Texas Tech University

Meat Judging Team Captures Third Straight American Royal Crown

George Watson

October 20, 2017

Meat Judging

It is the second victory of the fall season for the Meat Judging Team.

Meat Judging

The Texas Tech University Meat Judging Team in the Department of Animal & Food Sciences won six of eight categories en route to its third straight overall team victory at the American Royal Meat Judging Contest held Sunday in Omaha, Nebraska.

Texas Tech outpaced second-place Colorado State University, third-place Texas A&M University and three Big 12 Conference schools to earn its second victory of the fall season. Texas Tech finished with 4,196 points, beating Colorado State by 39 points. Texas A&M totaled 4,099 points followed by Oklahoma State University (4,076), Kansas State University (4,017) and Iowa State University (3,981).

Angelo State University, a part of the Texas Tech University System, finished 12th with 3,855 points.

Texas Tech took first place in the overall beef, beef judging, beef grading, lamb judging, pork judging and reasons categories while finishing second in total placing and third in specifications. The team scored 899 points in the reasons category, setting a new record for the highest team reasons total ever scored in any competition.

"The students have a great work ethic and a commitment to excellence," said Mark Miller, coach of the Meat Judging Team and the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo Distinguished Chair in Meat Sciences. "I am extremely proud of them as they exhibited a lot of heart in overcoming some major adversity and some big obstacles."

Texas Tech's strong showing also came thanks to some top individual performances.

Maddy Ainsley, a junior from Hondo, was Texas Tech's top individual competitor, finishing third with 1,062 points. Ainsley placed in the top five in seven of the nine categories, including second place in lamb judging and reasons and third place in overall beef and beef judging.

Just six points behind Ainsley was Kaylee Martin in fourth with 1,056 points. Martin, a junior from Roscoe, placed in the top five in six of nine categories, including first place in reasons, second place in beef judging and third place in pork judging. Martin's reasons score of 231 set a new record for the highest individual reasons total ever scored in any competition.

Ben Mills, a junior from Shallowater, finished in fifth place, also with 1,056 points. He finished in the top five in five of nine categories, with a first-place finish in beef judging, second in overall beef and third in beef grading.

In the alternate category, Texas Tech swept the top six individual spots. Sam Spradlin, a junior from Granbury, took first place with 837 points.

Other members of the meat judging team are:

  • Jordan Bachler, a junior from Florence, Texas (fourth high alternate)
  • Legrand Bouyi, a senior from Brazzaville, The Republic of Congo (second high alternate)
  • Dean Chapman a junior from Sweetwater (third high alternate)
  • Kenna Faulkenberry, a senior from Stephenville
  • DeLaney Hanagan, a junior from Artesia, New Mexico (sixth high alternate)
  • Kyle Mahagan, a senior from Plainview (fifth high alternate)
  • April Molitor, a junior from Hondo (13th high individual overall)

Instructor Loni Lucherk and graduate students Nick Hardcastle, Clay Bendele and Erin Beyer serve as coaches for the team.

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