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Nation’s top rodeo awaits No. 2-ranked Skyhawks

Nation’s top rodeo awaits No. 2-ranked Skyhawks

Posted: Tuesday, June 4, 2013 12:00 pm

The UT Martin rodeo program heads to Casper, Wyo., for the 65th annual College National Finals Rodeo, which will take place on Sunday through Saturdayr.
Head coach John Luthi along with a dozen UT Martin cowboys and cowgirls will depart Martin on Thursday to make the 1,300 mile drive.
The UT Martin men’s team is currently ranked No. 2 in the nation (7,465 points) and is making their 40th straight appearance in the CNFR, considered the “Rose Bowl” of college rodeo.
“It’s a big deal, but I still want our people to look at it as just another rodeo,” said Luthi, the 2013 Ozark Region Coach of the Year.
The UTM men easily captured the Ozark Region title, posting 3,185 points more than the next-highest finisher. Representing UT Martin on the men’s side is Clark Adcock (team roping), Ben Walker (team roping, tiedown roping), Jordan Thrasher (tie down roping, steer wrestling), Ty Hughston (saddle bronc), Clay Mitchell (team roping), John Alley (team roping, steer wrestling), Tyler Waltz (bareback riding), Lane Mitchell (team roping), Robert Joyce (steer wrestling) and Will Lummus (steer wrestling).
Alley (header) and Adcock (heeler) rank as the nation’s top duo in team roping, while Waltz (seventh in bareback riding) and Alley (eighth in all-around cowboy) also rank amongst the nation’s top-10 in their respective events.
Competing for the UTM women will be Natalie Fletcher (breakaway roping) and Mary Francis Gorsuch (barrel racing).
The CNFR is where the NIRA crowns individual event champions in saddle bronc riding, bareback 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 over 100 universities and colleges compete in Casper each year.

Published in the WCP 6.4.13

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