CNFR 2022 Information Available at CNFR.COM
June 3, 2022
COLLEGE RODEO ON NATIONAL TELEVISION
August 17, 2021
Walla Walla, WA – College Rodeo will be in the television spotlight this August. The best action from the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association’s premiere event, the College National Finals Rodeo, will be featured on ESPN U. ESPN U will be airing two hours of collegiate rodeo competition from the 2021 College National Finals Rodeo, held in Casper, Wyoming, this June.
The college rodeo action begins airing on Thursday, August 19th at 8:00 p.m. EASTERN time. The second show will begin at 9:00 p.m. EASTERN time.
A second airing of the action will be on, August 21st at 9:30 p.m EASTERN time and 10:30 p.m. EASTERN time. A third is scheduled for August 22nd at 9:00 p.m. EASTERN and 10:00 p.m. EASTERN.
The exciting action of the finals also includes interviews and features from the entire finals week and portions of the awards ceremony.
The NIRA is pleased to have the support of the following sponsors for the programming: Cinch Jeans & Shirts, Wyoming Division of Tourism, Platinum Performance, Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, RAM, Visit Casper, the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Foundation, and Cactus Gear, Cactus Ropes, Cactus Saddles, Heel-O-Matic and Resistol Hats.
College National Finals Rodeo on ESPNU
Show #1 - Premieres
Thursday, August 19th, 8:00 p.m. EASTERN time
Show #2 - Premieres
Thursday, August 19th, 9:00 p.m. EASTERN time
August 21st: 9:30 p.m. EASTERN and 10:30 p.m. EASTERN
August 22nd: 9:00 p.m. EASTERN and 10:00 p.m. EASTERNContinue reading →
2021 SCHOLAR AMERICAN HONORS ANNOUNCED
July 15, 2021
Walla Walla, WA – The National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association is pleased to announce the 2021 Scholar American recipients. The honor is bestowed on NIRA members that have earned points at a 2020-2021 NIRA sanctioned rodeo, been in college for more than one term, earned a 3.5 cumulative grade point average, and have been nominated by their rodeo coach. They are as follows:Continue reading →
Blake Afdahl Mesalands Community College Thomas Allen Tarleton State University Bridger Anderson Northwestern Oklahoma State University Macy Anderson Southern Utah University Jessie Armstrong Vernon College Taylor Baldwin Sam Houston State University Eli Barger Western Oklahoma State College Brett Barthlomew University of Montana, Western Kassidee Bates Southern Utah University Brighton Bauman Hill College Zoie Bedke Idaho State University Shaya Biever Vernon College Payton Bladow Cal Poly State University, San Luis Obispo Elizabeth Bolich Montana State University Jade Boote Dickinson State University Sydney Bottom Oklahoma Panhandle State University Codie Bowen New Mexico State University Megan Boyd Idaho State University Madison Brenner Montana State University Shantell Brewer Montana State University Tori Brower Vernon College Amanda Brown Eastern New Mexico State University Lacy Bruening Southwest Texas Junior College Kysan Buckner Sam Houston State University Trinity Bushnell University of Montana, Western Hadley Butler Sul Ross State University Hayden Cape West Texas A&M University Cheyanne Carl University of Montana Colton Carlson South Dakota State University Alexandria Cawthon Tarleton State University Catherine Clayton Cochise College Hadley Clearman Tarleton State University McKenna Clingman Colorado Northwestern Community College Chadron Coffield University of Wyoming Baily Coombs Eastern Wyoming College Kaylee Cormier McNeese State University Holli Covey University of Tennessee, Martin Bryanne Cude Tarleton State University Jacee Currin Montana State University Kolby Currin Montana State University Hayley Danley Tarleton State University Cole Curry East Mississippi Community College Aimee Davis Cuesta College Paige Dawson Tarleton State University Trey Dempewolf Sheridan College Madeline Dickens Tarleton State University Kate Dickinson Oklahoma Panhandle State University Maddee Doerr Cochise College Jill Donnelly Cochise College Emmalee Dubois Utah Vally University Fallon Dyer Missouri Valley College Jordi Edens Hill College