In numbers greater than any year since 1986, four University of Nebraska-Lincoln Rodeo team members will be going to Casper, Wyo., June 15-21 to compete in the College National Finals Rodeo.
According to its website, the CNFR is considered the “Rose Bowl” of college rodeo, said Bump Kraeger, one of UNL’s Rodeo Team’s coaches.
Matt Cover, a senior agribusiness major from Ashby, will be competing in team roping.
Lindsay Adamson, a sophomore business management major from Cody, will compete in breakaway roping.
Bryce Dibbern, a junior animal science major from Riverdale, qualified for the steer wrestling event.
Austin Jarvis, a junior animal science major from King, North Carolina, will be in the bull riding event.
The National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association will crown individual event champions in these events, in addition to saddle bronc riding, bareback riding, tie-down roping, barrel racing and goat tying.
Over 400 cowboys and cowgirls from over 100 universities compete in Casper each year. Contestants compete all year on one of NIRA’s 11 regions for a chance to rope or ride at CNFR.
Between now and June the four team members will be practicing, Kraeger said.
Jarvis said qualifying for the CNFR has been his goal ever since he started college rodeoing.
“Finally reaching this goal has been an absolutely amazing journey, and I can’t wait to get to Casper.”
Kraeger said there are two avenues to qualify for the college national finals. One is to qualify as a team – the top two teams of every region qualify for the national finals. The other way is to qualify in the top three of each event.
The UNL team has had one or two CNFR qualifications on a regular basis, the most recent in 2011. However, four is the most since 1986, the last time there was a team (six members) qualification.
In addition, Dibbern, was elected as student director of the Great Plains Region. Elected by the student body of the region, Dibbern will serve a two-year term, and has also gained an extra year of eligibility.
“Being elected as the Great Plains Region student director means a lot to me, as I am very passionate about the sport of rodeo,” Dibbern said. “I instantly saw this as my opportunity to challenge myself to step forward and be the voice for the region. It is going to push me to be a representative and an advocate for the sport of rodeo.”
For more information about the UNL Rodeo Team, visit casnr.unl.edu/rodeo.