52nd Masked Rider Takes the Reigns

The 52nd Masked Rider throws up his guns after he’s given the reigns. Photo by Dawit Haile

The 51st Masked Rider, Ashley Wenzel, concluded her year of service at the passing of the reigns ceremony in the McKenzie-Merket Center.

The ceremony honored the sophomore education major for the dedication and work she put into the duties of the Masked Rider.

Wenzel was also celebrated for a few of her unique accomplishments. She was the first Houston-area student to become the Masked Rider.

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Photo by Dawit Haile

“I got to go to the Houston and my hometown,” Wenzel said. “It was cool to promote Texas Tech to people who might not think about Tech on an everyday basis with it being ten hours away.”

Wenzel said she remembers the bittersweet feeling she had at Relay for Life last week because the event was her last as the Masked Rider. However, she said she still recalls her first appearance with Midnight Matador at a Texas Tech baseball game.

“It was the first time I could feel Midnight Matador’s heart beating through the saddle,” Wenzel said. “It was something really cool and energizing for me.”

She said the most exciting part of the events was experiencing the love people would give the Masked Rider. She said it was an honor to represent Tech.

Wenzel handed over the reins to Lubbock-native Corey Waggoner during the ceremony, so he could take his position as the 52nd Masked Rider.

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Photo by Dawit Haile

Wenzel said she enjoyed getting together with Waggoner before anyone knew he would be the next Masked Rider.

“I got to tell him some tricks and trades of the program,” Wenzel said.

Waggoner said Wenzel has been a tremendous help, and will continue to assist him as he begins his year as the Masked Rider.

The junior animal sciences major said he still feels as though he is on Cloud 9 and cannot wait to get started.

“I’ve been a Tech fan my whole life growing up here in Lubbock,” Waggoner said, “and I’m really looking forward to representing the university and the Masked Rider program.”

Waggoner made his first two appearances this weekend at when Tech baseball faced off against the Kansas Jayhawks on Friday and the annual football team’s spring game on Saturday.

About Dawit Haile
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