Clay Elkington Central Arizona College Cashlyn English Utah Vally University Matthew Fenton Sheridan College Max Filinger Missouri Valley College Macey Fillmore Utah State University Isabella Fossum Montana State University Rylee Gannon Three Rivers College Rylee George Fresno State University Alexis Ghormley Texas A&M University Dally Goemmer New Mexico State University Josie Goodrich Washington State University Jack Griffin Texas A&M University Hadley Gross Colorado Northwestern Community College Jenna Grover Sam Houston State University Colton Guin Central Arizona College Kelsey Hallin Oklahoma Panhandle State University Annabelle Hampton Central Arizona College Meza Ham Black Hills State University Riley Hannum Black Hills State University Taylor Hanson Black Hills State University Sydney Harris Texas A & M University Rebekah Hartley Central Wyoming College Kaitlyn Harwell New Mexico State University Shelby Henry Vernon College Abby Hepper Southwestern Oklahoma State University Molly Cate Hepper Montana State University McKenna Hickson Weatherford College Cara Hilzendeger Souteastern Oklahoma State University Cody Hogan University of Tennessee, Martin Sebastian Hotalen Dixie State University Tori Jacobs South Dakota State University Kayla Johnson Oklahoma Panhandle State University Savana Johnston Black Hills State University Shelby Joice Utah Vally University Haven Jones Idaho State University Kenzie Jones Kansas State University Russell Kay College of Southern Idaho Cody Keathley Southwestern Oklahoma State University Bristan Kennedy Texas Tech University, Lubbock Morgan Kessler Sul Ross State University Riley Kittle Cisco College Sophia Knox Western Oklahoma State College Ashley Koenig Montana State University Sage Kohr Montana State University Chanci Kraft Black Hills State University Keni Labrum Frank Phillips College Taylor Lagasse Southwestern Oklahoma State University Nichole Lake Sul Ross State University Montana Landis Utah Vally University Lariat Larner Oklahoma State University Tatum Lauing University of Montana, Western Natalie Leisinger University of Wyoming Kelsey Lensegrav University of Wyoming Danielle Lichte Oklahoma State University Madison Lindberg Sheridan College Alyssa Lockhart Texas A&M University, Commerce Aysha Long Oklahoma State University Mable McAbee Southwestern Oklahoma State University McKenzie McBee Missouri Valley College Shannon McBride North Dakota State University Emily McDeavitt Tarleton State University Cashae McGee Black Hills State University Kassidy McKee Tarleton State University McKenna McNeill Oklahoma State University Shayne Mallory University of Tennessee, Martin Mayce Marek Wharton County Junior College Vinell Mariano New Mexico State University Shacie Marr Eastern New Mexico University Caxton Martin Hill College Taylor Mason Missouri Valley College Alli Masters Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College Taycie Matthews East Mississippi Community College Bodie Mattson Gillette College Shaun Mentaberry College of Southern Idaho Morgan Merrill Oklahoma State University Mylee Mickelsen Idaho State University Ana Minnick Missouri Valley College Jacxson Mirabal Unversity of Wyoming Jack Mitchell Tarleton State University Kaylee Mitchell Eastern New Mexico University Tayla Moeykens Montana State University Zane Munoz Cochise College Kynsee Mussmann University of Montana, Western Talyn Neville University of Montana, Western Jacqueline Nichols Central Arizona College Sami O'Day Kansas State University Bret Olsen Utah Vally University Collin Palmer Black Hills State University Mitchell Parham Fresno State University Emily Pauley Black Hills State University Harley Perkins Sam Houston State University Beau Peterson Oklahoma Panhandle State University Jayme Peterson Gillette College Wade Pettijohn Oklahoma Panhandle State University Brooklin Quisenberry Cuesta College Cheyenne Radojits New Mexico State University Colt Ramsey College of Southern Idaho Paige Rasmussen Montana State University Shelby Rasmussen Montana State University Jaycie Rau Black Hills State University Tea Recanzone Boise State University Luke Rhodes Missouri Valley College Riley Rieken Panola College