Judgers Division Champs at the NAILE

IMG_0918-editBy Alicia Castaneda

The Connors State College sophomore livestock judging team members made their intentions clear for the rest of the year during the North American International Livestock Exposition, Nov. 20 in Louisville, Ky. Connors won the swine contest with a score of 1434, earned fourth in the reasons division, ninth in cattle and 10th in sheep, while placing eighth overall and falling short of the champion team by a mere 69 points.

“We were happy with the improvement our team members showed since the last contest,” said Chase Reed, assistant coach. “Our final placing in the contest is really deceptive relative to how close we actually were . . . we were definitely within striking distance.”The team members, all raised with cattle backgrounds, exceeded expectations and racked up hardware in the hog contest. CSC earned first place by three points, while Kaitlin Pritchett took second individually.

“Our team has had a slow start this year, but I think Louisville marked a turning point for us,” said Pritchett, an animal science major from Kingfisher. “We may not be close to where we would like to be, but it is a good start. Winning the swine division was a huge accomplishment and has us excited about the upcoming Denver contest.”Connors was well-represented in Louisville by Pritchett. Just missing the gold by one point in the swine division, she placed tenth overall individually with a score of 951. Furthermore, Pritchett and Dirk Murphy, agriculture major from Kiowa, Colo., both ranked top 20 individually in the reasons division.

“This proves to us that hard work and commitment will lead to success,” said Michael Buckley, agriculture major from Collins, Miss. “I am anxious to see how the rest of our season turns out and we can only hope to be blessed with future successes.”A score of 289 earned Buckley 10th in the swine division.

“It was great seeing the team members’ hard work come to fruition; and although our final rankings may not have been our ultimate goal, we showed signs of a championship team in many aspects,” said Blake Nelson, head judging coach. “We are very excited and will carry this momentum through our practices in preparation for Denver.”Sophomore team members include: Pritchett, Murphy, and Buckley; Whitney Andras, Checotah; Zakary Laubach, Woodward; Tucker Malotte, Pryor; Kaitlyn Merriman, Allen; Kolton Moore, Cave City, Ark.; Megan Skiles, Bowie, Ariz.; and Bryson Williams, Earth, Texas.