Can't Stop Ketching

Is Ketch Kelton Impossible to Beat at the Jr. Ironman?
Ketch Kelton continues his nearly perfect Jr. Ironman streak with a Round 2 win in 2024.
Ketch Kelton team roping heeling at Jr. Ironman
Ketch Kelton wins Round 2 of the 2024 Ironman. James Phifer/RodeoBum Photography.

Ketch Kelton continued his Jr. Ironman domination in Round 2 of the 2024 installment, claiming the Round 2 win in 39.8 seconds and lengthening his lead on eight runs on March 1 inside the Lazy E Arena.

With an iron-clad mental game, solid horses and A-list helpers, Kelton keeps turning heads inside the Lazy E Arena every time he nods his head. The 2024 Round 2 win marks Kelton’s fourth consecutive Jr. Ironman Round victory. His near-perfect record is only spoiled by Clay Clayman’s Round 1 win at the 2023 installment, but Kelton hasn’t eased off his competition since.

“Honestly, this round didn’t feel perfect,” Kelton said. “When I see a shot, I take it, and I’m just trying to get by the good and bad draws every round and knocking ’em down.”

Kelton gained the advantage in Round 2 of being last out in each event, reversed from yesterday’s first-gunner position. Coming into the round, Kelton led by just .1 in the aggregate above Kreece Dearing. Dearing applied pressure, and Kelton answered back each round, wading his way through each event with veteran experience. Ironman competitors Cade Rice and Colby Lovell gave him solid assists in the heading and heeling, and Tyler Pearson was right alongside 18-year-old Kelton hazing in the bulldogging, even coaching him through a difficult draw.

“I never hear my hazers,” Kelton said. “But I heard Pearson telling me to wait, then ‘GET DOWN.'”

The listening paid off, and Kelton’s bulldogging efforts were enough to clinch his $750 Round 2 win. Behind him, Evan Bottini battled back after a rocky Round 1 to trail Kelton’s 39.8 with a 45.0 on four runs.

Heading into tomorrow’s third and final round of 2024 Jr. Ironman competition, Kelton’s looking to maintain his consistency across the board. Behind him, Kreece Dearing isn’t letting off the throttle. Kelton maintains his lead by 6.3 seconds ahead of Dearing’s 87.8, before things drop off in a big way with Bottini’s 120.8 on eight runs.

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Jr. Ironman 2024 Round Two Results

  1. Ketch Kelton, 39.8 seconds $750
  2. Evan Bottini, 45 seconds $250
  3. Kreece Dearing, 46 seconds
  4. Eli Green, 47.5 seconds
  5. Luke Tippmann, 66.3 seconds
  6. Tyler Poter 94.2 seconds
  7. Micah Kearney, 94.4 seconds
  8. Hank Burgess, 149.2 seconds
  9. Colin Fox, 166.7 seconds
  10. Jake Shelton, 184.4 seconds

Aggregate Results (on 8 head)

  1. Ketch Kelton, 81.5 seconds
  2. Kreece Dearing, 87.8 seconds
  3. Evan Bottinin, 120.8 seconds
  4. Micah Kearney, 152 seconds
  5. Eli Green, 159.9 seconds
  6. Luke Tippmann, 1165.9 seconds
  7. Tyler Porter, 181.3 seconds
  8. Hank Burgess, 306.9 seconds
  9. Colin Fox, 307.8 seconds
  10. Jake Shelton, 329.5 seconds
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