June 16, 2014

CASPER, Wyo. – A trio of University of Tennessee at Martin cowboys opened Sunday’s action in the 66th annual College National Finals Rodeo with stellar bareback performances.

Tyler Waltz, a senior from Jersey Shore, Pa. who is making his third career CNFR appearance, sits atop the leaderboard after the first go in bareback riding. Waltz recorded a score of 82 to top all of the 37 competitors who took part in the event on Sunday.

Not too far behind Waltz was Colt Kitaif, who turned in a score of 78.5 to rank in third place after the first go. The senior out of Tylertown, Miss. is making his second career appearance in the CNFR.

Also representing UT Martin was Tanner Phipps, who made his CNFR debut on Sunday. The junior from Dalton, Ga. placed 17th with a first go score of 67.5.

Today’s events kicked off the seven-day CNFR, which is considered the “Rose Bowl” of college rodeo. Action resumes on Monday, June 16 with slacks starting at 7 a.m. local time.