Confidence carried Ty Harris to this week’s College National Finals Rodeo. He’s hoping it carries him through Saturday evening at the Casper Events Center.
One of the few representatives from Cisco College here, Harris stands in sole possession of first place in tie-down roping after Tuesday’s second go-round.
He looked comfortable coming off his horse and winning the second go-round with an 8.6-second run.
“I don’t ever get nervous before rodeos usually because my confidence comes from practice,” Harris said. “I know I’m prepared, I know my horse is prepared and if it doesn’t work out, it doesn’t work. I was pretty confident and I wasn’t nervous coming in.”
Harris felt good before Monday’s slack. The freshman stood in second after the first go-round with an 8.9. His confidence grew Tuesday morning after seeing a favorable calf draw.
“I felt sharp, my horse felt really good,” he said. “I just felt like I took care of business pretty good.”
Harris is one of just four CNFR qualifiers from Cisco, the others being Madison Milligan (breakaway roping) and the team roping tandem of Lane Goebel and Justice Thompson. Milligan, however, broke her arm in a car accident after qualifying and relinquished her spot to an alternate.
In order to qualify, they all had to place among the top three on average in their respective events in the highly-contested Southwest Region.
“Our region is really tough,” Harris said. “We’ve got some tough kids at Cisco. It’s just a hard region and I’m proud to come here and represent Cisco and support them as good as I can.”
Harris plans to stay aggressive when he ropes in his third go on Thursday night in hopes of qualifying for Saturday’s short.
Sam Houston State’s Samantha Chick is back in Casper after qualifying for last year’s CNFR. With all the nerves out of the way, she’s been free to rodeo.
However, the results haven’t tipped in her favor.
“I had some tough luck on the first one,” she said. “They actually let my calf out while I was riding in the box so then I had to run the extra calf and he ended up out-running me really bad so I knew with the second one I wanted to win the round.”
Chick responded from her no-score on Monday with a go-winning time of 2.0 seconds in the breakaway roping, just one-tenth of a second off the arena record.
Her hopes of making Saturday’s short go are firmly behind the eight-ball after Monday’s result. She sits in 22nd going into the third go. So she’s set her sights on a more attainable goal.
“I want to win the round again,” Chick said. “Friday I run my third calf and my goat.”
Chick had a 7.2 in goat tying on Tuesday and sits 40th overall there.
Kirbie Crouse of Missouri Valley College, a four-time CNFR qualifier, leads the breakaway with a time of 5.2 seconds on head. Gillette College’s Quincy Segelke sits just behind with a 5.3.
The final performances in barrel racing should bring heightened drama.
Following Tuesday’s slack, Odessa College’s Maddy Dickens moved into the lead with a 29.05 in the average. She’ll be looking over her shoulder the rest of the week as Kynzie McNeill of Texas Tech stands just behind with a 29.07.
Gillette’s Rickie Engesser sits in sixth heading into the third go.
Jacie Sullivan of Southern Arkansas won the second go with a 6.0 to move to the top on average with 12.4. Mia Manzanares of McNeese State had a 6.1 on Tuesday and is second with 12.7.
Gillette’s Taylour Latham tied for sixth with a 13.4 going into Tuesday’s performance.
Tristan Martin of East Mississippi Community College sits atop the leaderboard with an 8.5 on two runs, just ahead of McNeese State’s Gabe Soileau (8.8), who tied for the best time in the second go with a 3.8.
Central Wyoming College representative and Osage native Thomas Davis is 10th with a 10.6 after bringing his steer down in 4.3 on Tuesday.
The Central Arizona Community College team of Clay Elkington and Cole Sherwood lead on average with a combined time of 13.4. By the time the dust from Tuesday’s slack settled they were one of just 13 teams to register times in both go-rounds.
Weatherford College’s Lane Cooper and Kirby Blankenship won the second go with a 5.9 but their no-score in the first go put them in 16th. The Wyoming team of Justene Hirsig and Denton Shaw tied for second with a 6.7 going into Tuesday’s performance.