Fourth-round barrel racers set blistering pace

Angie Meadors was the fastest of a fast group of barrel racers Sunday in the fourth go-round of the National Finals Rodeo at the Thomas & Mack Center.

Meadors, of Blanchard, Okla., edged runners-up Syndi Blanchard of Albuquerque, N.M., and Kelli Tolbert of Hooper, Utah, by one-hundredth of a second. Ten of 15 riders completed the course in less than 14 seconds.

Meadors, competing in her sixth NFR but first since 1996, completed the three-barrel, cloverleaf course in 13.68 seconds on Mulberry after riding Fanny the first three nights.

"She’s a very fast horse," Meadors said of Mulberry. "I’ve been on a lot of great horses, but she’s one of the greatest athletes I’ve ever swung a leg over.

"It feels great to be back here. The only thing that changed is the money is better and I’m old enough to gamble."

She won $17,512 for her night’s work.

■ GO-ROUND WINNERS — Other winners: Kaycee Feild (Payson, Utah), bareback; Matt Reeves (Cross Plains, Texas), steer wrestling; Brady Tryan (Huntley, Mont.) and Jake Long (Coffeyville, Texas), team roping; Wade Sundell (Boxholm, Iowa), saddle bronc; Cody Ohl (Hico, Texas) and Clint Cooper (Decatur, Texas), tied in calf roping; and Kanin Asay (Powell, Wyo.), bull riding.

■ TWO-TIMERS — Feild and Asay became the first winners of two go-rounds in the 52nd annual event.

Feild had added motivation. In May, he went to Afghanistan and Kuwait to visit American troops on a goodwill tour, and the annual Patriot Night that honored the military was held Sunday.

"I went to lunch with a lot of those guys today, and they said, ‘We’ll all go on stage with you (Sunday) when you get your (winner’s) buckle,’ " he said. "I said I would try my hardest, and it ended up being like this, so that’s pretty fun."

It was back-to-back wins for Asay, who moved to second in the world standings behind 2007 world champion Wesley Silcox.

■ GRAY UPDATE — Bareback rider Ryan Gray, who was stepped on by a horse in Friday’s go-round, remains in stable condition with a lacerated liver at University Medical Center. He is expected to be released within a few days, and it will take three to six months for a complete recovery, according to Dr. Tandy Freeman of Justin Sportsmedicine.

Contact reporter Jeff Wolf at or 702-383-0247.

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