Cole Wheeler and Wesley Thorp successfully defended their crown.
Cole Wheeler and Wesley Thorp entered the 2017 College National Finals Rodeo (CNFR) with one big goal – prove that last year wasn't a fluke.
The Texas Tech University team ropers did just that, claiming their second straight team roping title at the competition held in June in Casper, Wyoming.
"We both were very excited to accomplish what we did at Casper,” Wheeler said. "We won it the year before, but I believe it was more special this time because we proved last year was not just dumb luck. We both agreed we did not have as many nerves as we did last year. I'm sure the experience from the previous year helped with that.”
Not only did Wheeler and Thorp win the team roping title, they dominated at the CNFR, amassing 260 points, 80 points ahead of second-place Ross Mitchell from the University of Tennessee-Martin and Ethan Wheeler from East Mississippi State Community College.
Wheeler and Thorp posted times of 6.1, 6.8 and 6.4 seconds, respectively in the first three go-rounds then hit 5.9 seconds in the short go for an average of 25.2.
"Cole and Wesley earned their national championship,” first-year rodeo coach Stetson Corman said. "They are two dedicated competitors who know how to win and prove themselves inside and outside of the arena.”
As a team, Texas Tech finished sixth overall in the CNFR with 520 points. Panhandle State won the team competition with 827.5 points.
"With a great fall semester and a solid College National Finals Rodeo, we have set the standard for Texas Tech Rodeo,” Corman said. "We will build on our recent success and take strides to becoming a powerhouse for college rodeo.”
With their win, Wheeler and Thorp have set the bar for future Texas Tech rodeo teams to match.
"We both love college rodeo, and representing Texas Tech was a dream come true,” Wheeler said.