UT Martin already in saddle at College National Finals Rodeo
Posted: Wednesday, June 15, 2011 11:41 am
By: UTM Sports Information
UT Martin freshman Tyler Waltz was tied for 10th place in the bareback riding with a 73-point ride at the College National Finals Rodeo in Casper, Wyo.
His score was after two Sunday matinees of bulls, broncs and breakaway at the Casper Events Center.
Junior Vezain from Vernon College leads the bareback riding after Sunday.
He turned in an 80.5 ride.
Slack for the first round is currently under way and will continue through this evening.
The CNFR concludes Saturday with the championship finals.
UT Martin juniors Chelsie McDade and Abby McDuff competed in the breakaway Sunday.
Neither McDade nor McDuff recorded a score.
McDade made her second run in the breakaway Monday during the slack, while McDuff is up in this evening’s slack.
Both McDade and McDuff went up in the goat-tying event during Monday’s slack, as did junior Heather Moore in the barrel racing.
On the men’s side, Waltz was up in the bareback riding slack and steer wrestling.
The Waltz name is well-known within the UT Martin rodeo fraternity.
Waltz’s father, David, was a member of the UT Martin rodeo team in in 1978 and ’79. After almost two years at UT Martin, the elder Waltz decided to return to the professional circuit.
He won four American Professional Rodeo Association bull riding championships (1981, ’83, ’84 and ’86), and in 1986 he won the all-around cowboy title.
Jordan Thrasher was also up in the steer wrestling slack, while Ben Walker was up in the tie-down roping.
Clay Mitchell and John Alley were also set to work the team roping.
The National Intercoll-egiate Rodeo Association (NIRA) will crown individual event champions in saddle bronc riding, bare back riding, bull riding, tie-down roping, steer wrestling, team roping, barrel racing, breakaway roping and goat tying.
National team championships are also awarded to both men’s and women’s teams.
Over 400 cowboys and cowgirls from more than 100 universities and colleges will compete in this year’s CNFR.
The top three students in each event, and the top two men’s and women’s teams from the NIRA’s 11 regions qualified for the CNFR.
UT Martin’s men’s team finished second in the Ozark Region, while the UT Martin women won the Ozark Region.
UTM rodeo coach John Luthi has taken a team to the College National Finals Rodeo every year since 1997 when he started at the school.
This year’s men’s team is the one of the youngest groups that Luthi has piloted to the CNFR. The team is primarily made up of freshmen.
Fans can keep up with the UT Martin rodeo teams and all the action at the CNFR by visiting www.utmsports.com and www.cnfr.com.