PORTALES — The South Plains College men's and women's rodeo teams capped off their first rodeo of the season on Saturday as they combined to place eight competitors in the finals of the Eastern New Mexico University Rodeo at the Lewis Cooper Rodeo Arena.
In his first rodeo for South Plains, freshman Cooper Bennett used a score of 74 in the finals to win the bareback riding event. Bennett also scored a 74 in the long round, picking up 160 points for the Texans who finished fifth overall over the weekend with 260 points.
South Plains' Britton Bedke and Hayden Cloward wrestled their way into the finals in tiedown roping as Bedke would end up fourth overall with 110 points including an 18.8 average following a 9.7 run in the long round followed by a 9.1 in the finals. Cloward qualified for the short round with a 10.7 run in the long round but was unable to score in the finals, ending the rodeo ninth overall.
Freshman Dawson Stewart earned a fifth place overall finish in his first rodeo for the Texans in steer wrestling, capping off the weekend with 50 points thanks to a 5.3 run in the long round, topped by a 4.8 in the finals to finish with a 10.1 average. Sophomore Cody Huwa teamed up with New Mexico Junior College' Luke Skocdopole in team roping as the duo took fourth with a 13.6 average including a 5.1 run in the finals.
Calgary, Alberta Canada native Grady Quam made the most of his first rodeo for South Plains as he paired up with Cisco's Paden Bray to place fifth in team roping, ending the weekend with 50 points thanks to a 6.9 run in the long round capped with an 8.6 in the finals, finishing with a 15.5 average. Sophomore Stefan Ramone also earned a spot in the short round, teaming up with former South Plains standout and current Tarleton State University cowboy Jhett Trenary as the two finished seventh with an overall average of 105.7 after missing in the finals.
Freshman Elle Eagles represented the Lady Texans, who finished ninth overall, in the finals Saturday night as she placed eighth in goat tying with 15 points. Eagles turned in a long round time of 8.2 which she followed up with a 9.7 in the short round to end the weekend with a 17.9 average. Eagles also advanced to the finals in barrel racing after running a 17.97 in the long round. Eagles clipped two barrels in the finals as she ran a 28.56 to end the weekend with an average of 46.53, good enough for 10th overall.
Tarleton won the women's division with 340 points, followed by Weatherford College and North Central Texas College. Clarendon won the men's division with 345 points, followed by Tarleton State and New Mexico Junior College.
South Plains will return to the arena next weekend in Alpine at the Sul Ross State University Rodeo Sept. 27-29, followed by a trip to Vernon Oct. 4-6 for the Vernon College Rodeo.