|UTM’s Askey is bull riding national champion |
|Posted: Tuesday, June 22, 2010 4:50 pm |
MARTIN, Tenn. – Senior Jeff Askey, the University of Tennessee at Martin bull rider, turned in an 88.5-point ride on China Grove Saturday night in the championship short round at the College National Finals Rodeo to win the national championship with 248 points on three rides.
“Praise God,” said John Luthi, UT Martin’s head rodeo coach. “I am so proud of Jeff right now.”
Askey, from Beech Creek, Pa., won the first go at the CNFR with an 86.5-point ride.
He didn’t have a score in the second go, but came back in the third go with a 73-point ride, which was good enough for sixth in the round.
Askey is the first UT Martin cowboy to win a national championship since 1987 when Cody Matthews won the national steer wrestling title. Skip Emmitt was the first UTM cowboy ever to win a national championship in 1975. Emmitt won the all-around and the bareback riding.
Tony Coleman (1977), George Mesimer (1981) and Mike Merchant (1985) also won national titles for the UT Martin rodeo team.
The UT Martin men’s team finished 19th in the nation with 265 points. Vernon College won the national championship with 682.5.
Missouri Valley College, which won the Ozark Region, finished second in the CNFR with 585.3 points. Missouri Valley College is coached by former UT Martin cowboy Ken Mason.
UT Martin’s other competitors in the CNFR included Cory Kirk, who finished eighth in the nation in the tie-down roping. Josh Chase turned in a 70-point ride to finish 10th in the nation in bareback riding.
On the women’s side, senior Heather Moore advanced to the championship short round in the barrel racing and turned in a time of 14.79 to finish 10th in the nation.
The women’s team finished the CNFR in 29th in the nation, while Gillette College won the national title.