Texas Tech women prevail as NIRA regional rodeo champions
The Texas Tech University Women’s Rodeo Team overwhelmed ropers and riders from 16 other universities April 24-26 at the final spring rodeo for the Southwest Region of the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association held at Stephenville’s Lone Star Arena.
At the end of the day, the Raider women rode away with the regional championship title, along with an award plaque featuring team members and several championship saddles.
“We are pretty proud of these pretty women,” Texas Tech coach Chris Guay said. “They did pretty dang good.”
Now, four women from the Tech team will represent the university June 15-21 at the College National Finals Rodeo in Casper, Wyo.
Team members advancing to nationals are:
• Senior Romany Gordon, an agricultural business/equestrian major from Castle Rock, Colo.; barrel racing
• Junior Kelsy Friskup, an agribusiness major from Muleshoe; breakaway calf roping
• Senior Tiana Thornton, an animal science major from San Angelo; barrel racing
• Senior Heather Turner, a nursing major from Cochrane, Alberta (Canada); goat tying
• Freshman Courtney Rankin, an animal and food sciences major from Tuscola; barrel racing, who will serve as an alternate.
Separately, Jake Brown, an agricultural economics major from Stephenville, took the regional championship header title in the team roping event. He will compete for an individual men’s championship at nationals with roping partner Jaytin McCright of Clarendon College.
Guay, who is assisted in his coaching duties by Phillip Barnes, said the top two teams in each of the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association’s 11 geographical regions advance to the national championships.
Written by Norman Martin