Texas Tech Teams Sweep Judging Competitions in Houston

Three Texas Tech University judging teams placed first in their respective divisions, defeating hundreds of contestants representing universities from across the nation at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.

Texas Tech University’s livestock, meat and wool judging teams completed spring with a sweep of intercollegiate judging competitions at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.

The three teams placed first in their respective divisions, defeating hundreds of contestants representing universities from across the nation.

"This year’s triple win shows the balance and strength of the program we are building at Texas Tech," said Mark Miller, professor and San Antonio Livestock Show Distinguished Chair in Meat Science. "These wins are a culmination of the hard work and dedication of the kids and coaches who represent Texas Tech."

In the livestock judging contest, Texas Tech outdistanced the competition by 117 points and secured the overall title. The team also claimed first place in the cattle, sheep, swine, placing and reasons divisions. Texas A&M University, Oklahoma State University, Iowa State University and Colorado State University completed the five top teams.

Five of the show’s top-ten individual competitors, including Bryan Bernhard, who earned the high individual ranking, were members of Texas Tech’s team.

The team is coached by Ryan Rathmann and Jon DeClerck and is comprised of the following members: Marcus Arnold, Bryan Bernhard, Jennifer Blackburn, Josh Campbell, Judd Gardner, Zach Gilbert, Colton Long, Aaron Renfroe, Gered Smith, Chance Van Dyke, Micah Walker, Troy Walker and Chance Williams.

In the meat evaluation contest, Texas Tech enjoyed a 20-point victory. This year’s win marks Texas Tech’s fourth consecutive championship at the Houston competition. Teams from Colorado State University and Texas A&M University completed the top-five teams.

Texas Tech’s Ben Estes received second high individual honors. Top-10 honors also were awarded to Tyler Cowie and Shanna Ward, who finished fifth and ninth overall, respectively. The team is coached by graduate students Jesse Collins and Justin Derington and supervised by Miller. Team Members include: Paden Daniels, Shayna Dunlap, Matthew Morales, Trevor Thompson, Heather Veltri, Ward, Cowie and Estes.

In the wool judging competition, Texas Tech narrowly defeated Angelo State University by a four-point margin. The competition was tight, as only 21 points separated the contest’s five top teams.

Four of the Texas Tech wool team members finished with top-10 individual rankings. Graduate students L.J. Ashorn and Katie Leigh coached the 16-member team comprised of the following students: Matt Bruton, Sarah Calhoun, Adam Copeland, Collin Corbin, Kelsey Fletcher, Cade Halfmann, Kelly Hutton, Meagan Igo, Kaleigh Janota, Craig Leonard, Abby Long, Josh McCann, Jett Mason, Brandon O’Quinn, Abby Probst and Suzanne Watson.

CONTACT: Kayla Rathmann, coordinator of student and alumni programs, Department of Animal and Food Sciences, Texas Tech University, (806) 742-2805 ext. 248, or Kayla.rathmann@ttu.edu