VERNON, Texas - The South Plains College Texan and Lady Texan rodeo teams advanced seven athletes to the final of six events this weekend at the Vernon College rodeo to turn in yet another strong showing. Tyke Kipp, Kory McLaughlin, Russell Schilling, Blake Gagnon, Ty Willick, Jessie Kate Cole, and Kelli Kindig each advanced to the short round in their respective events.
Gagnon followed his 4.9 second long round performance, which was sixth best heading into the final, with a 4.6 second performance in the short round. His time in the final was third best in the round and also bumped him up to third in the average to earn 90 championship points. His teammate, Willick, was not far behind finishing with the seventh best time of the long round in 5.0 seconds, good for seventh best. Willick then finished with the sixth best time of 6.3 seconds in the short round and tied for sixth overall in the average to earn 15 championship points.
After three rodeos Gagnon and Willick are now ninth and 10th in the Southwest Region, respectively.
Russell Schilling's first round time of 9.2 seconds was good for a three-way tie for third best heading into the final of the tie-down roping. Schilling struggled to a time of 14.5 seconds in the short round and fell to seventh in the average, finishing with 30 championship points.
Kory McLaughlin rode to a first round score of 76 in bull riding. The score was the third best, earning 40 championship points. McLaughlin did not record a score in Saturday's short round and he dropped to eighth in the average. McLaughlin is now 12th in the latest Southwest Region standings.
In the Saddlebronc, freshman Tyke Kipp rode to a first round score of 66, good for seventh and a spot in the short round. Like McLaughlin, Kipp did not record a score and fell to ninth in the average.
Jessie Kate Cole moved into the top 15 of the Southwest Region standings in barrel racing after her performances in Vernon. In the first round, Cole tied for eighth with a time of 17.41 seconds to advance. She then sped to a time of 17.29 seconds in Saturday's final to finish fourth, earning 30 points. Her short round performance moved her to sixth overall, earning 10 more points for a total of 40. She is now tied for 15th in the Southwest Region standings.
Sophomore Kelli Kindig advanced to Saturday's final round after her time of 9.1 seconds earned her a tie for seventh. Kindig was unable to record a time in the final.
Other SPC athletes sitting inside the top 15 of the Southwest Region standings are J.T. Pettitt and Sarah Walker. Pettitt is ninth overall in bull riding with 80 points, while Walker is 12th in goat tying with 60 points.
The SPC Texan and Lady Texan athletes will attempt to improve their standings this weekend, October 13-15 when they compete in the Frank Phillips College rodeo in Perryton.