Surles sets sights on getting to nationals
By By Marty Stamper / EMG sports assistant
June 6, 2004
Fran Surles knows how Mississippi State's baseball team felt last week before finding out it had been selected to the NCAA postseason play.
Surles, 16, is currently on the bubble in the Mississippi High School Rodeo standings. How she fares in the state finals next week in Jackson will determine if she advances to the nationals for a second-straight year.
The state finals get under way Tuesday night at the Mississippi Coliseum. The rodeo runs through Saturday.
Surles is leaving nothing to chance. She spent this past week in South Carolina with her horse trainer.
She's grown up around horses.
Surles competes in barrel racing and pole bending.
In barrel racing, from a running start the girls run three barrels in a cloverleaf pattern, starting at either side. A five-second penalty is assessed for each barrel knocked down. The time begins when the horse's nose reaches the starting line and stops when the horse's nose crosses the finish line.
Both the horse and the cowgirl have to be in condition in order to do well.
Surles finished second in the recent Mississippi/Alabama Challenge High School Rodeo at the Lauderdale County Agri-Center.
She participated in the National Finals High School Rodeo as a freshman.
This year's nationals will be held at Gillette, Wyo.
When she isn't trying to better herself, Surles is helping others with their horses.
Also competing in the state rodeo from Meridian is Margiekate McDaniel, a sophomore at Lamar School.