in the top-ten overall and eight of the top-ten overall in the alternate division. The team is coached by Miller, who is assisted by graduate student Loni Woolley.

Wool Judging

In the wool judging competition, Texas Tech’s two teams finished second and third overall. They were narrowly defeated by South Dakota State. Colorado State and Texas A&M rounded out the top-five overall. Individually, three Tech team members finished in the top-ten overall, and the top three individuals in the alternate division were also from Texas Tech.

Team members include:

  • Victoria Andrews, a freshman from Pflugerville
  • Drew Dunlap, a freshman from Plainview
  • SyAnn Foster, a freshman from Lockney; (third in the alternate division)
  • Colton Fritz, a freshman from Fredericksburg; (second high individual)
  • Reggie Halfmann, a freshman from Garden City; (fourth high individual)
  • Cade Hall, a freshman from Artesia, NM
  • Deshea Hanagan, a freshman from Artesia, NM
  • Garrett Lam, a freshman from Burkburnett; (second in the alternate division)
  • Laramie Priest, a freshman from Lorena; (third high individual
  • Taylor Shackelford, a freshman from Gunter
  • Taylor Stockton, a freshman from Lubbock
  • Hayden Thorp, a freshman from Mertzon
  • Chad Vander Linden, a sophomore from Muscatine, Iowa; (won alternate division)
  • Calvin Welper, a freshman from Shallowater
  • Tylee Jo Williams, a freshman from Memphis

The team is coached by instructor Aaron Jennings, and is assisted by undergraduates Brittany Thompson and Travis Begley.

Reporting by Moriah Beyers

CONTACT: Leslie Thompson, chairman and professor, Department of Animal and Food Sciences, Texas Tech University at 806-742-2805, ext 224 or



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