T-Bird Team Roper Earns Top Honors at USU Collegiate Rodeo

SUU Roper

Southern Utah University senior rodeo team member Casey Thomas took home the top spot in the team roping event at the Utah State University collegiate rodeo on Sept. 25-26.

Thomas teamed up with Snow College rodeo member Joa Victor Oliveira Miranda. The duo bested the field by making the fastest times in both the preliminary and championship rounds.

After the two runs, the pair ended up with a combined time of 15.6 seconds. This earned them the overall first place in the two-day average, beating the second place team by 10.2 seconds.

This win puts Thomas in the number one spot for team roping headers in the Rocky Mountain region with 180 points.

Miranda also jumped to the number one spot in the region’s team roping heelers with 180 points.

Team roping is the only true team event in rodeo where both the header and the heeler must make a qualified catch in order to be awarded a time. 

Thomas competed as a header at the USU rodeo. As the header, Thomas had to catch a steer released from the chute with one of three legal head catches: slick horns, half head or a full head.

After Thomas’ catch, his heeler, Miranda, had to make a legal heel shot by catching one or both back legs.

Thomas’ SUU teammates, Macey Anderson and Ian Fillmore, also made a qualified time in team roping earning them a fourth place finish at the event. Anderson competed as a header and Fillmore competed as her heeler.

With Thomas and Fillmore’s combined event points, the SUU men’s team placed third overall at the rodeo and Anderson’s points led the SUU women’s team to a fifth place finish.

Six of the other Rocky Mountain region schools competed with SUU and USU, including College of Southern Idaho, Snow College, Utah State University Eastern, Dixie State University, Colorado Northwestern Community College and Colorado Mesa.

Thomas is currently serving as the SUU Rodeo team co-president and is competing with SUU for his second year after transferring from USUE in 2019. He was a contributing member to last year’s second place region finish for the men’s team.


Story by: Mikyla Bagley


Photos Courtesy of Casey Thomas