KEITH FREEMAN, Associated Press
LAS VEGAS (AP) — J.W. Harris wrapped up his fourth bull riding season championship Friday night, tying for first place in the ninth round of the National Finals Rodeo.
Harris, of Mullin, Texas, scored 87.5 points on Little Shyster to match Trevor Kastner of Ardmore, Okla. Kaster rode Fire Show.
“It is (better to clinch with a first-place effort rather than backing into it), especially the way I rode the last few nights,” Harris said. “Honestly, it’s been a disappointing finals for me because I wanted to win the average (aggregate standings) as well.
“I know there’s one round left, but I wanted to win the world and average, and there’s no good reason I shouldn’t be 9 for 9 right now. One of my goals was to ride all 10 here, but I couldn’t get that done.”
Harris earned $16,677 to push his season total to $214,067. He leads all bull riders with $83,684 in NFR earnings and is second in the aggregate standings with 518.5 points for six rides.
Cody Teel of Kountze, Texas, the winner of the previous two rounds, was fifth with a 77.5 on Seminole Wind. He leads the aggregate standings with 575 points for seven rides. Teel is second in the season standings with $165,179 with one round remaining.
In barrel racing, season standings leader Sherry Cervi of Marana, Ariz., closed in on her fourth season championship when she tied for third in 13.89 seconds. Cervi leads the aggregate standings at 124.00 for nine rides.
The lone barrel racer to place in the six money-earning positions in all nine rounds, Cervi leads the standings with $250,733 and tops all NFR competitors with $103,315.
Defending season champion Mary Walker of Ennis, Texas, is second in the standings with $206,527. She was second in the round in 13.82.
Lisa Lockhart of Oelrichs, S.D., won the round in 13.65.
In bareback, Kaycee Feild of Payson, Utah, remained atop the standings with $186,881 after failing to finish among the top six with a 77 on Delta Glamorous.
Feild, seeking a third consecutive title, leads the aggregate standings with 740 points for nine rides. He’s trying to become the first rider to win three consecutive aggregate titles since Jack Ward Jr. in 1974-76. Feild has earned an event-high $66,506 at the NFR.
Bobby Mote of Culver, Ore., tied for sixth with a 79.5 on Kattle Katie and is second in the standings at $162,796. Mote is 10th in the aggregate standings with 641 points for eight rides.
Ryan Gray of Cheney, Wash., won the round with an 85.5 on Smack Daddy. He’s third in the standings with $155,763 and ninth in the aggregate with 642 points for eight rides.
“I’ve been winning checks but missed out last night, so that was disappointing,” Gray said. “With five checks and getting second in the fourth round and third in the seventh, I can’t complain. I feel like I’ve been riding as good as I have all year. I’ve stayed consistent. I missed the finals last year, so I was really motivated to get back here, and it’s been great.”
In steer wrestling, Matt Reeves of Cross Plains, Texas, leads the standings with $142,349.
Hunter Cure of Holliday, Texas, tied for third in 3.7, and is second with $134,893. He has an event-high $69,887 at the NFR and is fourth in the aggregate with 49.20 points for nine rides.
Stan Branco of Chowchilla, Calif., won the round in 3.5.
In team roping, header Kaleb Driggers of Albany, Ga., and heeler Travis Graves of Jay, Okla., won the round in 3.5. They are each second in the season standings, with Driggers at $157,729, and Graves at $162,721.
The season standings leaders, header Clay Tryan of Billings, Mont., and heeler Jade Corkill of Fallon, Nev., remained in first despite not placing among the top six. Tryan has earned $167,969, and Corkill has made $166,338.
In saddle bronc, two-time season champion Cody Wright of Milford, Utah, won his first NFR round this year with an 81 on Vitalix Sacred Sacrifice. He’s second in the season standings with $172,874.
Cody’s brother, Jake, who won the two previous rounds and four overall, is the leader with $175,535 and has an event high $87,440 at the NFR. He’s sixth in the aggregate standings with 577 points for seven rides.
In tie-down roping, Shane Hanchey of Sulphur, La., won the round in 7.4 and leads the aggregate standings at 71.70 for nine head. He’s second in the season race with $159,895 and first in NFR earnings with $86,989.
Six-time season champion Cody Ohl of Hico, Texas, finished last in 29.50, but he still leads the season standings with $180,430 and is second with $85,486 in the NFR. But he fell to ninth in the aggregate with a time of 99.80 in nine tries.
In all-around, Trevor Brazile of Decatur, Texas, secured his record-breaking 19th gold buckle when he won the season championship during the sixth round Tuesday night. Brazile has earned $362,459 after placing fifth in tie-down roping in 8.1 in the round.