The 67th College National Finals Rodeo (CNFR) is being held in Casper, Wyoming for the 17th time June 14th-20th at Casper Event Center. CNFR is recognized as the “Rose Bowl” of college rodeo. It is where the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association crowns individual event champions in saddle bronc riding, bare back riding, bull riding, tie-down roping, steer wrestling, team roping, barrel racing, breakaway roping, and goat tying. National team championships are also awarded to both men’s and women’s teams.
The Missouri Valley Vikings Rodeo teams, men’s and women’s, will be competing at the finals throughout this week. A total of nine Viking student-athletes will compete for both the men’s and women’s programs, as each team competes for a National championship. Three different Vikings come into the finals ranked in the top five of their competitions on the men’s side. Junior Dalton Kingery of Monroe, Iowa will compete in both saddle bronc riding and bareback riding. Kingery ranks No. 1 in saddle bronc riding and is No. 2 in the men’s all-around. Senior Tim O’Connell out of Zwingle, Iowa is ranked 5th overall in bareback riding and Senior Travis Smith of West Plains, Missouri enters CNFR ranked 2nd in bull riding. Other men Vikings that will be competing include Junior Cole Picton out of Fort Dodge, Iowa in bareback riding, and Sophomore Fenton Nelson from Iowa City, Iowa and Senior Caleb Buchanan out of High Springs, Florida both in steer wrestling. The Viking men’s rodeo team finished the regular season at the Ozark Region champions and No. 4 Nationally in the team standings.
The women’s team will be led by Freshman Kirby Crouse out of Gallatin, MO who will compete in both the goat tying and breakaway roping competitions. Crouse finished the year No. 5 in the Ozark Region in goat tying, No. 7 in breakaway roping and No. 3 in the women’s all-around standings. Freshman Breanna Ellis from Clarion, Iowa will compete in breakaway roping, after finishing the year ranked No. 6 in the Ozark Region in the competition, and Senior Kacey Struxness of Appleton, Minnesota will compete in goat tying after finishing the year ranked No. 6 in the competition in the region. The women’s team won the Ozark Region championship and enters the CNFR No. 21 Nationally in the team standings.
For more information and results of the College National Finals Rodeo championship go to http://www.cnfr.com/index.php