Tarleton qualifies 13 for College National Finals Rodeo; men win region
Tarleton State University
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
STEPHENVILLE, Texas—A winning tradition continued Saturday as Tarleton’s men’s and women’s rodeo teams punched their tickets to the College National Finals Rodeo.
Thirteen cowboys and cowgirls qualified for the CNFR to be held in Casper, Wyo., June 10-16, after Tarleton’s men’s team claimed the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association’s (NIRA) Southwest Region championship and the women earned the runner-up title.
The accolades continued for the purple and white as Tarleton’s Katie Vierstra and Chase Williams won the All-Around Cowgirl and Cowboy titles over the weekend.
“I am extremely proud of our teams this year,” said Tarleton’s rodeo coach Mark Eakin, who was also named NIRA’s Southwest Region Coach of the Year this past weekend. “The men’s team did great both semesters and the women pulled it off when it counted. Tarleton will be recognized in every event this year at the CNFR, except bull riding. They are a very balanced team and they have a great shot at national championships on both ends of the arena. Both teams have a great chance at a national team championship as well.”
Tarleton’s men advanced to the CNFR by clinching the regional team title, finishing the 2011-2012 regular season of 10 rodeos with 4,520 points at the conclusion of the 47th annual Tarleton Stampede at Stephenville’s Lone Star Arena on April 21. Odessa College came in second with 3,686. Tarleton’s women concluded their campaign in second with 1,792 points. Texas Tech snared the regional championship with 3,745. Several CNFR event qualifiers were not decided until the short-go during the final night of the three-day rodeo.
Katie Vierstra qualified for the CNFR in two events, including breakaway roping and goat tying, during the short round. The Tarleton junior was the women’s team’s last chance to help propel them into the No. 2 position in the region, and qualify four cowgirls for the CNFR.
Trailing by 60 points behind the women of Weatherford College, the Tarleton cowgirls’ efforts helped lift them to the No. 2 ranking in the region on Saturday.
With the pressure resting on her shoulders, Katie Vierstra backed into the box and delivered by winning the short round and splitting second and third in the average. She collected more points in the goat tying event by amassing 65 points by splitting third and fourth in the short round, and fourth in the average.
Tarleton freshman Casey Carter also came from behind and collected enough points to qualify her as the fourth cowgirl on the CNFR-bound women’s team. Carter was the first barrel racer out Thursday night and made a great run of 15.72 seconds—good enough for third place in the long round. Her 15.79-second run placed fourth in the short round, and helped her split third and fourth in the average.
Tara Schroedter finished the season at No. 2 in the region in the goat tying event, while graduate student Cassie Vierstra finished third in the region and qualified for her fifth CNFR appearance.
Also set to represent Tarleton at this year’s CNFR are senior Shelby Smith in breakaway roping, and freshman barrel racer Casey Carter.
On the men’s team, Jake Self continued his win streak by winning the long round with his 73-point bareback ride to again qualify for the CNFR. The junior also took second in the short round with 76 points, and second in the average, and collected a total of 160 points to secure the No. 1 spot in the region’s year-end standings. Self looks to top his 2011 performance when he finished in third place at the CNFR.
Fellow teammate Joel Schlegel, a Tarleton senior, will be joining Self at the finals. Schlegel ended up third in the Southwest Region bareback riding standings. Craig Wisehart placed sixth in the long round, fourth in the short round and fourth in the average to finish the year in the No. 4 spot.
Saddle bronc rider Tate Owens will also return to the CNFR this year after winning third in the long round this past weekend with his 66-point ride. Unfortunately, Ownes was bucked off in the short round, but still ended up fifth in the average. He completed the season as No. 3 in the region.
Tarleton’s Troy Hubbard, who serves as the student Director for the Southwest Region, had a great rodeo by placing second in the long round, short round and average of the calf roping event. He collected 150 points and moved into fifth place in the region. As the student director Hubbard qualified to compete at the finals.
Calf ropers Josh Dunn, Chase Williams and Reese Reimer also qualified for the short round of the Tarleton Stampede.
Multi-event cowboy Cody Miles placed fourth in the long round of the steer wrestling event, and sixth in the short round and average.
Chace Thompson and his Weatherford College partner Will Woodfin dominated the team roping this past weekend, winning the long round, short round, and average. The Tarleton freshman collected 180 points and finished as the year-end champion of the Southwest Region.
Payton Norell also qualified for the CNFR’s team roping event by placing second in the long round and fourth in the average. Miles Ashton split third and fourth in the round, while Chase Williams and Chad Williams took sixth in the long round.
Tarleton’s Kiel Rowan, a two-time CNFR qualifier, had a great senior year and finished his 2012 campaign as the Reserve All-Around Cowboy for the Southwest Region. Rowan also earned the champion calf roper title this year, and took third place in the steer wrestling event. He will be competing in both events at the CNFR.
Tarleton’s 2012 College National Finals Rodeo qualifiers and events:
Kiel Rowan - calf roping and steer wrestling
Tate Owens - saddle bronc
Tim Sparing - steer wrestling
Jake Self - bareback riding
Joel Schlegel - bareback riding
Chace Thompson - team roping
Payton Norell - team roping
Troy Hubbard - calf roping
Cassie Vierstra - goat tying
Katie Vierstra - breakaway roping
Shelby Smith - breakaway roping
Casey Carter - barrel racing
Tara Schroedter - goat tying
For more information about Tarleton’s rodeo program, please visit www.tarleton.edu/rodeo or www.collegerodeo.com.
Tarleton State University
A member of The Texas A&M University System
Contact: Kurt Mogonye