Rodeo Season Wraps Up: Collegiate rodeo athletes conclude season with impressive showing at CNFR
Casper – June 17 marked the official end of the 2022-23 collegiate rodeo season, as elite athletes from across the nation gathered in the Ford Wyoming Center to compete among the best of the best at the College National Finals Rodeo (CNFR).
Eleven cowboys and cowgirls representing colleges from coast to coast were crowned as national champions in nine events including saddle bronc riding, bareback riding, bull riding, tie-down roping, team roping, steer wrestling, barrel racing, break- away roping and goat tying.
Saddle bronc riding
Following a first-place finish in the first round with an 84-point ride and a second-place finish in the third round with an 80.5-point ride, Quintin McWhorter of Cal Poly State University-San Luis Obispo took home the national title with an 85-point ride to win the short go and tie for first in the average with 323.5 points.
Western Texas College’s Damien Brennan also had 323.5 points, finishing first in the average and second in the championship round with an 84-point ride.
Isaac Richard of McNeese State University (McNeese) ended up third in the average with 320.5 points, following an 83.5- point ride in the final round.
Donny Proffit, a Kemmerer native dressed in the brown and gold vest of the University of Wyoming (UW), finished in the top 15 in all four rounds of bareback riding at the CNFR.
Proffit had a 76-point ride and ninth-place finish in the first round, a 75.5- point ride and 13th-place finish in the second round and a 79-point ride and third-place finish in the third round.
A 78.5-point ride in the short go earned the Wyoming cowboy sixth place in the round and sixth place in the average with 309 points.
Weston Timberman of Clarendon College scored 84.5 points in the final round, earning him a first-place finish in the round and the national champion title with 325 points in the average.
Kade Sonnier of McNeese also rode for 84.5 points, splitting the first- place finish in the round with Timberman and earning him a second-place finish in the average with 314 points.
A 79-point ride in the final round and 313 points in the average earned Missouri Valley College’s (MVC) Ty Pope a third-place finish in the average.
Sheridan College’s Wyatt Phelps of Pinedale entered the championship round with an 85.5-point ride from the second go. With only one qualified ride at the CNFR, Phelps finished the season fourth in the average.
In the short go, only two bull riders made the eight- second mark.
Caden Bunch of Southeastern Oklahoma State University (SE) scored 84.5 points to win the round and finish the season third in the average with 166 points. Dawson Gleaves of Weatherford College (WC) scored 80.5 points for a second-place finish in the round and in the average with 233.5 points.
Following a 67-point ride and second-place finish in the first round, an 85-point ride and second-place finish in the second round and an 84-point ride and first-place finish in the third round, Tristen Hutchings of Sul Ross State University was crowned the national champion, finishing first in the average with 236 points.
UW Cowboy Bodie Matt- son made an impressive showing at the CNFR, placing in the top 15 in all four rounds.
Mattson placed eighth in the first round with a 10.1-second run, third in the second round with an 8.4-second run and 14th in the third round with a 9.9-second run. In the short go, Mattson tied his calf in 11.1 seconds, earning him a fifth-place finish in the round and a fourth- place finish in the average with a total of 39.5 seconds.
Cutter arpenter, a Texas A&M University-Commerce (TAMUC) cowboy, made a 9.8-second run in the short go for a first-place finish in the round and second-place finish in the average with 39 seconds.
Fellow TAMUC Lion Kincade Henry took second in the short go with a 10.4-second run, and with 35.8 points on four head, Henry won the tie- down roping average and the title of national champion.
Connor Atkinson of Texas A&M University (TAMU) finished third in the short go and third in the average with a 10.6-second run and 39.1 total seconds on four head.
With 22.8 seconds on four head, Logan Moore of Wharton County Junior College was crowned the 2023 CNFR Champion Heeler and Slade Wood of Southwest Texas Junior College was named the 2023 CNFR Champion Header.
Jace Helton of WC and Quade Hiatt of West Texas A&M University were second in the team roping average with 29.1 seconds on the week, followed by Mason Appleton and Nicholas Lovins, both of Western Oklahoma State College, with a total 32.4 seconds.
