ATHENS — Led by a strong performance by Clayton Lowry in team roping, the defending college National Champion Panola College Ponies picked up second place to open the Spring semester at the Trinity Valley Community College Rodeo.

The Ponies also got wins in bullriding and saddlebronc, while picking up points in bareback riding, goat tying and breakaway roping.

Lowry, from Wills Point, and his partner showed out as they won the team roping by sweeping the long go, the short go and the average. Logan Cook, of Alto, took the saddlebronc trophy; and Micheal Deshotel, of Cleveland, took home the belt buckle for the bullriding.

Clayton and his partner from Hill College roped a 5.9 in the long and a 7.1 in the short. Clayton roped in the points and it is paying off; he is now siting first in the Southern Conference standings as he chases that return trip to the College National Finals.

In the saddle bronc, Cook won again as he solidified his rankings in the top of the conference and is looking for his fourth trip back to the CNFR. Panola had two other teammates place in the saddle bronc. Michael Womack, of Bastrop, Louisiana, was fourth in the long go which moved him to sixth in the standings, and Garret Golliher, of Stoutland, Missouri, was sixth in the long go.

Desthotel took home the belt buckle as he scored a 76 in the finals to get the win. His teammate Chase Runfola was the only other cowboy to cover a bull in the finals and finished second in the bullriding.

The Ponies found more points for the team in the bareback riding with Isaac Ingram, of Basile, Louisiana, taking third place.

Panola also had some girls show up and show out in the goat tying and breakaway roping.

Maison Davis, of Kilgore, tied her goat in 7.1 seconds to split 8th/9th in the long go. Sadly, Maison was down on her luck in the short go with an 8.2 second run. Kat Mackenzie, of Grand Prairie, was ready to rope in the long go with a 2.1 on her calf. Her sharp roping had her split 2nd/3rd. Regrettably, Kat missed her short go calf.

The Panola team will return to action Feb. 21-22 in Sulphur Springs at the Texas A&M Commerce Rodeo.

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