Rodeo team delivers solid performance at Texas A&M Commerce event

Rodeo team delivers solid performance at Texas A&M Commerce event

The Southwest Texas Junior College Rodeo Team delivered another stellar performance at the Texas A&M Commerce contest in Sulphur Springs, TX on Feb. 21 and 22.

After two heated rounds of fierce competition freshman heeler Jace Frerck of Bozeman, Montana snagged the Champion Team Roping title and sophomore Paige Dawson of Burton was the Reserve Champion Goat Tyer.

Frerck won both rounds and the average in the Team Roping. He and his partner were 5.1 seconds in the first round and 5.4 seconds in the short round. The win moves Frerck back into the third place slot of the regional standings and puts him within 90 points of the lead.

“Jace is one of the best young heelers I have ever seen,” said rodeo coach Joey Almand. “We are really blessed to have him on our team. The goal is to finish strong and hopefully get him to Casper for the CNFR. We need his header to keep catching and turning steers for him. He’s definitely good enough to go, so we just need to have a little luck in these last three events.”

In goat tying, Dawson split first and second in the first round with a rapid 6.6 second run, fourth in round two with a 6.8 and wound-up second in the average. Dawson also advanced to the championship round in the barrel racing event and finished fifth overall for the weekend. Her performance in the two events over the weekend landed her second in the rodeo’s Women’s All-Around contest. Dawson also moved back into third place in the regional standings in the goat tying.

“I’m so proud of Paige. She’s one of the most consistent goat tyers I have ever seen,” said coach Almand. “Our region’s goat tying is maybe the toughest in the nation. Paige did exactly what she needed to do last weekend. She needed to keep gathering points and putting distance between her and the girls chasing her, and she delivered in a big way. I couldn’t be happier with her effort.”

All-Around Cowboy Tyler West, of Mertzon finished fifth in team roping which moved him into second place in the regional all-around cowboy race. New Mexico cowgirl Haley Kiehne finished ninth overall in the breakaway roping and slipped to fourth in the region by only 5.50 points.

The SWTJC Rodeo team is solid in the regional team roping standings. With Frerck sitting third, Reno Stoebner sitting fourth, West in fifth and Chase Ruhnke, Sawyer Patterson and Sterling Bronstad all inside the top 20, the chances are strong for a possible CNFR qualification.

“Here at the end of the season it normally turns into a real fight getting to the CNFR,” said coach Almand. “We have about five team members with a legitimate shot of making it as it stands right now, but so much can change. The top tier of contestants in our region are aggressive and dialed-in at this point. The next three events are pretty nerve racking for me --and our team members. Our goal is to just keep chipping away and hopefully when the dust settles, we have some CNFR qualifiers.”

The SWTJC Cowboys have three more contests to round out the 2019-2020 season. They travel to Texas A&M at College Station March 13-14, Hill College April 3-4 and Wharton County Junior College April 17-18.