Wyoming Team Ropers Cam Jensen of UW and Tanner McInerney of Gillette College roped a 4.2 to top the leaderboard in the short go, land- ing them 10th in the average with 24 seconds on the week.
Jayse Tettenhorst and Kaden Profili of Trinity ran a 5.3 for a second-place finish in the final round. Treasure Valley Community College (TVCC) brothers Zane and Ty Taylor and Central Arizona College team Clay Cherry and Logan Cullen tied for third in the round with a run of 5.5 seconds.
In the short go, Mason Couch of SE finished first in the steer wrestling with a 3.6-second run, Tyler Bauerle of Cisco College finished second with a 4.7-sec- ond run and Bradley Hesnor of McNeese finished third with a five-second run.
In the average, Joshua Ellison of University of West Alabama (UWA) earned the title of national champion with 26 total seconds on the week, Hesnor came in second with 27.3 seconds and Bauerle was third with 29.1 seconds.
In the barrel racing, Taycie Matthews also took a national champion title home to UWA. Matthews finished first in round one and round two with a 13.77-second run and a 13.74-second run, respectively.
Matthews finished sec- ond in round two and in the short go with a 14.08-second run and a 13.94-second run, respectively. With only 55.53 total seconds to end the week, Matthews won the average.
Following close behind was Tayla Moeykens of Montana State University (MSU) with 55.85 seconds, earning her a second-place finish in the average. Moeykens took second in the first round with a 13.85-second run, first in the third round with a 13.91-second run and first in the short go with a 13.84-second run.
A run of 14.05 in the short go earned Southwestern Oklahoma StateUniversity’s Abby Hepper a third-place finish in the round and a third-place finish in the average with a total of 56.4 seconds.
Three Wyoming college athletes finished in the top 15 in the nation.
With a total of 56.97 sec- onds, UW’s Emme Norsworthy finished fifth in the average. Two Gillette College Cowgirls – Ellie Bard and Jaycie West – respectively finished 10th in the average with a total of 57.68 seconds and 14th in the average with a total of 43.44 seconds.
Fellow Gillette College Pronghorn Haiden Thompson made a competitive showing in the breakaway roping, finishing 16th in the first go with a run of 2.9 seconds, first in the second go with a run of 2.1 seconds and 17th in the third go with a run of three seconds.
Thompson ended the week sitting 10th in the average with a total of eight seconds on the week.
Raegan Steed of the College of Southern Idaho ran a 2.6 to earn her first place honors in the championship round. Kyleigh Winn of Kansas State University and Makayla Farkas of West Hills College tied for second place in the round with runs of 2.7 seconds.
This bumped Farkas to the first-place position on the average leaderboard with a total of 10.9 seconds, followed by Kennedy Buckner of Blue Mountain Community College with 11.3 seconds and Samantha Kerns of TVCC with a total of 12.2 seconds.
In what was arguably the most heated contest at this year’s CNFR, MSU’s Paige Rasmussen took home the national title in goat tying with only 24.3 total seconds on the week.
Rasmussen ran a 6.2 in the first round for an eighth place finish, a six flat in the second round to tie for third and a 6.1 in the third round to tie for sixth.
In the short go, Rasmussen ran another six flat to take the lead in the round and the average. A 6.1-second run landed Kaylee Cormier of McNeese second in the round and third in the average with 24.8 total seconds on the week.
UW Cowgirl Kenna McNeil ran a 6.2, placing her third in the short go and in a two-way tie with Cormier for third in the average with 24.8 total seconds.
With a 6.8-second run in the short go, Thompson secured an eighth-place finish in the round and sixth-place finish in the average with a total of 25.5 seconds on the week.
Fellow Wyomingite Karissa Rayhill of Eastern Wyoming College ran an 8.1 in the short go, which landed her 11th in the final performance and in a two-way tie for ninth in the average with 26.3 total seconds on the week.
Hannah Bugas is the managing editor of the Wyo- ming Livestock Roundup. Send comments on this arti- cle to email@example.com.