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Top sports moments: Spencer Mitchell finishes 11th in emotional run at national rodeo
Spencer Mitchell overcame the loss of his close friend and former roping partner, Broc Cresta, who died in July, and won the fifth and ninth rounds at the 10-round PRCA Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.
He teamed up with close friend Dakota Kirchenschlager and finished 11th overall in the team roping competition at the prestigious event, bringing home a purse of $43,876.
The duo snapped out of a slump in the fifth round, securing the steer in 3.7 seconds, which tied them for the fasted time of the round. They followed up with a third place time of 4.2 seconds in the sixth round before winning the ninth round outright with a time of 4.0 seconds.
"It was a struggle to get there, and this year was a struggle for a lot of people. It was a relief. I knew we had the capability to do it, but both of us were just extremely happy to make it there the way we did," Mitchell said.
Kirchenschlager, 21, of Texas, didn't qualify for the finals until the week before the event, and Mitchell, 24, of Williams, only qualified a short time before that.
Mitchell qualified for the NFR last year and won the 10th round with Cresta, his childhood friend and long-time roping partner. Mitchell grew up in Windsor, just down the road from Santa Rosa where Cresta lived. Mitchell moved to Williams in 2004, where he went through the independent study program at Colusa High, but they continued roping together, winning several state titles in high school.