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2015 College National Finals Rodeo


By Ryne Rickman

The defending national rodeo champions returned to the site of the historic championship as the University of Tennessee at Martin took part in the 2015 College National Finals Rodeo, June 14-20 at the Casper Events Center in Casper, Wyo.

Last June, UT Martin became the first team located east of the Mississippi River to claim a national rodeo title, amassing 755 team points over the weeklong event. This season, the UT Martin men’s team made its 42nd consecutive appearance at the CNFR, considered the “Rose Bowl” of college rodeo.

The nine participants representing UT Martin were: Jacob Dagenhart (tie down roping, steer wrestling, team roping), Clark Adcock (tie down roping, team roping), Lane Mitchell (team roping), Tanner Phipps (bareback riding), Zack Mabry (team roping), Dacia Horne (barrel racing), Nealey Dalton (barrel racing), Ashley Brooks (barrel racing) and Natalie Fletcher (breakaway roping).

After the second day of competition, both University of Tennessee at Martin men’s and women’s rodeo teams were in the top-11 in the standings. The defending national champion UT Martin men’s team was in 11th out of 33 teams, while the UT Martin women’s squad was tied for eighth place.

After the third day of competition, the UT Martin men’s rodeo team leaped to the top of the team standings, while the women’s squad kept its spot in the top-10.

After the fourth day of competition, the UT Martin men’s team remained atop the team standings, while the women’s team stayed in the top-10.

The University of Tennessee at Martin had two representatives take part in the fifth day of the College National Finals Rodeo.

Jacob Dagenhart rode in the tie down roping event, compiling a time of 16.8 to move his average time to 41.4. The senior out of Statesville, NC, who was also competing in steer wrestling and team roping at the CNFR, ranked 26th out of 41 cowboys in tie down roping.

 On the women’s side, Ashley Brooks put together her third solid time in barrel racing with a 14.59. She had an average of 43.53, which ranked her 17th out of 50 cowgirls in the event.

A pair of UT Martin teams competed Friday night in team roping, but unfortunately the teams of Clark Adcock/Lane Mitchell and Jacob Dagenhart/Zack Mabry each did not record a score.

Dacia Horne and Nealey Dalton also represented UT Martin in barrel racing on Friday evening, as Horne posted a time of 13.94 and Dalton recorded a time of 14.10.

The third round was in the books at the 2015 College National Finals Rodeo as a trio of University of Tennessee at Martin representatives qualified to compete for a national championship on Saturday, June 20.

Adcock, Mitchell and Horne all received the opportunity to be crowned national champions when the top 12 contestants in each event took the stage during Saturday’s short go. Adcock competed in the team roping event with Mitchell, who also competed in tie down roping. The team of Adcock and Mitchell posted a 12.1 average for an eighth-place finish in team roping while Adcock ranked fifth in tie down roping with a 33.6 average; On Friday he ranked second in all-around cowboy (165 points). Horne compiled the second-best score out of 50 cowgirls in the barrel racing event, accounting for an average of 42.38.

Through six days, the UT Martin men’s team ranked fifth in the team standings with 380 total points. The women’s team moved up to ninth place with 120 points.           

On the men’s side, Tanner Phipps just missed qualifying for Saturday’s finals in bareback riding, as he finished 14th with a 210.5 average. Dagenhart wrapped up his CNFR appearance in tie down roping (33rd, 41.4 average), steer wrestling (45th, no score) and team roping alongside Mabry (22nd, 5.8 average).

Ashley Brooks (23rd, 43.53 average) and Nealey Dalton (33rd, 47.49 average) each took part in barrel racing while Natalie Fletcher finished 48th with an 11.9 average in breakaway roping.

The University of Tennessee at Martin rodeo teams rounded out their participation in the 2015 College National Finals Rodeo on Saturday evening June 20, as both teams finished in the top-20 of the final standings.
The UT Martin men’s team finished the CNFR in eighth place out of 53 teams, amassing 450 points. The women’s squad tied for 16th out of 35 teams, compiling 120 points in the weeklong event. Tarleton State (915 points) and Blue Mountain Community College (517.5 points) won the men’s and women’s team championships, respectively.

Two cowboys and one cowgirl represented UT Martin Saturday evening in the finals of their respective events. Clark Adcock finished fifth nationally in tie down roping, earning the fourth-best time in the final go with a 10.0 for a final average of 43.6. 

In barrel racing, Dacia Horne finished in 12th place overall, accumulating a time of 24.08 in the final go. She finished with an average of 66.46.

Adcock joined forces with Lane Mitchell in team roping, but the duo did not compile a score, finishing with an average of 12.1. Adcock also finished fourth in the all-around cowboy competition, piling up 235 points in the CNFR.

This national postseason result caps off another highly successful season for UT Martin rodeo, as the men’s team placed in the top-four of all 10 regular season rodeos, while the women’s team compiled top-five finishes in seven of its eight rodeos.

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