From SWOSU Sports Info.
Doug Self, Sports Information Director
LAS VEGAS, Nev. – The historic rise of Sage Kimzey added another chapter on Friday night as the alumnus of the SWOSU Rodeo Team became the first bull rider to win the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) World Championship in each of his first two seasons on the pro circuit.
Kimzey clinched his second gold buckle with a second-place finish in round nine of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo after scoring 84 points on his ride of Maverick. Kimzey still sits second in the average at the NFR with 494.0 points on six rides, but his yearly earnings have moved past the $260,000 mark which is far enough past the field for him to clinch the world title.
“This one means even more than my first one, it honestly does,” Kimzey said during an interview with the CBS Sports Network following the ninth round. “This year has been filled with ups and downs, it really has. If it was hard to win the first one, it was tenfold more trying to win the second one. I didn’t have the Finals I really wanted to coming in here, but I’m just thankful that I got it done.”
Kimzey competed at SWOSU from 2012-14, advancing to the College National Finals Rodeo (CNFR) twice and finishing as the National Runner-up in 2014. Last December, he became just the second bull rider to win the Rookie of the Year and Gold Buckle in the same season and he is now just the second SWOSU Rodeo alum to become a two-time world champion.
Other past Bulldogs to win world championships include Lee Graves in Steer Wrestling (2005, 2009), Eric Mouton in Bareback (1997) and Mark Gomes in Bareback (1998).
“We are all very proud and excited for Sage, what an accomplishment for one of our alumni to win a second World Championship,” SWOSU Head Rodeo Coach Mike Visnieski said. “Sage has had another phenomenal year and that’s a credit to the person he is and how hard he works to stay on top of his game. Congratulations Sage!”
SWOSU’s other alumnus competing at the Wrangler NFR, Tyrel Larsen got his fifth qualified ride in saddle bronc riding on Friday night, finishing fourth in the round with a ride of 79.5 points. Larsen also placed in the second round with a ride of 81.5 points and he currently sits 13th in both the average and world standings heading into the final round on Saturday night.
The final round of the Wrangler NFR will be this evening at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, with coverage beginning at 9:00 pm CST on the CBS Sports Network. Following the round, Kimzey and the other World Champion winners will be awarded their gold buckles.