MIAMI — Members of the Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College rodeo team turned in several top-five finishes at the Kansas State University Rodeo on Feb. 16 in Manhattan, Kansas.

This was the first rodeo of the spring season for NEO and riders competed against schools in the Central Plains Region of the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association.

Leading the women’s team in points was sophomore Sage Keener with a second place finished in goat tying.

The freshman from Whitesboro, Texas, also earned a top-10 finish at the Stillwater rodeo in the fall.

With five rodeos left on the schedule, Keener will have several opportunities to improve her times, finishing less than a second off the top spot in Manhattan.

On the men’s team, team ropers Dalton Fuhrman and Hunter Reed pulled out a third place finish at the Kansas State event.

Placing just one-tenth of a second off second place, the freshmen from Bronson, Kansas, and Potosi, Missouri, respectively look to develop their technique and crack into the top spot.

Sophomore Joshua Pool from Fairland also earned a top-10 finish, taking sixth in the tie-down roping.

NEO Rodeo will travel to five more spring events: Fort Scott Community College on March 9-11, Garden City Community College, April 6-8; Southwest Oklahoma State University, April 12-14; Fort Hays (Kansas) State University, April 20-22, and Oklahoma Panhandle State University, April 26-28.

Along with individual rodeo successes, several NEO riders are looking to the College National Finals Rodeo (CNFR), held in Casper, Wyoming each year.

Set for June 10-16, the CNFR showcases the top college talent in the nation. NEO has five riders aiming to compete, with Ben Piazza sitting third overall in the tie-down roping standings, Steven Richmond sitting sixth in steer wrestling, Ethan Griffin and Brady Hagler at second in team roping, and Amber Scales currently in seventh among barrel racers.

“We had a great weekend at the K State rodeo,” said NEO head coach Kolby Ungeheuer. “The best thing that happened is we put three more students in great shape to try to qualify for this year’s CNFR with the final half of the season to come.

“I’m very proud of all of our NEO rodeo team members for all the hard work they have put in to prepare for the tough spring season.”