Rodeo team members representing McNeese State University at the 65th College National Finals Rodeo June 9-15 in Casper, Wyo., are from left: rodeo coach Justin Browning, top to bottom, Chad Rutherford, Kirsten Smith and Chelsea Carroll; and, right, Kyla Foster. Not pictured are Kodi Bailey, Ike Fontenot and Jonathan Torres.
(May 20, 2013) Seven McNeese State University men's and women's rodeo team members have qualified for the 65th College National Finals Rodeo to be held June 9-15 in Casper, Wyo.
Four women and three men will represent McNeese in this year's national competition.
The women's team includes: Kodi Bailey, Stephenville, Texas, breakaway roping; Chelsea Carroll, Opelousas, breakaway roping and goat tying; Kyla Foster, Bell City, breakaway roping; Kirsten Smith, St. Francisville, breakaway roping and goat tying. The men's team includes: Ike Fontenot, Mamou, tie-down roping; Chad Rutherford, Itasca, Texas, bareback riding; and Jonathan Torres, Ocala, Fla., team roper.
Bailey, Carroll and Fontenot are making their second appearances, while Foster and Torres are making their third appearances.
This is the 22nd consecutive year that McNeese has sent students to the national championship finals. "Our teams are experienced. I know that both the men's and women's teams are once again going to be strong contenders at this year's nationals," said Justin Browning, rodeo coach.
The NIRA crowns individual event champions and national champions for both men's and women's teams. Over 400 students from more than 100 universities and colleges will compete in this year's event.
Contestants compete all year in one of the NIRA's 11 regions for a chance to rope or ride at the CNFR. McNeese competes in the Southern Region and this season the women's team finished second, while the men's team finished in fourth place.