Steer wrestler Tucker Alberts equals arena record at College National Finals Rodeo | Middle School
Last year’s College National Final Rodeo didn’t go as planned for Tucker Alberts. The Missouri Valley College steer wrestler had three timeouts in his first college final.
Alberts kicked off this year’s CNFR on a high note with a 5.0-second run to finish fourth on the opening lap at Ford Wyoming Center in Casper. It was even better on Tuesday when he shoved his steer in 3.4 seconds to win the second down and tie the arena record.
“I didn’t know that,” Alberts said when told he had tied the record. “All I know is that the race made me feel good. I wasn’t aiming for a record, I just wanted to make sure I scored.”
Alberts credited his hazer, Mason Couch of Southeast Oklahoma State, with not only keeping management on track, but also letting him use his horse, Tubby.
“When I saw Mason was going to be here this week, I asked if I could ride a horse,” Alberts said. “I’ve ridden him in a handful of rodeos this year and have always done very well with him.”
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The trend continued Tuesday as Alberts tied with first-hit winner Walt Arnold of Tarleton State in the average with an 8.4-second time over two runs. Defending national champion Gavin Soileau of McNeese State is third at 10.7.
Weber State’s Cole Eiguren was second with a 3.6 and Northwest Oklahoma State’s Kaden Greenfield third with a 3.8.
Sadie Wolaver competed in last year’s short round vying for a national title. This dream ended, however, with a tilted barrel. The 5-second penalty dropped the Southwest Oklahoma State barrel runner to eighth place in the final standings, exactly 5 seconds behind Montana State’s Tayla Moeykens.
“I haven’t watched that video… out of sight, out of mind,” Wolaver said Tuesday after finishing second on second down with a run of 14.24 seconds. “I just left it in the past.”
Tuesday’s race definitely helped her as she climbed to the top of the average standings with a time of 28.50 seconds over two runs.
“My mare knows her job and I’m just trying to do mine,” Wolaver said. “Her registered name is ‘I’m A Sharp Frost,’ but we call her ‘Princess’. It fits.
“She likes indoor enclosures and the barrels on the walls don’t bother her. I don’t want to wear anything wrong, but she usually runs very well in her pockets and doesn’t get short. I like this pen for her, and her too.”
The stringing team continued to be a family affair, with Sam Houston State’s Mason Moore and his brother Logan Moore of Wharton County Junior College winding their steer in 5.3 seconds to tie for the second victory. In the first round on Monday, brothers JC and LJ Yeahquo and Cobie and Cole Dodds are tied for the win.
Riley Rieken of Panola College and Devon Johnson of Trinity Valley, and Corben Culley of Western Oklahoma State College and Shane Jenkins of Northeastern Oklahoma A&M also recorded runs of 5.3 seconds.
The Moore brothers lead the average with a time of 12.1 seconds over two heads. Defending national champion brothers Kellan and Carson Johnson of Casper College are second with a 13.5.
After finishing as the reserve champion last year, Missouri Valley College’s Sheyenne Anderson came into this year’s CNFR focused and ready to win a national title.
She took a step in the right direction on Tuesday with a 6.5-second run to give her a two-run time of 12.6 seconds, which puts her just two-tenths of a second behind average leader Sierra Spratt of Cal Poly-SLO.
“After what I did here last year, it gave me a lot of confidence for this week,” Anderson said. “I have an awesome horse, GT, and I know she will do her job, so I just have to do mine.”
Paige Rasmussen of Montana State, last year’s all-around champion, won the match with a run of 6.0 seconds. Spratt, Taylour Latham of Wyoming, Maddee Doerr of Cochise College and Jaicee Bastian of Utah Valley all tied for second with a 6.1.
Tennessee-Martin’s Cole Walker won the second try with a run of 8.4 seconds, Navajo Technical University’s Hiyo Yazzie taking second with an 8.7 and Ranger College’s Wyatt Crandall finishing third with a 9. 4.
First-time winner Kincade Henry of Panola College leads the average with a two-run time of 19.4 seconds, followed by Clay Livengood of East Mississippi Community College with a 21.3.
Texas A&M-Commerce‘s Bryana Lehrmann and Texas A&M’s Madalyn Richards tied for second victory with runs of 1.7 seconds, the fastest times of the week. That helped Lehrmann tie for the average lead with Sarah Angelone of Tarleton State with times of 4.4 seconds on two runs.
First-time co-winner Kaytlyn Miller of Texas Tech is third in average with a 4.6 while Richards is fourth with a 4.7.
Follow sportswriter Jack Nowlin on Twitter @CASJackN