CASPER, Wyo. — Walla Walla Community College claimed the men’s title, and Texas Tech the women’s championship in the College National Finals Rodeo over the weekend in Casper.
Walla Walla compiled 750 points to win the men’s title.
Sam Houston State was second, followed by Missouri Valley College and Utah Valley University.
Utah Valley was led by cowboys Tag Elliott and Ben Carson.
In the women’s competition, Texas Tech finished with 423.33 points, followed by Central Wyoming College, Sam Houston State, Mesalands Community College and the University of Nevada-Las Vegas.
Six and one-tenths of one second.
That’s how close Tag Elliott came to an exclamation point on his final College National Finals Rodeo.
“I just wanted to ride my last one,” the Utah Valley senior bull rider said, “just to finish it and leave no doubt.”
A national championship isn’t a bad consolation.
Elliott failed to cover his final bull on Saturday at the Casper Events Center, but his work from earlier in the week gave him that elusive national title in the bull riding, finishing with 167.5 points on two rides.
Elliott — the 10th ranked bull rider in the PRCA standings from Tremonton — had finished second, fourth and third in his previous three college finals. But covering the 11th and 12th bulls of his finals career was enough for a national title.
Carson had two things on his mind Saturday, and the Utah Valley cowboy accomplished both.
Carson, who led the average entering the night, won the short go with a 4.2-second run and captured the national title with a total time of 17.9 seconds.
“One of my goals was to win the round,” Carson said. “I knew if I did that nobody could beat me.”