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College National Finals Rodeo crowns 2021 champions

CASPER, Wyo. — The 72nd annual College National Finals Rodeo 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, La., 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, Calif., 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, S.D., 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, La., 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 southern region championships.

In goat tying Jill Donnelly of Surprise, Ariz., 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, Okla., 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, Mont., 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 CNFR 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”

OVERALL WINNERS

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 http://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, 180 points each.

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.


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