UW Meat Judging Team Finishes Season with Reserve National Champion Honor

Photo Courtesy of the University of Wyoming.

University of Wyoming meat judging team members broke team records and posted a perfect score in specifications en route to its reserve national championship finish during the fall season.

The finish came at the recent International Intercollegiate Meat Judging contest in Dakota City, Neb.

UW also had three team members selected to the eight-member All-American team, says Coach Zeb Gray, who is assisted in coaching by student John Lacey, of Highlands Ranch, Colo.

Texas Tech won the competition. The UW team posted the fifth-highest team score ever, so the 2015 team holds three of the top five university team scores, Gray says.

The team lost a tiebreaker to finish second in specifications. UW also earned second in beef judging and placings. The team was third in lamb judging and fourth in pork judging and reasons.

Three team members were in the individual top 10. Eli Lindsey, of Taylorstown, Va., finished third and won beef judging and was second in beef. Beth Lenz, of Wray, Colo., was sixth overall and second in pork judging and placings and fifth in lamb judging. BW Ochsner, of Torrington, finished eighth and was second in lamb judging and third in reasons with a score that broke the UW reasons score, Gray says.

McKenna Brinton, of Jackson, finished 15th and was eighth in overall beef.  Erin Hansen, of Laramie, was the ninth-high individual in the alternate contest.

Eight team members posted perfect specification scores: Brinton; Taryn Chapman, Canon City, Colo.; Cole Foreman, San Jose, Calif.; Jessie Gunning, Tolleson, Ariz.; Hansen; Lenz; Lindsey; and Ochsner.

Ochsner, Lindsey and Lenz were named to the eight-member All-American team. Wyoming has only had two previous All-Americans, Gray says.

The team had notched another reserve champion and two fourth places earlier this season, with team members setting team records and winning divisions.

The previous reserve champion performance came at the American Royal contest in September. Ochsner led the team as the second-high individual, while winning two divisions, Gray says.

Brinton was the seventh overall and won the beef grading division. Hansen was fourth in lamb judging. Lenz was fourth in placings and fifth in specifications. The team score was the seventh highest posted by a UW team.

The team finished fourth at the Eastern National contest Oct. 3 in Wyalusing, Pa., and at the Cargill High Plains competition Nov. 1-2 in Friona, Texas. Team members posted the third-highest total team score and broke the beef grading record at the High Plains contest, Gray says.

The team was led by Brinton, who finished second overall with a score that was the third highest in UW history, Gray says. The team also had three individuals finish in the top 10 in the alternates division: Lindsey, third; Chapman, fourth; and Foreman, seventh.

Chapman broke the team individual beef grading record, and Brinton and Lindsey both had perfect specification scores, Gray says. McKenzie Hatch, of Kersey, Colo., also was on the team.

For more information, contact Gray at (307) 766-5115 or email zgray2@uwyo.edu.