The NDSU Rodeo Team sent three contestants to the 63rd College National Finals Rodeo in Casper, Wyo., held June 12-18.
Students who qualified for events include, Austin Martin in bareback riding, Jordy Rist in barrel racing and James Kapp in bull riding. Tate Eck, who also is a lecturer in equine studies at NDSU, coached the students.
This years national rodeo was an extra special achievement for Martin, who graduated with a sport and recreation leadership degree in May. It especially means a lot to me because this is my senior year. It took a lot of preparing, working out, practicing and staying mentally focused all year long to qualify and to stand behind the chutes among the nations top up-and-coming rodeo athletes. But it makes it all worth it, Martin said.
This is the first time since 1989 that the rodeo team has qualified three individuals at the same time. To qualify for the College National Finals Rodeo, students must finish in the top three at regionals. There are 11 regions; NDSU is part of the Great Plains Region.
While none of the NDSU students advanced to the final short round of this years national contest, coach Eck said they represented NDSU outstandingly and are already looking forward to next year's season.
The College National Finals Rodeo brings together more than 400 student competitors from more than 100 universities. To learn more, visit www.cnfr.com/about.php.