Texas Tech Meat Judging Team opens new season with victory in Fort Worth
By: George Watson
Bolstered by finishing either first or second in seven of eight categories, the Texas Tech University Meat Judging Team from the Department of Animal & Food Sciences cruised to victory over Big 12 Conference rival Kansas State University at the Southwestern Intercollegiate Meat Judging Contest in Fort Worth on Sunday (Jan. 28).
Fresh from winning its 13th national championship in the fall, Texas Tech dominated in its second competition of the spring, winning the lamb judging, specifications, total placing and reasons categories while finishing second in beef grading, beef judging and overall beef to amass 4,107 points, well ahead of the 4,042 from second-place Kansas State and 4,036 from third-place Colorado State University.
Oklahoma State University (3,992) and Texas A&M University (3,905) rounded out the top five while Angelo State University, a member of the Texas Tech University System, finished just one point behind the Aggies with 3,904 points.
"I am honored to have this special group of students represent Texas Tech in 2018," said Mark Miller, coach of the Meat Judging Team and the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo Distinguished Chair in Meat Sciences. "I am proud of their work ethic and the pride they have in representing Texas Tech to the highest standard of excellence. The team has a big heart, and they care for each other, which makes them a very close family."
Leading the way for Texas Tech was sophomore Emma Mortensen from Brush, Colorado. Mortensen finished first overall in the individual standings with 1,039 points on the strength of first-place finishes in beef grading, overall beef and specifications. Mortensen also took second in lamb judging.
Cole Bendele, a sophomore from Hondo, finished third overall with 1,035 points. He finished in the top five in five categories, led by a second-place finish in pork judging and a third in specifications. Sarah Spradlin, a sophomore from Granbury, came in fourth with 1,029 points. She, too, won three events, taking top honors in beef judging, lamb judging and reasons. Rounding out Texas Tech's top-10 individual finishers was Jessie Featherstone. The sophomore from Atascadero, California finished 10th overall with 1,004 points.
Texas Tech also claimed the top two spots in the alternate division, scoring 4,140 and 4,139 points, respectively. Koby Valentine, a sophomore from Melrose, New Mexico, was the top individual in the alternate division with 1,063 points, just ahead of teammate Dyllan Galligan, a junior from Brighton, Colorado, who totaled 1,053 points. In fact, Texas Tech claimed eight of the top 10 spots in the alternate division.
Other members of the Meat Judging Team are:
• Kyle Abernathy, a junior from Satanta, Kansas
• Zachary Buckley, a sophomore from Clovis, California
• Kade Clapper, a sophomore from Georgetown
• Eddie Davilla, a junior from Los Angeles
• Megan Eckhardt, a sophomore from New Braunfels (seventh place alternate)
• Case Hendrix, a sophomore from Greenville
• Adrian Longoria, a junior from Satanta, Kansas
• Thachary Mayer, a junior from Burlington (fifth place alternate)
• Rebecca Roe, a junior from Dunnellon, Florida
• Rafe Royall, a junior from Garden City
• Chandler Sarchet, a sophomore from Anton (eighth place alternate)
• Danielle Schainost, a senior from Yoder, Wyoming (sixth place alternate)
• Colton Smith, a senior from Kingfisher, Oklahoma (10th place alternate)
• Taylor Stubenbordt, a junior from Graham
• Taylor Swinson, a junior from Sulphur Springs
• Travis Tilton, a sophomore from Cleburne
• Courteney Walker, a junior from Roswell, New Mexico (fourth place alternate)
The Meat Judging Team opened its spring season with a fourth-place finish at the American Meat Science Association (AMSA) National Western Intercollegiate Meat Judging Contest in Greeley, Colorado. Assisting Miller in coaching the team are graduate students Clay Bendele and Erin Beyer.
CONTACT: Michael Orth, chairman, Department of Animal and Food Sciences, Texas Tech University at (806) 834-5653 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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