Rendon Powledge Leads Tight Race into 2024 WCJR
Rendon Powledge is entering the 2024 WCJR in July atop a tight race in the Junior heading standings.
Rendon Powledge, Cooper Parsley during the 2023 WCJR Saturday performance. Photo By: Bull Stock Media

There’s a tight race at the top of the 2024 WCRA Division Youth Junior heading leaderboard, but Rendon Powledge leads the pack heading into the WCJR with 5,848.75 points.

Reigning WCRA DY junior world champion header Conley Kleinhans sits second with 5,759.75, just 89 points behind Powledge. Powledge is an 18-year-old from Grandview, Texas, and will be attending Cisco College in the fall where he’ll college rodeo, entering the team roping, tie-down roping and steer roping. Powledge is preparing for his second trip to the WCJR July 23-27, at the Lazy E Arena in Guthrie, Oklahoma.

The Team Roping Journal: Tell me a little about yourself and how you got into the sport.

Rendon Powledge: My mom grew up running barrels and my dad kind of grew up roping, so they got me into it when I was probably 4 years old. This guy that lives probably ten minutes away, Brent Bennett, that’s who really got me started. I went over there and roped a lot every day with him. Then, along the way, the Kanadys who I roped with Kyler at the high school rodeos and stuff, they’ve helped me out a lot. 

TRJ: It’s tight at the top of the WCRA DY standings, but you have the lead going into the WCJR. What’s that mean to you?

RP: It’s very tight up there, but it means a lot. I feel like, when you get to the top of the leaderboard, it feels like that’s where you want to be; you worked your hardest to get there. I’m not too sure how it works, but I think we get a guaranteed spot to the [Championship Round], maybe. That’ll be super nice. It’s a big relief.

TJ: There are a lot of opportunities for youth to nominate toward the WCJR. Where do you go for most of your nominations?

RP: The biggest one I’ve gotten here lately was the Texas High School Rodeo State Finals. Along the way, we nominated the high school rodeos, and they sometimes have like a 19 and under 12 slide that we can nominate. I also nominate some youth rodeos along the way, like the AJRA (American Junior Rodeo Association).

TRJ: You also take advantage of the DY showcases. What do you like about those opportunities as well?

RP: Last year at Fort Worth, I liked how two hours before they helped us work on our interviews and stuff. I liked how they did that. I also like how you get to compete for a good amount of money against just a few people.

TRJ: There are some perks to nominating throughout the year and finishing in the top 16 of the leaderboard. What keeps you nominating?

RP: I love that they’re good rodeos, but I mainly like nominating them so I can get a guaranteed spot at the Semi-Finals. They’re super good rodeos, though. (Athletes in the top 16 of the DY Leaderboard are seeded into the Semi-Finals.)

TRJ: Who are you roping with this year in Guthrie?

RP: Kyler Kanady. I roped with him at the high school rodeos, state finals and then we roped at the San Antonio (Stock Show & Rodeo) Youth Rodeo this year. 

I haven’t really roped with him very long. I started last year and he and I have gotten super close. I always go to his house and practice or he always comes to my house and we just get along. So far it’s worked pretty good.

TRJ: Will you get to prepare much for the WCJR this summer?

RP: Unfortunately, there won’t be much preparing because we go to Shawnee (IFYR), then to (High School) Nationals and then right to Guthrie right after. We’re going to rope in the Qualifying Round because we got a paid spot from state finals. So we’re going to get to rope in that. I guess that’s kind of going to be our practice—the big show.

TRJ: What’s your game plan for the Lazy E?

RP: I think it just kind of depends how fast everyone’s going. If it’s not too fast, we’ll just go make a good run and if it does happen to get pretty fast, we’ll have to be pretty aggressive.

Meet the other WCRA DY leaders going into the WCJR

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