Jack Kahla woke up Friday with a good feeling.
“My brother (Jake) and I were talking this morning that we wanted to come out here and win some money and at least one of us make the short go,” Kahla said. “We drew two good steers and we came out and did the best we could.”
That they did. Jack tied for the second-round win in Ote Berry’s Junior Steer Wrestling at the Junior World Finals with a 4.6-second run at the Wrangler Rodeo Arena. Jake finished fourth with a 4.8.
“I just wanted to come out here and have fun,” Jack said. “Winning the round and making the finals is just a big plus. I was really hoping to make it this far and I’m just glad I did.”
The 16-year-old cowboy from Jasper, Texas, had a 10.3 in the first round and enters the average with a two-run time of 14.9 seconds. Jake had a no-time in the first round.
Friday’s run continued a strong week for Jack in Las Vegas.
“I qualified in the Mike Johnson calf roping and won some money in a round over there,” he said. “I’ve had a pretty good week in Vegas.”
So has Landris White. The 18-year-old high school senior from Angleton, Texas, tied Kahla for the round win, setting the standard with his 7.6 on Thursday. White qualified for the average with a two-run time of 13.5 seconds.
“The key to my run was score sharp and run sharp,” White said. “Just make a run.”
Unlike Kahla, White is focused solely on bulldogging this week. Once this week is over, however, White has a decision to make.
“I’m leaning toward going to college to rodeo,” he said, “but I might play football.”
A 6-foot, 210-pound defensive end for Angleton High School, White has drawn interest from various schools for both sports. Given the symmetry of steer wrestling and being a defensive end, it makes sense that White is a force in both sports.
“Steer wrestling and football kind of go together,” he said. ”Doing both helps me with discipline because I have to make time to practice for both. And I think they both help with my flexibility.”
Much to the disappointment of steers and opposing quarterbacks.
Gus Franzen of Kearney, Nebraska, leads the average with a two-run time of 9.4 seconds.
Friday also saw the second and third round of the Total Team Roping open division come to an end.
Layton Oswald of Oakdale, California, and Jace Helton of Menifee, California, won the second go with a 4.54 and Jace Thorstenson of Surprise, Arizona, and John Hisel of Clovis, New Mexico, placed second with a 4.94.
In the third round, Coy Rahlmann of Ellsinore, Missouri, and Logan Moore of Pleasanton, Texas, were first with a 3.81 and Breck Ward of Jerome, Idaho, and Britt Smith of Broken Bow, Oklahoma, were second with a 4.33.
The Tuf Cooper Tie-Down Roping 19 & Under division ran three rounds Friday, with Daniel Dunham of Cleburne, Texas, winning the first go with a 9.20; Nick Achille of Alvin, Texas, taking the second go with an 8.21; and Parker Carbajal of New Smyrna Beach, Florida, claiming the third go with an 8.42.
A pair of Utah cowboys are atop the average standings as Chase Webster of Kamas leads the way with a three-run rime of 27.85 seconds and Kash Cattoor of Hurricane second with a 27.91.