Matt Thomas, Sports Information Director
DURANT – Southeastern made its shortest trip of the season, to the Durant Riding Club Arena on South Ninth Street to host its home rodeo, the first outdoor event of the season, and watched several individuals post top-three finishes for the weekend.
The competition kicked off Thursday night, where bareback rider Dylan Riggins posted a score of 71 on his first bareback horse, giving him a 2nd place finish in the first round of competition. He followed that up with a 74 on his second, earning him him a 3rd place finish for the round. His combined average score of 130 also placed him third for the weekend.
Riggins performance has moved him to fourth regionally among bareback riders.
The Savage Storm had a pair of finals qualifiers in the breakaway roping in Mataya Eklund and Kaycee Hollingback. Eklund stopped the clock with a 3.1 on her first run which brought her back in 8th position, while Hollingback edged her with a 2.9, bringing her back in 7th position.
Hollingback would toss a 2.3 in her encore performance, splitting 12t/2nd in the short-go round and giving her a second place finish in the average for the weekend. Meanwhile, Eklund had some tough luck in the short go, leaving with a no time.
Hollingback used the weekend finish to move up to fourth place among Central Plains Region breakaway ropers.
A trio of SE cowboys earned appearances in the finals of the steer wrestling event, with Holden Myers pacing that group after a first run of 4.0 placed him third in the round. Tori Huffman and Gus Franzen each posted opening runs of 4.7, splitting 8th/9th/10th and earning a trip to the finals.
Once there, Franzen clocked his fastest time of the weekend with a 4.3 which split 2nd/3rd in the round, and a 3rd/4th split in the average. Myers posted a 4.8 in the finals which was good for a 4th/5th split in the round, but his 8.8 combined time held up for a second-place finish overall in the average. Huffman had the toughest steer in the finals and his time suffered for it, clocking a 10.6 to finish sixth in the round and sixth in the average.
Franzen was able to use his performance to rank third regionally in the steer wrestling, while Myers improved his position to seventh.
Katelyn Hobbie continued her barrel racing run over the weekend, opening her event with a 16.58 placing 2nd in the long rd. She followed up that performance by improving her time in the short-go to a 16.46. Her average time of 33.04 good enough to win the barrel racing for the weekend.
With her performance on the weekend, Hobbie is the Central Plains Region leader in barrel racing.
Southeastern women had their best all-around team effort in the goat tying where they returned three qualifiers to the short-go. Cara Hilzendeger posted an 8.1 run on her first goat which held up for a second-place finish in the round. Martie Shockley opened her competition with an 8.5 in the long go round, splitting 6th/7th. Bailey Wittrounded out the Storm qualifiers with a run of 8.6 to split 9th/10th.
In the finals, Hilzendeger dropped an 8.9 which was good for third in the round, but held up with her first time to finish second in the average. Witt would come back with a 10.8 in the finals which ranked sixth in the short-go and moved her to seventh in the average. Shockley had the toughest finals outing, clocking an 11.2 on Saturday night which moved her to an eighth place finish in the average for the weekend.
The weekend effort moved Hilzendeger to first-place regionally, while Witt ranks sixth, Shockley seventh, and Cierra Doyal is in eighth.
The combined efforts for the weekend have Southeastern’s women’s team ranked first regionally after three events, while the men are ranked third.