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By Whitney Wyatt/The Red River Sun—
TULSA – 13-year-old Colee Cox from Tell placed 3rd in the 15 and Under Goat Tying at the Vegas Tuffest Junior World Championship in Tulsa, Okla.
She also won the short round with a personal best of 6.86 seconds. “A million things were going through my mind,” said Cox. “I was really, really, really excited. My hard work had paid off.”
These moments were extra special, because Cox’s journey did not start well at the Junior World Finals in Alvarado and Fort Worth where she competed in the 15 and Under Breakaway and 19 and Under Breakaway.
“We didn’t have any luck in Fort Worth, and she was down,” said her mother Holly. “Colee came back from having a really bad week, and some people counted her out. We are so proud of her.”
The younger Cox said she was nervous, but she wanted to do better. “I was telling myself I need to step up my game,” she explained. “I said a prayer.”
Praying before every run is actually a family tradition, her mother added. “Before every run, her daddy and her pray.”
Being the underdog, Colee still ended up in the top 15 out of 59 participants. “Coming in 14th, she would have to blow everyone out of the water,” her mom added.
And that, she did. “She brought her best game till last,” said her grandmother Cherri Bradshaw. “Colee won the 3rd round with a smoking 6.86, 4th in average and hot round with a 7.06.”
“It was pretty awesome,” said Cox. “I wasn’t down about anything anymore. I was back to me.”
Placing 3rd in the world is a big deal, but it’s even bigger since she was the youngest in the age group.
“My parents have always had me enter up for the competitions,” Colee said. “When I compete against younger girls, I go down to their level. When I compete against the big girls, it pushes me and makes me better.”
This is music to her mother’s ears.
“This is something Colee loves,” Holly said. “We want her to do good, but to make her better we have to put her in places where the competition is tougher. We do this so she can better herself.”
And that’s exactly what happened at the Vegas Tuffest when Colee competed in the 12 and Under Goat Tying, 15 and Under Goat Tying and 15 and Under Breakaway Roping.
“When your child does something they have been blessed with there are no words to express,” Holly said. “We give all glory to God. She would not have the talents without God.”
For the younger Colee, she’s happy to keep Tell, Texas on the map. In fact, it’s her hashtag – from social media to the back of her trailer. #keepingtelltxonthemap