College Champions: NIRA crowns national champions during CNFR in Casper
Casper – The College Nationals Finals Rodeo (CNFR) hosted top contestants in the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association (NIRA) June 14-18 at the Ford Wyoming Center. Several contestants representing the Cowboy State were in attendance, and 2022 CNFR champions were crowned.
Ty Pope of Missouri Valley College (MVC) took home the gold buckle as the CNFR Bareback World Champion. Pope finished in fourth place in the first round with a 79.5-point ride, and tied for second-place in round two with Cole Franks, also of MVC, with a 79.5-point ride. In round three he tied for seventh place in round three with Gauge McBride of Panola College (PANOLA) with a 74.5-point ride and placed first in the short round with an 85-point ride. Pope walked away from the CNFR with a total of 318.5 points.
Cole Franks of MVC rode Vold Rodeo Company’s Spicy Chicken in the last round and scored 81.5 points, leaving him one point short of a championship title. Franks rode for a total of 317.5 points. He placed first in round one with an 83.5-point ride and tied for second in round two with Donny Proffit of University of Wyoming (UW) with a 79.5-point ride. In round three he placed ninth with Tyler Griffin of Southwestern Oklahoma State University (SEOKSU) with a 74-point ride and tied for second with Brice Patterson of UW in the short round.
In the steer wrestling event, Walt Arnold, a senior of Tarleton State University (TARLET), walked away being crowned the CNFR Steer Wrestling Champion. In the first round he placed first with a 4.2 second run, in the second round he placed seventh with a 4.2 second run, in the third round he placed sixth with a 4.8 second run and in the short round he placed first with a 3.7 second run. He rode for a cumulative 16.9 seconds, earning him the national championship title.
Defending national champion, Gavin Soileau of McNeese State University (MCNSU), returned home with second-place honors with a cumulative time of 18.7 seconds.
Riley Kittle of Cisco College and Jace of Helton Weatherford College (WEATHR) took home gold buckles as the CNFR Team Roping World Champions.
The pair placed eighth in round one with a 7.2 second run. In round two, there was a two-way tie for eighth place with ropers Cooper Cowan and Cade Cowan, both with a time of 9.9 seconds. In round three they placed in a three-way tie for fifth place with ropers Brad Moreno of Central Arizona College (CAZC), Jaken Todacheenie of Northern Pioneer College, Cutter Machado of Cal Poly State University – San Luis Obispo (CAPSLO) and Wyatt Hansen of West Hills College with a time of six seconds. In the short round, the pair placed fifth with a 11.3 second run. The pair rode for a cumulative of 34.4 seconds.
Dylan Orr and Wyatt Vankoll of Blue Mountain Community College (BLUE) went home with second-place honors with a cumulative time of 39 seconds.
Saddle bronc riding
Shae Fournier of MCNSU won the CNFR Saddle Bronc Champion title with a cumulative sore of 315 points. In round one he placed eighth with a score of 74.5 points and tied with Garrett Cunningham of Montana State University, Northern. In round two, he placed second with a score of 79 points and in round three he placed first with an 80.5-point ride. In the short round, he placed third with an 81-point ride.
Cash Wilson of TARLET went home with the reserve championship title with a cumulative score of 308.5 points.
The CNFR Tie-Down Roping Champion is Kindcade Henry of PANOLA. He rode for a cumulative of 38.1 seconds. In round one he placed first with an 8.4 second ride, and in round two he tied for sixth place with Linkyn Petersek of Casper College (CC) and Cody Stewart of Feather River College with a 11 second run. In the third round he tied for seventh place with Tanner Brown of East Mississippi Community College with a 9.7 second run and in the short go he placed seventh with a nine second run.
Trevor Hale of Cisco College set a new arena record in the finals with a 7.1 second run and went home with a total time of 39.7 seconds, earning him the reserve championship.
The CNFR Breakaway Roping Champion is Bryanna Lehrmann of Texas A&M University-Commerce (TXAMUC) with a cumulative time of 9.2 seconds. In round one she tied for 18th place with a time of 2.7 seconds with Camela Haalilio of CAZC, Briena Wells of WEATHR, Samantha Kerns of Trinity Valley Community College and Molly Salmond of Montana State University (MTSU). In round two she placed first with a time of 1.7 seconds alongside Madalyn Richards of Texas A&M University (TXAMU). In the third round she placed fourth with Hayden Madsen of Laramie County Community College and Kimberly Williams of Walla Walla Community College with a time of 2.2 seconds and in the short round, she placed second with a time of 2.6 seconds, alongside Gracely Speth of CAPSLO.