Wade Roberts Oklahoma Panhandle State University Rudy Rodriguez Western Oklahoma State College Betsy Roemer Missouri Valley College Kaycee Rogers University of Montana, Western Gracie Roth Connors State College Myra Rudolph Central Wyoming College Lexie Russell Oklahoma State University Justin Sailors University of Tennessee, Martin Celie Salmond Montana State University Molly Cate Salmond Montana State University Sherrick Sanborn Cochise College Josee Saults Eastern Wyoming College Madelyn Schauer Eastern New Mexico University Kailey Schmidt University of Tennessee, Martin TJ Schmidt Oklahoma Panhandle State University Payton Schoeppach Cuesta College Jared Schultis University of Wyoming Saige Sealy Cisco College Sadie Shake Colorado Northwestern Community College Brooke Smith University of Montana, Western Paige Smith Sam Houston State University Sierra Smith Southwestern Oklahoma State University Gavin Soileau McNeese State University Sadie Sturman Central Wyoming College Tristan Sullivan Southwest Texas Junior College Wyatt Tarver University of Wyoming Sydney Theobald Black Hills State University Dean Thompson Western Texas College Jacey Thompson University of Wyoming Jaden Trimble Northwestern Oklahoma State University Grant Turek Gillette College Jake Vance Tarleton State University Kathryn Varian Cal Poly State University, San Luis Obispo Karli Verhulst Black Hills State University Chris Villanueva Sam Houston State University Bo Vocu New Mexico State University Hannah Vogel Montana State University Haley Vollmer Kansas State University Derek Wadsworth College of Southern Idaho Emily Wadsworth Utah State University Sadie Waldron Missouri Valley College Emma Watts Southwestern Oklahoma State University Amy Weich New Mexico State University Shelby Weltz Central Wyoming College Jaicee Williams Black Hills State University Michelle Williams Montana State University Kaycee Windsor Tarleton State University Sadie Wolaver Southwestern Oklahoma State University Treg Wolstein Montana State University McKenna Wood West Hills Community College Drake Wycherley Weber State University
College National Finals Rodeo Crowns 2021 Champions
July 13, 2021
CASPER, Wyo. (June 19, 2021) The 72nd annual College National Finals Rodeo (CNFR) crowned 2021 individual, all-around and team champions during the final round of competition Saturday at the Ford Wyoming Center.
Cole Franks of Clarendon, Texas, turned in the highest-marked ride of the week – 85 points on Vold Rodeo’s horse Misty Frontier – to win the final round of bareback riding and the national title. Franks, a sophomore agricultural business major at Clarendon College, came into the final round two points behind leader Jacob Lees, a Californian representing Western Texas College.
Franks was crowned the 2021 CNFR All-Around Cowboy and the 2021 Men’s Rookie of the Year. He was the only cowboy to qualify for the final round in two events – bareback and saddle bronc riding. Franks was competing at his second CNFR. His father Bret, the rodeo coach at Clarendon College, is a former CNFR and National Finals Rodeo saddle bronc rider.
Tie-down roper Macon Murphy of Keatchie, Louisiana, was another second-generation CNFR athlete to win a 2021 title. His parents K.C. and Julie competed at the CNFR in the late 1980s with K.C. being a member of Montana State University’s 1988 national championship team.
Murphy, who was part of the 2019 national championship team for Panola College, roped and tied his calf in 9.8 seconds. Leader Caleb Berquist had a great opportunity to make a solid run and win the title, but he drew a kicking calf and could not finish fast enough to beat Murphy.
The battle for the championship in breakaway roping came down to two freshmen. Zoie Bedke of Oakley, Idaho, trailed Grace Felton of Susanville, California, by three-tenths of a second as the round began. Bedke, a physical therapy major at Idaho State University, caught her calf in 2.4 seconds giving her a total of 10.3 on four runs. Felton, an agricultural business major at Lassen College, also caught her calf in 2.4 seconds, but she started too quickly and was assessed a 10-second penalty. Bedke took the title home to Idaho.
