Corkill finishes 8th at WNFR | NevadaAppeal.com
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Corkill finishes 8th at WNFR

By Anthony Mori Elko Daily Free Press



In the hunt for his fourth heeling world title, Fallon’s Jade Corkill — the three-time, consecutive world champ from 2012 through 2014 — rode a rollercoaster of emotions during the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo at Globe Life Field, in Arlington, Texas.
From being one of the favorites, to overcoming a slow start and climbing back in the race — his week ended on a low point.
Heeling for partner Clay Smith, they opened the WNFR with a solid run of 5.1 seconds for fourth-place money, only to follow with a no-time on a missed heel loop and a pair of one-legged shots.
However, in Round 5 — Smith and Corkill tied the WNFR Round 5 record with a smoking run of 3.6 seconds.
Just when they appeared to find a little momentum, a tough steer caused them to take a step back — finishing in 12.3 seconds with a five-second penalty.
When the door seemed like it was closing, their hopes were once again ignited with a second-place, 4.3-second effort in Round 7.
One step forward, two steps back with a missed head shot on a good steer in Round 8.
Things looked dreary, but a wacky-and-wild Round 9 of team roping cracked the door open once more.
Key players in the hunt for the world title faltered, other than Lovell and Eaves — who continued their string of go-round victories — and Smith and Corkill knocked down a 4.4-second run for fourth place.
Entering Round 10 in second place and moving back up in the average, Smith and Corkill needed a good run to give themselves a chance at their respective third and fourth gold buckles.
No bueno.
Another misfire on the head loop spelled disastrous and ended and up-and-down, valley-and-peak week for the team.
Despite struggles — finishing with three-no times and three runs with five-second penalties — Smith and Corkill placed on all-four of their clean runs, winning Round 5 and earning a second-place check to go along with a pair of fourth-place performances.
They were still able to pull an average check of $3,807.69 apiece for eighth place on a seven-run total of 48-seconds flat.
Smith and Corkill — along with their qualifier moneys — with go-round checks and their average finish, compiled $85,307.69 each at the WNFR.
With $155,011.24 apiece in winnings for the 2020 season, both Smith and Corkill ranked sixth in the year-end heading and heeling standings.