Texas Tech University

Livestock, Wool Judging Teams Wrap up Spring Season

George Watson

April 15, 2016

Livestock Team

The livestock judging team has won the Houston Stock Show event four of the last five years.

2016 Livestock Team - San Antonio
2016 Livestock Team
San Antonio

The Texas Tech Livestock and Wool Judging teams wrapped up a strong spring season with solid performances at the Houston and San Antonio stock shows.

The livestock team took first place at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Intercollegiate Livestock Judging Contest on March 14. Texas Tech outpaced Big 12 Conference rivals Oklahoma State University (second) and Kansas State University (fourth) as well as former conference foe Texas A&M University (third).

“We had a very strong spring winning both Fort Worth and Houston,” said Ryan Rathmann, the team's coach and an associate professor in the Department of Animal and Food Sciences. “I am extremely proud of the young men and women on the team. They have worked extremely hard and represented Texas Tech with class.”

Ryan Rathmann

Individually, Zane Webster, a junior from San Simon, Arizona, led four Texas Tech competitors who finished in the top 10. Webster took second with 939 points; followed by Jonathan Nieman, a junior from New Home, in third (936); Chama Martin, a junior from Mason, in fourth (933); and Brody Halfmann, a junior from Garden City, in seventh (927).

Halfmann also took first place in cattle judging while Nieman captured top honors in swine judging.

The livestock team also had a strong showing at the San Antonio Livestock Exposition Collegiate Livestock Contest, coming in third with 4,603 points.

Gabe Jennings, a junior from Fredonia, led the Texas Tech contingent with a first-place finish, racking up 952 points and followed closely by Martin in second place with 949. MacLaine Shults, a junior from Meeker, Colorado, finished seventh with 945 points.

Webster also finished first in goat judging, and Jennings took first in swine.

Other members of the livestock judging team are:

  • Dakota Crissman, a junior from Bells
  • L.J. Young, a junior from Pendleton, Indiana
  • Austin Adams, a junior from Hedley

The livestock team is assisted by doctoral student Jon DeClerck.

“We have had a pretty good run in Texas contests winning 10 out of the last 11 contests over the last several years,” Rathmann said. “Specifically we have won Houston the last four consecutive years and five out of the last six. I look forward to the fall and fully expect them to be in the hunt for a national championship.”

The Texas Tech Wool Judging team also had a strong showing in the spring, winning two of the three contests in which it competed.

The wool team finished the semester with five of its eight team members being named All-American – Brooke Blum, a freshman from Howe; Ivie-Kate Mynatt, a freshman from Eldorado; April Molitor, a freshman from Hondo; Clay Braden, a freshman from Wall; and Ben Mills, a freshman from Shallowater.

Other team members include:

  • Kaylee Martin, a freshman from Roscoe
  • Dean Chapman, a freshman from Sweetwater
  • Cole Bradford, a freshman from Shallowater
  • DeLaney Hanagan, a freshman from Artesia, New Mexico
  • Sam Spradlin, a freshman from Granbury
  • Ryder Mata, a freshman from Seminole
  • Matthew Huston, a sophomore from Gainesville
  • Kyle Mahagan, a sophomore from Plainview
Sam Jackson

Sam Jackson, an associate professor in the Texas Tech University Department of Animal and Food Sciences, serves as the wool judging team's adviser.

The team is coached by graduate student Dan Crownover from Italy; Colton Fritz, a senior from Fredericksburg; Gabe Jennings, a junior from Mason; Bryce Winfrey, a junior from Seminole; and Breanne Burner, a sophomore from Grape Creek.