POCATELLO – The Idaho State University Rodeo Team will send eight competitors to compete in the College National Finals Rodeo in Casper, Wyoming from June 9 to June 16.
Rodeo Team members will compete in variety of events.
Competing at nationals are:
· Shelby Mann, Sheridan, Wyoming – team roping
· Kolbey Hughes, St. George, Utah – team roping
· Cole Millican, Gooding – team roping
· Lyndsie Ekstrom, Pocatello – team roping
· Sydney Porter, Buhl – team roping
· Josie Jensen, Thatcher – breakaway roping
· Brant Reynolds, Arco – steer wrestling
· Kambrie Clark, Delco – barrel racing
Qualifying for the College National Rodeo Finals is a process that takes dedication and effort from the student athletes.
“There are 10 Rocky Mountain Region rodeos that 12 colleges and universities attend and compete at,” said national qualifier Lyndsie Ekstrom, whose horse Maverick recently won the Rocky Mountain Region Horse of the Year award. “After these 10 rodeos, the top three rodeo athletes in every event punch their ticket to the college finals.”
ISU student athletes compete in a very tough region. Taking eight competitors to nationals is a great accomplishment for ISU, said Melisa Moon, ISU head coach.
“It is the best of the best across the United States,” Moon said. “Idaho State University is able to have a strong presence taking eight team members to nationals.”
The Rodeo Team at ISU takes intense amounts of dedication, Moon said. Official practices are held on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The team travels to rodeos on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, leaving little time for school work.
“In order to be eligible to compete, we must have a 2.0 GPA and be enrolled in at least 12 academic credits,” Ekstrom said.
Classes such as physical education and dance don’t count towards the 12 credits required to compete.
“Rodeo is a sport club at ISU,” said Kiara Wanner, assistant coach. “These kids have to step up and help raise the funds it takes to practice and compete, all while practicing, taking care of horses and practice stock and keeping the grades to be able to compete.”
For many ISU Rodeo Team athletes, rodeo is their entire life. The dedication and hard work that rodeo takes comes natural to most competitors, and is worth the benefits that rodeo brings.
“It takes a combination of dedicated student athletes, an incredible coaching staff and supportive university staff in Campus Recreation to maintain a successful program,” Moon said.
Rodeo contestants will compete for jackpot go-round money and scholarship dollars at the College National Rodeo Finals. These will be awarded to the top performers in each event.
For more information on College National Rodeo Finals, visit http://cnfr.com/schedule/.