DRAWS RELEASED FOR UPCOMING COLLEGE NATIONAL FINALS RODEO
MARTIN, Tenn. – The official draws for the 70th annual College National Finals Rodeo have been announced as University of Tennessee at Martin representatives are making final preparations for their trip to Casper, Wyo.
UT Martin will field seven total participants at the 2018 CNFR, which takes place at the Casper Events Center on June 10-16. Ranked No. 24 in the nation, the UT Martin men’s team earned a spot in the field by finishing second in the Ozark Region this season and will make their 44th trip to the CNFR in the last 45 years.
Four of UT Martin’s 2018 participants boast CNFR experience as Cord Barricklow (steer wrestling), Ryan McDaniel (bull riding), Ross Mitchell (team roping) and Kenzley Wilson (barrel racing) will each make their second career appearance at the national championship event. Colton Matthews (steer wrestling), Chase Thrasher (tie down roping) and Jonny Walker (bareback riding) will all make their CNFR debuts next week.
“We are thankful to send a team back to the CNFR,” UT Martin head coach John Luthi said. “We have a good, solid group going to Casper. Most of them have been to the CNFR before and the ones who haven’t gone have been in similar big situations before. The CNFR is just like any other rodeo – it is so hard to predict but I just tell our team to have fun, relax and do the best they can.”
UT Martin accounts for three cowboys in the top-20 of the national rankings in their respective events. Walker enters the CNFR ranking 11th nationally in bareback riding with 1,000 points accumulated during the season. Thrasher’s 530 points in tie down roping is good enough for 17th in the nation while Mitchell ranks 20th in team roping header with 555 points.
Barricklow dialed up 320 points in steer wrestling while Matthews piled up 420 points in steer wrestling in 2017-18. McDaniel tallied 320 points in bull riding for UT Martin this season.
Wilson is the lone UT Martin women’s honoree at the 2018 CNFR, as she amassed 190 points in barrel racing in 2017-18.
The Wednesday through Saturday performances from this year’s CNFR can be viewed live on WatchESPN. For that link and to view the official draws for this year’s CNFR, visit the top of the webpage.