In saddle bronc riding Dylan Schofield of Philip, South Dakota, scored 84.5 points on Frontier Rodeo’s horse Popsicle to take the lead in the final round. Schofield, a junior welding major at Western Texas College, came into the round trailing Clarendon College’s Cash Wilson by 6.5 points overall. Vold Rodeo’s horse Ima Be threw Wilson in the dirt and Schofield earned the national title.
Gavin Soileau of Bunkie, Louisiana, was the first national champion to hold onto first place Saturday night. The junior agricultural business major from McNeese State University wrestled his steer to the ground in 4.2 seconds which was good enough for second in the final round. His total time of 19.2 seconds earned him the national steer wrestling title to go along with his two National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association (NIRA) southern region championships.
In goat tying Jill Donnelly of Surprise, Arizona, came into the final round in third place. The junior business administration major clocked a time of 6.5 seconds, giving her a total of 26.4 seconds. When leader Paige Rasmussen of Montana State University clocked a time of 6.3, it looked as if she would win the national title, but the goat failed to stay tied, disqualifying her. Donnelly, who carries a 4.0 grade point average, was competing in her second CNFR and won the national title to go along with her NIRA Grand Canyon region championship.
The team roping finalists had tough time connecting. Until the final two teams rode in the box, only one qualified time had been made. The championship came down to two pairs of brothers. JC and LJ Yeahquo of Crescent, Oklahoma, trailed Kellan and Carson Johnson of Casper by one-tenth of a second. The Yeahquos, who both major in business administration at Western Oklahoma College, roped their steer in 6.9 seconds, giving them a total of 27.7. The Johnsons, who major in psychology and education respectively at Casper College, brought the hometown crowd to their feet when they caught their steer in 6.0 seconds to win the national title by one second.
Tayla Moeykens of Three Forks, Montana, came from fourth place to win the barrel racing title. Her time of 13.99 seconds was the fastest of the week and won the final round. The freshman business and marketing major at Montana State University also won the first and the third rounds of barrel racing and earned the Women’s Rookie of the Year title.
Tristen Hutchings of Blackfoot, Idaho, left no doubt as to who should win the bull riding title. The junior animal science major at Sul Ross State University in Texas rode Vold Rodeo’s bull Milk Mustache for 90 points to win the final round. He was the only athlete to ride three of four bulls in Casper.
Montana State University won the women’s team championship with Southwestern Oklahoma State University’s team as reserve champions. Reserve champion men’s team was 2019 champion Panola College.
Plans are underway for the 73rd
2021 COLLEGE NATIONAL FINALS RODEO CHAMPIONS
Bareback – Cole Franks, Clarendon College, 330.5 points
Tie-Down Roping – Macon Murphy, Panola College, 39.1 seconds.
Breakaway Roping – Zoie Bedke, Idaho State University, 10.3 seconds
Saddle Bronc Riding – Dylan Schofield, Western Texas College, 310 points
Steer Wrestling – Gavin Soileau, McNeese State University, 19.2 seconds
Goat Tying – Jill Donnelly, Cochise College, 26.5 seconds
Team Roping – Kellan and Carson Johnson, Casper College, 26.7 seconds
Barrel Racing – Tayla Moeykens, Montana State University, 56.84 seconds
Bull Riding – Tristen Hutchings, Sul Ross State University, 241.5
Men’s All-Around – Cole Franks, Clarendon College, 195 points
Women’s All-Around – Paige Rasmussen, Montana State University and Jill Donnelly, Cochise College 180
Men’s Team – Clarendon College, 890 points
Women’s Team – Montana State University, 590 points
Men’s Rookie – Cole Franks Clarendon College 395
Women’s Rookie – Tayla Moeykens, Montana State University, 320
Men’s AQHA Horse of the Year – Bridger Anderson, Northwestern Oklahoma State University, “Teller I Pass”
Women’s AQHA Horse of the Year – Jaylie Matthews, East Mississippi Community College, “Feelin the Firewater”
CASPER, Wyoming---The following are final round and overall winners at the 72nd annual College National Finals Rodeo, June 19, 2021, courtesy of the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association. Complete results are available at www.collegerodeo.com.
