Kiln native wrangles third place in tie down roping event at CNFR

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, June 20, 2017

CASPER, WYOMING — Freshman standout Andrew Burks set the bar high in Pearl River Community College’s inaugural rodeo season, placing third in the tie down roping contest at the College National Finals Rodeo as the lone Wildcat at the event.

“It’s a great accomplishment for me and for the program. This just shows how talented the coaching staff is here and the potential we have going forward,” Burks said.

Making history for his school was on Burks’ mind as he traveled nearly 1,700 miles to Casper, Wyoming to compete in the national tournament, however, he said that his main goal was to do his best and compete with everything he had.

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“I wasn’t really nervous at all going into the event, because we’ve been preparing for this moment all year,” Burks said, who finished second in the tie-down roping event in the Ozark Region of the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association earlier this year.

In the first go-around, Burks wrangled the calf in nine seconds flat, starting the event on a good note.

“I felt pretty good after the first round. I knew that if I could continue to be that quick, I would be on top in the end,” he said.

Unfortunately, a mishap took place in the second round, resulting in a 12.9 second tie-down. Despite the misfortune, Burks managed to finish in third place after wrapping up the competition with a 10.7 second tie-down in the third round before producing a solid 10 second run in the championship round to total 42.6 second, finishing 0.1 of a second ahead of the fourth-place finisher.

Burks was only two seconds away from placing second, and 5.9 seconds away from becoming the national tie-down roping champion.

“This is a great starting point for me and I am going to use this year as motivation for the next season. My mind is set on continuing to work hard and getting better for next year,” Burks said.

With more than 400 collegiate cowboys and cowgirls competing from over 100 four-year universities and two-year junior colleges throughout the nation, Burks single-handedly carried PRCC to finish 30th overall in the CNFR 2017 Men’s Team total with 150 points.