UT Martin Participates in 71st Annual College National Finals Rodeo
By Ryne Rickman
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Casper, Wyo. – The University of Tennessee at Martin men’s and women’s teams ran into some tough luck at the 2019 College National Finals Rodeo, which wrapped up Saturday night June 15 after seven days of competition at the Casper Events Center, June 9-15.
UT Martin had one cowboy advance to Saturday’s short round finals, as sophomore Chase Thrasher earned a shot at the national championship in tie down roping. Unfortunately, the Columbia, Tenn. native did not post a score in the finals and finished 11th out of 45 cowboys in the event with a total time of 33.8. That came after he placed eighth in the field with a 10.4 in the opening round, and tallying times of 12.2 in the second go and 11.2 in the third round.
In barrel racing, Ashley Brooks came away with UT Martin’s next highest finish as she placed 19th in the field of 45 competitors with an aggregate time of 44.65. Her times consisted of 15.02 in the first round, 14.87 in the second go, and 14.77 in her final round.
Hunter Green battled injuries all week but still dialed up a 21st-place effort in bareback riding. He had times of 71.0 in the first go and 72.5 in the second round, but did not post a score in the third round. His week ended with a total score of 143.5.
In bull riding, Ryan McDaniel gave his best effort but unfortunately could not record a score in his three performances. The senior from Yuma, Tenn. finished 23rd nationally in his third career CNFR appearance.
Raegan Taylor managed scores in all three phases of barrel racing, showing improvement throughout the weeklong event. She began with a time of 15.50 in the first round and completed the course in 15.14 seconds during the second go. She ran in a time of 14.77 in her third and final round to finish 25th in the nation.
In barrel racing, Casey Allen compiled a score in each of the three rounds, finishing 41st with a total time of 54.03. She opened with a 19.72 in the first round, but her best score of the event came in the second round with a time of 14.80. She concluded the event with a time of 19.51 during the third go.
Drawing another tough assignment was Robert Haley in saddle bronc riding. He turned in a score of 59.5 points in his opening round, but unfortunately could not register a score in either of his final two performances. As a result, he placed 29th in the final event standings.
Quentin Sawyer and Will McCraw each represented UT Martin in the team roping event, finishing 38th nationally. The duo came away with a time of 12.3 seconds in their first round, but was unable to tally a score in each of the final two rounds.
Kailey Schmidt took part in two events for UT Martin, placing 42nd in breakaway roping and 48th in goat tying. The freshman out of Cottage Grove, Tenn. did not record a score throughout the breakaway roping event. Her participation in goat tying began strong with a solid time of 6.7 in the first round, but she did not record a score during the second go. She had a time of 13.4 in the third round for a total time of 20.1.
The UT Martin men’s team finished 54th in the standings with 10.0 points while the women’s squad did not accrue any points during the event.
The 71st annual CNFR puts the finishing touches on another remarkable rodeo season for UT Martin head coach John Luthi. The women’s team captured its first Ozark Region championship since 2011 and concluded the regular season ranked 17th nationally. The men’s squad qualified for the CNFR for the 45th time out of the last 46 years and wrapped up the regular season with a No. 11 national ranking.
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