Bareback Riding: (final round) 1, Cole Franks, Clarendon College, 85 points on Vold Rodeo’s Wrangler Valley. 2, (tie) Gauge McBride, Panola College, and Nick Pelke, Missouri Valley College, 83 each. 4, (tie) Waylon Bourgeois, McNeese State University and Kolt Dement, Panola College, 82.5. (overall winners) 1, Franks, 330.5 points on four. 2, Dement, 322. 3, Pelke, 321.5. 4, Jacob Lees, Western Texas College, 320. 5, Bourgeois, 313. 6, McBride, 309.5. 7, Dean Thompson, Western Texas College, 308.5. 8, Brody Smith, University of Montana Western, 307.5.
Tie Down Roping: (final round) 1, Connor Atkinson, Wharton County Community College, 9.4 seconds. 2, Macon Murphy, Panola College, 9.8. 3, Kincaid Henry, Panola College, 11.5. 4, Collin Palmer, Black Hills State University, 13.3. (overall winners) 1, Murphy, 39.1 seconds on four. 2, Caleb Berquist, Montana State University, 44.3. 3, Atkinson, 47.6. 4, Palmer, 49.1. 5, Henry, 52.0. (on three) 6, Ladd King, Weber State University, 32.6. 7, Garrett Jacobs, Sul Ross State University, 33.8. 8, Levi Delamarter, Montana State University, 34.3.
Breakaway Roping: (final round) 1, Zoie Bedke, Idaho State University, 2.4 seconds. 2, Hannah Phillips, Sam Houston State University, 2.7. 3, Catherine Clayton, Cochise College, 2.8. 4, Jayce Blake, Treasure Valley Community College, 3.0. (overall winners) 1, Bedke, 10.3. 2, Courtney Peters, Black Hills State University, 11.3. 3, Clayton, 13.7. 4, Brianna Williams, Chadron State College, 17.9. 5, Grace Felton, Lassen College, 20.0. 6, Phillips, 21.0. 7, Blake, 30.1. 8, (tie) Winter Williams, Southwestern Oklahoma State University and Blair Bryant, East Mississippi Community College, 9.5 seconds on three.
Saddle Bronc Riding: (final round) 1, Dylan Schofield, Western Texas College, 84.5 points on Frontier Rodeo’s Popcicle. 2, Weston Patterson, Clarendon College, 80. 3, Clayson Hutchings, Utah State University Eastern, 79.5. 4, Reed Neely, California State University Fresno, 77.5. (overall winners) 1, Schofield, 310 on four. 2, Patterson, 301.5. 3, Hutchings, 296.5. 4, Neely, 292.5. 5, Russell Kay, College of Southern Idaho, 273. 6, Scott Lauaki, Utah State University Eastern, 264. (on three) 7, Cash Wilson, Clarendon College, 232. 8, Ty Pope, Missouri Valley College, 226.
Steer Wrestling: (final round) 1, Grant Peterson, Cal Poly State University – San Luis Obispo, 4.0 seconds. 2, Gavin Soileau, McNeese State University, 4.2. 3, Trisyn Kalawai’a, Central Arizona College, 4.4. 4, Bryce Harrison, University of Montana Western, 4.6. (overall winners) 1, Soileau, 19.2 seconds. 2, Peterson, 27.8. 3, Harrison, 29.2. 4, Chadron Coffield, University of Wyoming, 29.8. 5, Seth Peterson, University of Wyoming, 32.1. 6, Kalawai’a, 33.5. 7, Gus Franzen, Southeastern Oklahoma State University, 35.4. 8, Sterling Lee, Mid Plains Community College, 40.9.
Goat Tying: (final round) 1, Sheyenne Anderson, Missouri Valley College, 6.2 seconds. 2, Jill Donnelly, Cochise College, 6.5. 3, (tie) Heather McLaughlin, University of West Alabama, and Maddee Doerr, Cochise College, 6.8 each. (overall winners) 1, Donnelly, 26.4 on four. 2, Anderson, 26.6. 3, Doerr, 27.5. 4, Kodey Hoss, Weatherford College, 27.6. 5, McLaughlin, 27.7. 6, Kamryn Duncan, McNeese State University, 27.8. 7, Madelyn Schauer, Eastern New Mexico University, 28.2. 8, Taylour Latham, University of Wyoming, 29.4.
