STEPHENVILLE — For the second time in as many years, the South Plains College women's rodeo team punched their ticket to the College National Finals Rodeo as they capped off the year with a sixth-place finish Saturday at the Tarleton State University Rodeo.
The Lady Texans added 95 points to their season total and end the year second in the Southwest Region with 1,872 points, edging Weatherford College who held a 50.5 point lead for the second spot entering the weekend. Tarleton State won the women's division with 3,066 points. The Lady Texans will travel to Casper, Wyoming June 9-15 to compete for the program's first-ever national title.
"Our women's team has been playing catch up since Portales, and you don't want it to come down to the last rodeo, but that's the way it played out this year and we found a way to get it done," South Plains head coach Kerry Doster said. "We knew it was going to be tight heading into Stephenville, and we were able to go ahead of Weatherford and secure a spot at the national finals. I'm really proud of both teams, and our women's team held strong and came through at the end, and that's all you can really ask for."
Anchoring the Lady Texans throughout the year, freshman Kaytlyn Miller won the women's all-around title Saturday night with 1,147 points on the year and will represent South Plains at the CNFR in June. Miller placed fourth in barrel racing Saturday to tack on 60 points for the Lady Texans, running a 15.69 in the long round and a 15.74 in the finals, capping the event with a 31.53 average.
Freshman Elle Eagles racked up 25 points for South Plains in goat tying, running a 7.3 in the long round and a 7.5 in the finals, ending with a 14.8 overall average. Eagles would then use a 10th place finish in breakaway roping to earn 10 more points, running a 2.6 in the long round before missing in Saturday night's finals, turning in a 102.60 average.
The Texans will also be represented at the CNFR as Grady Quam won the region in team roping (header) and Hayden Cloward qualified for the national finals in team roping (header) thanks to a fourth-place finish this weekend. Paired up with teammate Hadley Cloward, the duo ran a 5.8 in the long round before missing in the finals to end the event with a 105.8 average and 80 points, ending the year third in the region with 515 points. The Texans finished eighth on the weekend with 105 points and end the year fourth in the Southwest Region with 2,990 points.