TATUM — The Panola College rodeo team may be the defending college national champions, but the rest of the Southern Region didn’t allow the Ponies a chance to bask in the glory at home to start off the new season.

Sam Houston State posted the best score of the weekend, while the Ponies finished eighth overall at the Panola College Rodeo last Friday and Saturday at the Bar None Cowboy Church Arena.

The Bearkats finished with 528 points, followed by Hill College with 494.5, McNeese State with 459, Texas A&M-Commerce at 397, Northeast Texas Community College at 340, Trinity Valley with 265, Wharton County at 217.5 and Panola with 195.

In the women’s team standings the Fillies finished sixth with 45. Texas A&M-Commerce won the event with 485 points, followed by McNeese State with 321, Sam Houston State with 135.83, Wharton College with 91 points and Texas A&M with 88.

The highest finish by a Panola cowboy came from Chase E. Runfola of Gainesville, New York, who finished first in bull riding with an 83, easily outdistancing the second-place finisher.

The Panola men also got a third-place finish from Logan Cook of Alto in saddle bronc with a score of 73.

Clayton Lowry of Wills Point was the only other PC cowboy to finish in the money as he was fourth in team roping (heeler).

Ryan Nettle of NCTC won the all-around title for the men with 158 points.

The Panola County Fillies had three cowgirls finish in the money, led by Jadyn Gould of Lufkin in the breakaway roping, where she was fifth in 2.5 seconds.

Two Fillies finished in the top 10 in barrel racing as McKynzie Bush of Center was sixth in 16.38, followed by Abbie Muckelroy, also of Center, at eighth in 16.65.

Whitley Faith Whitehead of Texas A&M-Commerce was the all-around champ for the girls with a whopping 205 points.

The Southern Region rodeo schedule for the rest of the semester has a rodeo this weekend at Southwest Texas Junior College; on Oct. 18-19 at Northeast Texas Community College; on Nov. 1-2 at McNeese State; and Nov. 8-9 at Sam Houston State.

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