Thursday night was the fourth of five for the second go-round in the 22nd annual International Finals Youth Rodeo at the Heart of Oklahoma Expo Center in Shawnee, and it was the last chance for many of the participants to reach Friday night’s final.
The top 15 in each of the nine events will advance to Friday night. The Friday morning performance will be the final one in the second go.
One cowgirl who took full advantage of her opportunity was Lexington’s own Ali Armstrong, who posted a time of 16.254 in her second go on Thursday evening, which was both the fastest time in the second round so far and pushed Armstrong back into the lead in the average with a total time of 32.507.
Armstrong, who already won the first go-round in barrel racing, leads Eva Blanton of Dallas by .3 seconds. Sara Borden of Blanchard sits in fourth in the average with a two-run total of 33.526.
In pole bending it was a back-and-forth affair between Raelee Self of Powderly, Tex. and Sissy Winn of Chapman Ranch, Tex.
Winn took the lead in the morning session with a time of 20.246 in her second run for a total of 40.725, but Self answered with a 20.058 to take the lead in both the second go-round an in the average with one performance remaining.
In breakaway roping it was Ardmore’s Hannah Gurrola who jumped to the front of the pact by being the first competitor to break the two-second mark, posting a 1.8 in the morning performance to lead both the go-round and the average by healthy margins.
In goat tying Jacie Sullivan of Mount Vernon, Ark. maintained her lead in the average by 1.5 seconds over Shelby Lankford of Blanchard. Sullivan put up a time of 9.2 seconds on Thursday evening but her two-run total of 16.7 still leads the average.
Jamie Thompson leads the second go with a time of 8.3 posted during the Thursday morning performance, which moved her up to fourth in the average.
Tanner Green of Cotulla, Tex. tied Marcus Theriot of Poplarville, Miss. in the average in the calf roping event, posting a time of 10.0 seconds in his second go-round. Theriot clocked a time of 9.7 seconds to leave both cowboys with a total of 18.8 seconds. Three contestants are tied for the lead in the second go with times of 8.8 seconds.
After winning the first go-round with a time of 4.9 seconds in the steer wrestling event earlier in the week, Carson Hicks of Sulphur Springs, Tex. looks to be well on his way to winning the second go-round and the average with a time of 5.0 and a total of 9.9 seconds, leading Shawnee’s Hunter Washburn by 1.1 seconds.
Tanner Freeman’s score of 76 was enough to give him the lead in the average in the saddle bronc competition, while Blaise Freeman of Gail, Tex. scored an 81 to take the lead in the second go-round.
So far only five riders have scoring runs in both go-rounds and 11 cowboys have scored in at least one round.
While Freeman was leading the saddle bronc, Clements, Calif.’s Clayton Biglow is at the top of the standings in the bareback competition.
Biglow leads the second go-round with a score of 79 after winning the first with a score of 84.5 points, with Wyatt Gewinner still in second with 18 points.
Woodward’s Logan Hunter continues to lead in the bull riding competition with a two-go total of 153 points, the only cowboy with two scoring rides so far in the IFYR.
Koal Livingston of Burleson, Tex. leads the second go-round with a score of 79.5 points.
Thursday saw a new leader in the second go-round of the team roping competition as Quinton Inman of Ketchum and Hazen Herrera of Claremore posted a time of 5.3 seconds on Thursday morning to take a 0.1 second lead over the Texas duo of Twister Vinson and Clay Boaz.
Austin Crist and Trevor Kirchenschlager of Colorado lead the average with a two-round total of 13.8 seconds.
The final day of the IFYR will feature the final performance of the second go-round beginning at 9:30 a.m. The final performance featuring the top 15 in each event will begin at 7:30 p.m.