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Athens, TX 75751
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Whitcher punches ticket to College National Finals Rodeo
Posted: 4/29/2014 8:54:04 AM
Athens product turns in strong showing in final rodeo of year to qualify

Trinity Valley Community College sophomore Justus Whitcher punched his ticket to the College National Finals Rodeo with an impressive performance at the Wharton Junior College Rodeo this past weekend.

Whitcher needed a strong showing in the steer wrestling event at Wharton – the last regional rodeo of the season. That’s just what he did, splitting second and third with a time of 5.8 to put himself 12 points ahead of the fourth-place finisher in the Southern Region.

The top three finishers in each event at the end of the season qualify for the CNFR – which is considered the “Rose Bowl” of college rodeo. The 66th annual event is scheduled for June 15-21 in Casper, Wyo., where more than 400 competitors from 100 colleges and universities will participate.

“Justus made a smart run and did the best he possibly could with the steer he drew,” Bratton said. “In situations like he was in, it takes maturity to see the big picture instead of breaking speed records each run.”

TVCC nearly qualified a second competitor for the CNFR. Kasey Kirby, who had been in third place in barrel racing for much of the year, was not able to maintain her position and ended up fourth in the region.

“We are in store for a great experience having the chance to run for a national title,” TVCC Rodeo Coach Brent Bratton said. “This is such a great opportunity that has been provided by our school administrators, the college and the local community that give us the support needed to be involved in this great sport.”