Team Roping: (final round) 1, Kellan and Carson Johnson, Casper College, 6.0 seconds. 2, J.C. and L.J. Yeahquo, Western Oklahoma State College, 6.9 seconds. 3, Jase Staudt, University of Wyoming and J.C. Flake, Gillette College, 11.5. 4, Ethan Griffin, Oklahoma State University and Blayne Horne, Western Oklahoma State College, 11.7. (overall winners) 1, Johnson and Johnson, 26.7 seconds on four. 2, Yeahquo and Yeahquo, 27.7. 3, Will Eddleman, Cisco College and Garrett Jacobs, Sul Ross State University, 46.4. (on three) 4, Griffin and Horne, 24.7. 5, Staudt and Flake, 27.4. 6, Wyatt Murray, and Whitt Crozier, Panhandle State University, 29.1. 7, Jon Peterson, and Trae Smith, Gillette College, 29.8. 8, Jace Hanks, Utah Valley University and Kale Lamb, Utah State University Eastern, 36.8.
Barrel Racing: (final round) 1, Tayla Moeykens, Montana State University, 13.99 seconds. 2, Bradi Good, Weatherford College, 14.03. 3, Shai McDonald, Montana State University, 14.21. 4, Abby Hepper, Southwestern Oklahoma State University, 14.24. (overall winners) 1, Moeykens, 56.84 on four. 2, Jaylie Matthews, East Mississippi Community College, 57.13. 3, Hepper, 57.16. 4, McDonald, 57.29. 5, Good, 57.54. 6, Karson Bradley, University of Wyoming, 57.71. 7, Payton Schoeppach, Cuesta College, 57.75. 8, Sadie Wolaver, Southwestern Oklahoma State University, 61.84.
Bull Riding: (final round – two rides) 1, Tristen Hutchings, Sul Ross State University, 90 points on Vold Rodeo’s Milk Mustache. 2, Cole Skender, Three Rivers College, 83. (overall winners) 1, Hutchings, 241.5 points on three. 2, Skender, 167.5 on two. 3, Austin Allred, Utah State University Eastern, 147.5. 4, Holden Moss, Three Rivers College, 147. 5, Stefan Tonita, Larimie County Community College, 81. 6, Quinten Taylor, Casper College, 79.5. 7, Cullen Telfer, Tarleton State University, 78. 8, Hunter Tate, Coffeyville Community College, 77.
Men’s All-Around: 1, Cole Franks, Clarendon College, 395. 2, Seth Peterson, University of Wyoming, 185. 3, (tie) Garrett Jacobs, Sul Ross State University, and Jace Staudt, University of Wyoming, 160.
Women’s All-Around: (tie) 1, Paige Rasmussen, Montana State University and Jill Donnelly, Cochise College
Men’s Team: 1, Clarendon College, 890 points. 2, Panola College, 790. 3, Casper College, 755. 4, Western Texas College, 715.
Women’s Team: 1, Montana State University, 590. 2, Southwestern Oklahoma State University, 432.5. 3, Cochise College, 403.33. 4, East Mississippi Community College, 257.5.Continue reading →
CNFR Scholarship Awards
July 13, 2021
A major component of the 72nd College National Finals Rodeo (CNFR) June 6 -12, 2021 was awarding thousands of dollars in scholarships to members of the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association (NIRA).Continue reading →
Winners during the competition earn scholarships, and special scholarships are awarded to NIRA members. The total given through the seven days of competition is over $150,000.
The Walt Garrison Top Hand Award is a $2,500 scholarship awarded for loyalty, determination, integrity and leadership. Each of the NIRA’s 11 geographic regions nominate one rodeo athlete for this award then one winner is selected from those nominees. Garrison, a former professional steer wrestler and professional football player with the Dallas Cowboys, started numerous scholarship programs.
