SPECIAL TO THE FLASH
Tommy Wells | Ranger College
CASPER, WY – Wesley Thorp capped off an outstanding year of Ranger College athletics on June 18 by giving with something extra special – a College National Final Finals Rodeo championship.
The national champion and resident of Stephenville is also winning big on the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) circuit, where he sits third in the world standings.
Thorp, along with his teammate, Cole Wheeler of Weatherford College, won the 2016 College National Finals Rodeo title in team roping last Sunday in front of a large crowd in the Casper Sports Center. And they did it easily – winning by more than 80 points.
Thorp, a native of Throckmorton, Texas, and Wheeler breezed to the championship. After winning the first 80 with a mark of 5.1 seconds, the duo came back to notch marks of 6.6 and 5.1 seconds in each of their next two goes. In the short round, they finished off their championship effort with a time of 7.6 seconds.
Overall, the two posted a winning time of 24.4 seconds and easily edged out the second-place team by almost 2.5 seconds.
South Dakota State’s Newt Bruley and Dickinson State’s Tucker Dale finished second at 26.8.
Thorp’s CNFR title was the second for a Ranger College athlete in as many years. Last year, former RC student Gray Essary won the bull riding championship.
Thorp wasn’t the only Ranger College heeler doing well at the event. Teammates Reno Stoebner and Trevor Kirchenschlager also turned in strong performances.
Stoebner and his partner, Lane Livingston of Weatherford College, finished sixth in the final standings with an average of 19.3 seconds. The team failed to qualify for the championship due to a miss in the third go.
To be eligible for the CNFR title, teams have to record successful runs in each of the three go as well as the short round.
Kirchenschlager and Wyatt Casper, of Clarendon College, proved their abilities by winning the second go. The two posted a time of 5.0 seconds in the go.
Kirchenschlager and Casper missed run in the first and third goes and finished 30th overall.
Thorp, Stoebner and Kirchenslager combined to help carry Ranger College to sixth in the overall team standings in the men’s division. Ranger rolled up 490 points and finished just 20 points behind East Mississippi Community College for fifth.
College National Finals Rodeo
No. Team Points
1. Feather River College 1,000
2. Northwestern Oklahoma State University 800
3. Panhandle State University 787.5
4. Weatherford College 525
5. East Mississippi Community College 510
6. Ranger College 490
7. Sam Houston State University 365
8. Southern Arkansas University 365
9. Hill College 355
10. New Mexico State University 350