Ketch Can Catch

Ketch Kelton Bests Kreece Dearing By 0.1 to Win Round 1 of 2024 Jr. Ironman
It was a nail-biting first round of Jr. Ironman competition between two returning talents in 2024.
Ketch Kelton
Ketch Kelton heels his Round 1 steer to lead the JR Ironman in 2024. | James Phifer Photo

The 2024 Jr. Ironman competition kicked off inside the Lazy E Arena on Feb. 29, and returning talents Ketch Kelton and Kreece Dearing kept fans on the edge of their seats until the final moments, before Kelton emerged victorious by 0.1 seconds.

Kelton’s aggregate time of 41.7 seconds on four runs earned him $750 for the Round 1 win inside the Lazy E Arena, but fellow returning athlete Dearing didn’t let off the throttle across four events.

Kelton kicked off the round in the heading on “Peaches,” whom fans may recognize inside the Lazy E for her Charlie 1 Horse All-Girl heading win during BFI Week in 2023 with Kelton’s older sister, Kenzie. Ironman competitor, Cade Rice captured one back leg to give Kelton a time of 13.6 seconds. Meanwhile, Dearing earned the heading fast time in 8.6 seconds.

Next up, Kelton stayed solid in the tie-down roping to go 12.2 seconds, while Dearing trailed behind in the fourth-place position with a 13.4.

“I compete at (the Lazy E) at least three, four times a year, so I’ve got pretty comfortable with this setup. Being first tonight didn’t really bother me—I wanted to just do my job on each run.”

Ketch Kelton

Kelton climbed aboard his personal horse Happy Meal for the heeling, where he quietly cleaned up a 10.3 behind Ironman competitor Colby Lovell to finish second in the round. Dearing opened up the door for Kelton to make his move when he caught a hing leg, resulting in a 13.7-second time.

“I just wanted to keep catching them,” Kelton said. “The calf really ran, I wanted to just go and stay smooth on him.”

Watch all the Cinch Timed Event Championship action from Guthrie this week at

If there’s one thing fans learned from watching Kelton’s 2023 record-breaking Jr. Ironman showing, it’s that he isn’t scared to apply pressure as the buzzer sounds. Kelton drew the first-gunner position in each event during Round 1, and he cracked out on his final event with a 5.6-second time in the bulldogging. Dearing, toward the bottom of the draw, finished just behind Kelton in the round in a clutch 6.1. When the dust settled, Kelton maintained his perfect Jr. Ironman record, winning the $750 Round check in 41.7 seconds, leaving Dearing in second-place, earning $250.

Stay tuned for full results from the first round of Jr. Ironman competition and CTEC coverage all weekend long on, Team Roping Journal and

Jr. Ironman 2024 Round 1 Results

  1. Ketch Kelton, 41.7 seconds $750
  2. Kreece Dearing, 41.8 seconds $250
  3. Micah Kearney, 57.6 seconds
  4. Evan Bottini , 75.8 seconds
  5. Tyler Porter, 87.1 seconds
  6. Luke Tippmann, 99.6 seconds
  7. Eli Green, 112.4 seconds
  8. Colin Fox, 141.1 seconds
  9. Jake Shelton, 145.1 seconds
  10. Hank Burgess, 157.7 seconds
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