This year’s Top Hand is Mayce Marek of Arp, Texas, who just completed her sophomore year at Wharton County Community College in Texas and plans to continue her education this fall at Texas A & M Commerce where she will major in agricultural business. Marek was the Southern Region’s nominee and competed in goat tying at her first CNFR last week.
The Harry Vold “Duke of the Chutes” Scholarship is presented in honor of the distinguished and respected stock contractor’s longtime association with college rodeo. Madison Deck, a West Virginia native and pre-vet student at Murray State University, received this $2,500 scholarship. Deck, who competes in barrel racing, maintains a 4.0 grade point average.
The $2,500 Shane Drury “Nothin’ But Try” Scholarship is given each year to an NIRA member who exhibits Drury’s never-give-up attitude in the face of adversity. Drury, a bull rider who competed at the CNFR and was part of a men’s championship team, died after a battle with cancer.
This year’s winner Brandy Schaack of Hyannis, Nebraska, competed at her second CNFR for the University of Wyoming. In 2019 when she was a junior, Schaack went through serious health challenges. She had a debilitating bout with ulcerative colitis in the fall of 2018, then in the spring suffered from leg pain. The cause was a blood infection normally seen in horses and called “strangles”. While undergoing surgery for that, doctors discovered she had stage 4 non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma that had spread to her liver, bones and throughout her body. As soon as she recovered from leg surgery, she began chemotherapy and two years later she was back at the CNFR in the breakaway roping.
Three other “Nothin’ But Try” $500 scholarships have been established since Shane Drury awarded the first in 2006. The Lee Akin scholarship went to Cheyenne Bartling of Oklahoma State University. Tyree Cochran of Cal Poly State University – San Luis Obispo received the Betty Gayle Cooper Ratliff scholarship, and the Levi Wisness scholarship went to Tayle Brink of Black Hills State University.
The John J. Smith Scholarship in honor of longtime NIRA commissioner John Smith is for NIRA members pursuing a graduate degree at an accredited institution. This year’s winner of the $2,000 scholarship is McKenzie Frizzell of Cochise, Arizona. She competed at the 2021 CNFR in breakaway roping and is a spring graduate of New Mexico State University with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural business and economics.
The winners of the Patty Skogan Memorial Scholarships were chosen from nominees from each NIRA region who show determination, grit and kindness while overcoming obstacles and demonstrating a welcoming attitude. Tyree Cochran, a 2021 animal science graduate of Cal Poly – San Luis Obispo who qualified for her first CNFR in team roping, and Kamryn Duncan, a sophomore early childhood education major at McNeese State University who competed at her first CNFR in breakaway roping and goat tying, received these awards.
The $1,000 George Howard Memorial Scholarships honor the life of Howard who spent 35 years as a college rodeo coach – first as an assistant at Dodge City Community College and Southwestern Oklahoma State University and later as head coach at the University of Wyoming. Howard’s teams qualified for the CNFR every year and he coached seven national championship teams and 27 individual champions.
Two scholarships were given in 2021. Owen Gustafson, from Browning, Montana, a senior ranch management major at Dickinson State University, and Colton Crawford, from Walsh, Colorado, a senior public relations and mass communication major at Missouri Valley College, were the recipients.
As a timed-event athlete, Gutafson also received the $1,000 NIRA Alumni Stan Harter Memorial Scholarship. Harter competed for Arizona State University and was the 1966 NIRA champion in both calf roping and ribbon roping. He went on to a successful professional rodeo career and was a long-time supporter of college rodeo who served as the alumni president.
No one has a background in college rodeo that is as extensive as Sonny Sikes. He competed and won national titles in the team roping and tie-down roping for Sam Houston State University. He went on to coach there and from 1962 through 1979, he and his wife, Joanne, served as the NIRA Executive Secretary.
Because of his dedication and passion for college rodeo, the NIRA started the Sonny Sikes Pioneer Award. This year’s winner is Jade Boote of Binford, North Dakota. Boote, a senior secondary education major at Dickinson State University, competed at her second CNFR in breakaway roping. She has served as the Great Plains Region Student Director and taken on several leadership roles.
Fundraising efforts for these awards are ongoing through the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association Foundation and the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association Alumni Association.