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The University of Texas at Tyler
UT Tyler Student to Romp in National Finals Rodeo this December
For Maegan Reichert, Mount Pleasant junior at The University of Texas at Tyler, half of her longtime dream has become a reality.
The health and kinesiology major became a professional barrel racer when she was a senior in high school, and she recently qualified for the National Finals Rodeo to be held in Las Vegas in December.
“I have always had the dream to be a pro and go to the National Finals Rodeo,” said Reichert, who has been a member of the Pro Women’s Barrel Race Association since 2005. “Only the top 15 girls in world get to go to Vegas each year. We travel from January to the end of September all over the U.S. and Canada competing against lots of people.”
Having competed at the amateur level for 10 years, Reichert already has made a name for herself in the professional level, winning many prestigious rodeos and titles. She too has won many prizes, including a horse trailer, saddles, buckles and spurs, “but the best part is receiving the money check,” she said.
“Meagan is a neat young woman,” said Dr. James Schwane, chair of the UT Tyler health and kinesiology department. “As far as I know, the National Finals Rodeo is the highest level of competition in rodeo, like the World Series in baseball or the Super Bowl in football.”
Excelling in her professional barrel racing and academic careers, the student who carries a 3.72 GPA manages her time wisely between the two.
“It has been really tough to keep everything going,” Reichert said. “When I am at the airport I am studying, and when I am on the plane I am either studying or sleeping.”
But she wouldn’t want it any other way.
“It’s a career for me now. I like to do it,” Reichert added. “It is complicated and you have to work to win so it’s not a walk in the park. But I like to be challenged, and it’s exciting too. I have been able to see the U.S. and some of Canada by being a part of rodeo and traveling.”
Her future plans include attending graduate school, but for now the 21-year-old will continue riding high in both rodeos and academics.
“I will keep on being involved in rodeos for the meantime but not for a lifetime. I plan on getting a master’s degree so school will take over when that time comes, but for now I can handle both,” she said.
Reichert, a member of the Green Acres Baptist Church college ministry group, is the daughter of Mike and Denise Reichert. She has one younger brother, James Michael.
One of the 15 campuses of the UT System, UT Tyler offers excellence in teaching, research, artistic performance and community service. More than 70 undergraduate and graduate degrees are available at UT Tyler, which has an enrollment of more than 6,000 high-ability students at its campuses in Tyler, Longview and Palestine.