Colten Fritzlan of Rifle comes oh-so close to national bull-riding title |

Colten Fritzlan of Rifle comes oh-so close to national bull-riding title

GALLUP, N.M. — Colten Fritzlan of Rifle finished sixth in bull riding average at the National Junior High Finals Rodeo on Saturday night, coming just three-tenths of a second away from reaching the 8-second mark on his third and final ride of the week-long event.

The 13-year-old Rifle Middle School student, who won the Colorado state bull riding championship in Monte Vista in May, finished with a two-ride score of 137. That accounted for his first two rides of the week-long event: a score of 60 in Monday’s first go-around and a third-place score of 77 in the second go-around, which took place on Friday.

Trey Holston of Fort Scott, Kan., was the only junior-high cowboy to make all three rides. After coming into the final bull-riding go round in fourth place with an average score of 114, Holston held on for a 71 to finish with a three-ride winning score of 185.

Fritzlan got off to a good start, staying straight up as his bull spun to the right.

But on a sudden jerk the other way by the bull Fritzlan was riding, the Rifle cowboy began to lean to the right, then came off right before the 8-second buzzer sounded.

“We talked to the judges afterward,” said Colten’s mother, Velvet, by phone from Gallup. “They said he probably would have gotten a 90.”

The timing clock at the rodeo stopped at 7.7 seconds after Colten’s ride, Velvet said.

Fritzlan was competing in the National Junior High Finals Rodeo for the first time.

He qualified for the national rodeo last year, but he had to sit out of competition due to an arm injury that required surgery.

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