(March 30, 2015) The McNeese State University rodeo team recently announced the addition of four members to the 2015-2016 team.
Signing with McNeese were Aldyn Ashton, Sebring, Fla., Matthew Ellender, Carlyss, Jace Gilbert, Sulphur, and Mia Manzanares, Opelousas.
Ashton was the 2013 Florida High School Rodeo Association reserve all-around champion and goat tying champion and is currently in the lead in the 2015 FHSRA goat tying, breakaway roping and all-around standings. She was named the 2012 National High School Rodeo Association rookie of the year and made the top 10 at the 2013 NHSRA finals. She is the daughter of Dina and Quinn Ashton.
Ellender was the 2014 Louisiana High School Rodeo Association saddle bronc rider champion, the 2014 National Little Britches Rodeo Association all-around champion and tie-down roping champion. He currently is in first place in the 2015 LHSRA saddle bronc riding standings. He is the son of Katrina and Joe Ellender.
Gilbert finished in third place in tie-down roping at the 2012 LHSRA competition and placed 6th at the NHSRA competition, while he was the 2013 LHSRA reserve champion in tie-down roping and team roping and placed 12th in tie-down roping at the 2013 NHSRA competition. He was the 2014 LHSRA tie-down roping champion and he is currently in first place in the 2015 LHSRA tie-down roping standings. He is the son of Kelly and Mike Gilbert.
Manzaneris was the 2012, 2013 and 2014 LHSRA goat tying champion, the 2012 and 2013 LHSRA all-around champion and the 2012 LHSRA breakaway roping champion. She was the 2012 NHSRA rookie all-around and the all-around champion and the 2014 NHSRA goat tying and all-around champion. She is currently in first place in goat tying in the 2015 LHSRA standings. She is the daughter of Kathryn and Juan “Pancho” Manzanares.
McNeese Rodeo Coach Justin Browning said he is excited about this recruiting class and that these four students will bring experience to next year’s rodeo team.
McNeese intercollegiate rodeo began in 1947 and is currently the only collegiate rodeo team in Louisiana. McNeese has sent students to the national championship finals for 23 consecutive years – winning three consecutive men’s team national championships and capturing 13 national individual rodeo championships.