The 2018 Junior National Finals Rodeo comes to a close Saturday, with timed event finals at the Wrangler Rodeo Arena. Action begins at 9 a.m. with the championship go-round in junior barrel racing.
Aspen Autry from Kim, Colorado, leads the average with a two-run time of 28.112 seconds. Autry won the first go with a 14.062-second run and followed that up by winning the second go in 14.05 seconds. Only one other junior barrel racer – Paisley Nobles from Apple Valley, California – posted a time under 14.1 seconds. Nobles, who is sixth in the average, had a 14.088 in the first go.
Madison Murphy from North Fort Myers, Florida, is second in the average with a two-run time of 28.57 seconds, followed by Shaylee Fritchey from Ottumwa, Iowa (28.605); Terryn Harvey from Combine, Texas (28.675); Kami Klepac from Van Vleck, Texas (28.676); and Nobles (28.683).
In senior barrel racing, Kelsey Caldwell from Oakdale, California, had a 13.462-second run Thursday – the fastest run of the rodeo – to win the second round and leads the average with a time of 27.946 seconds on two runs. Emma Smith from Pleasanton, Texas, is clearly within striking distance with a 28.160, as is Payton Schoeppach from Lincoln, California, with a 28.171.
Rounding out the top five in the average are Skylar Alves from Camarillo, California, with a 28.396 and Jayce Lee Byler from Belleville, Texas, with a 28.497. Defending Junior NFR champ Jordan Morman from Gillette, Wyoming, is ninth with a 28.676.
A pair of Utah cowboys are on top of the steer wrestling average leaderboard, with Cash Robb from Altamont on top with a two-run time of 8.7 seconds followed by Kyler Dick from Oakley with a 10.0. rounding out the top five are Garrett Oates from Huntsville, Texas, with a 10.2; Ross McGuire from Webbers Falls, Oklahoma, with a 10.7; and Gavin Soileau from Bunkie, Louisiana, with a 10.8.
Tie-down roping will crown three champions Saturday, in 12-and-under, 15-and-under and 19-and-under divisions.
Pecos Tatum from Llano, Texas, leads the way in the youngest division with a three-run time of 32.06 seconds; Cinch Moody from Stephenville, Texas, leads the middle division with a 24.78; and Garrett Elmore from Springer, Oklahoma, sets the pace in the senior division with a 27.54.
There will also be three breakaway roping world championships decided – 10-and-under boys and girls, 15-and-under girls and 19-and-under girls.
In 10-and-under, Luke Coleman from Madisonville, Texas, and Garrett Gallagher from Bonanza, Oregon, are tied with a three-run time of 9.08 seconds. Makenzie Dowell from Marlin, Texas, is atop the 15-and-under division with a 7.93; and Bradi Good from Abilene, Texas, leads the 19-and-under with a 7.08.
Team roping will also determine its 17 & under open world champions Saturday, but only after the second set of competitors complete their third runs earlier in the day.