June 6, 2014

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MARTIN, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin rodeo teams will make the 1,300 mile drive to Casper, Wyo. for the 66th annual College National Finals Rodeo, which will occur on Sunday, June 15 through Saturday, June 21 at the Casper Events Center.

A total of seven UT Martin cowboys and cowgirls have qualified for this year’s CNFR, considered the “Rose Bowl” of college rodeo. Head coach John Luthi is leaving Martin next Wednesday, June 10 in anticipation of the event while UT Martin’s seven participants will arrive in Casper in time for check-in on Saturday, June 14.

The seven participants representing UT Martin include Will Lummus (steer wrestling and calf roping), Tyler Waltz (bareback riding), Clark Adcock (calf roping, team roping), Tanner Phipps (bareback riding), John Alley (team roping), Colt Kitaif (bareback riding) and Nealey Dalton (barrel racing). This will be the fourth career CNFR appearance for Lummus and Alley, third for Waltz and Adcock, second for Kitaif while Phipps and Dalton will be making their CNFR debuts.

“I’ve taken some very good teams to Casper and this team ranks right up there in that group,” said Luthi, who is coming off his 13th Ozark Region championship since taking over the head coaching duties at UT Martin in 1997. “This team is pretty seasoned and we do not have a weak link anywhere. Every one of the seven are all capable of doing big things. Good Lord willing, we draw good stock and take advantage of that.”

The UT Martin men’s team ranks No. 7 in the nation with 6,770 points heading into the CNFR. This will be the 41st straight appearance for the men’s team, who finished 10th nationally in 2013 – the fifth time since 2005 that UT Martin has placed in the national top-10.

Luthi said the seven representatives from UT Martin are raring to go after their last official National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association event was held at UT Martin on April 10-12.

“They have been getting ready at rodeos back in their hometowns,” Luthi said. “A lot of them have been to the CNFR before so they know what to expect. They are ready to get out there.”

The official CNFR draws were released today and can be viewed by clicking here. To keep up with daily results, check the official CNFR website at this link.

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