When the World Champions Rodeo Alliance (WCRA) first introduced their Division Youth (DY) Rodeo in August 2020 open to athletes aged 13-19 years of age, the goal was to foster young rodeo athletes in their development and give them another opportunity to compete against their peers in big rodeo moments.
But WCRA took things a step further, allowing DY athletes the same ability to advance through WCRA Major events as their adult counterparts and even possibly win big Triple Crown of Rodeo events like Rodeo Corpus Christi, which began with Qualifying Rounds May 8, 2022.
The top 8 competitors in each timed event on the DY Leaderboards—points earned from nominating events using the WCRA’s Virtual Rodeo Qualifier app—were invited to participate in the Qualifying Rounds for RCC, which were held in nearby Robstown at the Richard M. Borchard Regional Fairgrounds.
DY athletes were running for the DY Incentive purse worth $21,000. But they also had a shot at the overall Rodeo Corpus Christie purse of $553,000.
DY competitors shined in all disciplines with 24 making the cut after Qualifying Rounds to advance to the Progressive Rounds held during the performances in American Bank Center May 11-13.
No discipline had more DY athletes moving on than the barrel racing where five ladies ran fast enough to be inside the top 24 following the long round on May 10. Two of those, Jordyn Koonsman and Makenzie Mayes, won money in the open payout.
Koonsman competed in a softball game for Blum (Texas) High School on Monday night before heading south to Corpus, arriving just a couple of hours prior to the start of barrel racing competition.
Once in town, Koonsman won third overall to pick up $2,550 along with the $2,500 DY Incentive win. That win came with a custom boogie board wrapped to match the surfboards given to the RCC Champions on Saturday night.
Koonsman will compete again on Thursday night. The top two performers from each perf move on to Saturday’s Showdown Round.
For the year end title, Kialyn Armstrong gathered the most points for the DY 2021-2022 segment, which began June 28 and ended April 10. She was awarded a trophy buckle for the title.
Qualifying Results—Division Youth (DY) Incentive
- Jordyn Kooonsman, 15.709, $2,500
- Makenzie Mayes, 15.733, $1,000
DY Competitors in the Progressive Round
Wednesday, May 11
Thursday, May 12
Friday, May 13