PORTALES, NM—South Plains College placed four athletes in the final round of the Eastern New Mexico University Rodeo on Saturday as the Lady Texans claimed their first overall team win on the year.
The Lady Texans capped off the weekend with 255 total points, nearly 60 points ahead of second place finisher Tarleton State University. Eastern New Mexico, Western Texas and Weatherford College rounded out the top five.
"We had some things that didn't go our way this weekend, but we had some things that did, and we feel fortunate to end our first week with a win," South Plains head coach Kerry Doster said. "The conditions were definitely challenging in the short round, but I was really pleased with our girls, and it's always good to get an early lead on some of those bigger schools who are always a challenge to compete against throughout the year."
South Plains was led by sophomore Alex Odle who advanced to Saturday's short round after running a 17.41 in the long round of the barrel racing event. Odle battled through inclement weather conditions to finish the night with an average time of 35.21, running a 17.80 in the short round to place first overall and finish the weekend with 175 points.
"Last season, her horse came in a little tired after running at the high school finals when she won the nation, and she has been able to rest her horse a little more and I think it really paid off for her," Doster said. "I'm really proud of her and the way she was able to run this weekend, and I just hope we can keep everyone healthy and do it again next week."
Sophomore Jenna Dallyn earned a spot in the final round of the breakaway roping event following a long round time of 3.2. Despite breaking the barrier in the short round, Dallyn was able to place sixth overall and ended the event with 25 points. Dallyn also earned a spot in the short round of the goat tying event after winning the long round with a time of 7.9. Dallyn totaled 55 points following a run of 19.4 in the short round to earn a ninth place overall finish and claim the ENMU women's overall title.
"Jenna is really starting to settle in, and I'm really looking forward to what she's going to do this season," Doster said. "She ran the fastest time during the long round with a 7.9, and I'm really proud of what she was able to do this weekend."
Zack Kirkpatrick represented the Texans in the final round of the tiedown roping event after running a 10.5 in the long round, the seventh fastest time overall. Kirkpatrick was tested in the final round, ending the night with an average time of 110.5 to earn a ninth place overall finish.
"I have been really pleased with his progression over the last year, and we definitely expect a lot out of him this season," Doster said. "His calf kind of got in the mud and wasn't going to get up, so there wasn't a whole lot he could do in that situation. But, to go in there and beat 120 others and find your way into the top 10 is definitely something to be proud of and something we can look to build off of."
South Plains' Cody Huwa paired with Taylor Schmidt of Weatherford College in the team roping event. The duo ran the third fastest time in the long round with a 6.9 to earn a spot in the finals where they would go on to place eighth overall with an average time of 106.9
The Texans were unable to score on Saturday but will get another opportunity when South Plains travels to Vernon, TX for the Vernon College Rodeo on Sept. 28-30.