Four Vikings reach CNFR finale

Saturday, June 17, 2017

CASPER, Wyo. - Four Missouri Valley College athletes have advanced into the championship performance of the College National Finals Rodeo at Casper, Wyo.

Two of the Vikings finishing the three-round long go in the top 12 to a spot in Saturday's show were in steer wrestling. Junior Ben Kilburg completed his preliminaries Friday with a time of 6.8 seconds for 19th place, but on the basis of his second-place showing in the second round winds up in fifth place with an average score of 17.8 seconds.

Senior teammate Fenton Nelsen, with solid performances and the third-place ride in the first round is in second place - only 0.2 seconds behind the leader, Southeastern Oklahoma State senior Denver Berry.

Although he lost one position - and with it 10 points - after Friday's competition in bareback riding, senior Matt Borton made the cut in eighth place.

Valley's team score of 185 points has it in 13th place, but it could realistically catch any but the top two teams, Panhandle State (Okla.) (530 points) and Sam Houston State (Texas) (475) - and they're not mathematically out of reach.

The Lady Vikings didn't have any chance in points or position in the women's standings after Friday, but only one made it to the finale: junior Kirbie Crouse, the defending breakaway roping champion, who stands in fifth place.

Junior Breanna Ellis posted a 3.1-second time Friday to tie Crouse for 17th place in the third round, but with a no-score in the first go was out of the running for a finals spot. None of Valley's three goat tyers qualified, Crouse coming in 16th as four competitors slipped past her on their last prelims.

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