Brienna Wells of WEATHR took home second-place honors with a cumulative time of 10.3 seconds.
In the goat tying event, Kamryn Duncan of MCNSU and Maddee Doerr of Cochise College (COCHSE) won the champion title with a cumulative time of 24.9 seconds. In round one Kamryn tied for 10th place with Kodey Hoss of WEATHR, Mayce Marek of TXAMUC, Sonora Schueneman of TXAMU and Hailey Garrison MTSU with a time of 6.4 seconds. In round two, she placed ninth alongside Kodey Hoss WEATHR and Aubree Skone of BLUE with a time of 6.4 seconds. In round three she placed fifth with a 6.1 second run and in the short round she placed third with a six second run.
Maddee Doerr tied for 17th place with contestants Wacy Day of Northeastern Junior College, and Heather McLaughlin of University of West Alabama with a time of 6.6 seconds. In round two, she tied for second with Jaicee Bastian of Utah Valley University, Taylour Latham of UW and Sierra Spratt of CAPSLO with a 6.1 second run. In round three she tied for sixth-place with Emma Hodson of Weber State University, Kodey Hoss of WEATHR, Sheyenne Anderson of MVC, Sierra Spratt of CAPSLO and Jessi Portenier of COCHSE with a time of 6.3 seconds. In the short round, she placed second with a 5.9 second run.
Kristin Reaves of WEATHR took home second-place honors with a cumulative time of 25 seconds.
The CNFR Barrel Racing Champion is Sadie Wolaver of SEOKSU. She rode for a cumulative time of 56.86 seconds. In rounds one and two she placed second with a 14.26 second run and 14.24 second run respectively. In round three she tied for third place with a 14.22 second run with Ellie Bard of Gillette College (GILLET) and Bryana Lehrmann of TXAMUC and in the short round she tied for third with a time of 14.14 seconds with Ellie Bard of GILLET.
Taycie Matthews of EMSCC went home with second-place honors with an average time of 57.23 seconds.
Casey Roberts of Three Rivers College won the CNFR Bull Riding Champion title. He was the only bull rider to ride three of four bulls. He placed first in round one with a 79-point ride, he placed third in round two with a 78-point ride, alongside TJ Schmidt of Panhandle State University, no score in round three and in the short round, he placed first with an 82.5-point ride. Roberts rode for a cumulative score of 239.5 points.
Tristen Hutchings of Sul Ross State University, who was the defending champion, finished as this year’s reserve champion with 167 points on two head.
and team winners
The Men’s All-Around Champion is Cole Walker of University of Tennessee – Martin. He competed for a total of 270 points. Cole Dodds of California State University-Frensno came in second-place honors with a total of 245 points.
The Women’s All-Around Champion is Bryana Lehrmann of TXAMUC with 310 points. Kaytlyn Miller of Texas Tech University – Lubbock came in second with 198.3 points.
The Men’s Team championship title went to TARLET with a cumulative score of 900 points, MCNSU came in second with 780 points. MVC placed third with 770 points and CC placed fourth overall in the men’s team standings with 620 points.
The Women’s Team championship title went to Weatherford College with a total of 538.33 points, SWOKSU went home with second-place honors with 520 points in the national standings.
The Rookie of the Year Award is given to a contestant in their first year of competing in NIRA. Rounding out top honors is Andy Guzman of Mesalands Community College with 215 points, and the Women’s Rookie of the Year Award was given to Kenlie Raby MVC with a total of 80 points.
In addition to contestant champions being crowned, the top American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) recognizes both Men’s and Women’s Horse of the Year. The Men’s AQHA Horse of the Year was awarded to tie-down roper, Kincade Henry of PANOLA. His horse’s name is Duals Crescent Boon. The Women’s AQHA Horse of the Year was awarded to barrel racer, Sadie Wolaver of SWOKSU. Her horse’s name is I’m a Sharp Frost.
Brittany Gunn is the editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Send comments on this article to firstname.lastname@example.org.