(PHOTOS) Return of College National Finals Rodeo draws record crowds to Wyoming - Cheyenne, WY Cap City News
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(PHOTOS) Return of College National Finals Rodeo draws record crowds to Wyoming

CC’S Quentin Taylor in the bull riding short at CNFR 2021 (Gregory Hirst)

CASPER, Wyo —  The College National Finals Rodeo had a big comeback in 2021 after being canceled last year due to the pandemic.

CNFR 2021 saw “record ticket sales, record turnout,” according to Ford Wyoming Center General Manager Brad Murphy.

UW’s Seth Peterson took 5th in steer wrestling at CNFR 2021 (Gregory Hirst)

The Casper College Thunderbirds held onto the third-ranked spot in the team all-around, posting 755 points behind Panola and Clarendon College, while Kellan and Carson Johnson won the team roping title.

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Tayla Moeykens (MTSU) takes the barrel racing title at CNFR 2021 (Gregory Hirst)

 This was the final year for the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association Commissioner Roger Walters, He’s been a part of every CNFR in Casper since it was first hosted here in 1999, first as a coach for Sam Houston University, and then as NIRA Commissioner since 2009.

Scott Lauaki (UTSUE) competes in saddle bronc riding at CNFR 2021 (Gregory Hirst)

CNFR Executive Committee member Rob Hendry said Walters was instrumental in getting Casper the contract to host the event through 2027. There’s been competing interest in hosting it from markets like Boise, Idaho; Austin, Texas, and San Luis Obispo, California.

UW’s Chadron Coffield takes down the steer at CNFR 2021 (Gregory Hirst)
CC’S Quentin Taylor in the bull riding short at CNFR 2021 (Gregory Hirst)
Brooklin R. Quisenberry (CUESTA) rounds the barrel at CNFR 2021 (Gregory Hirst)

But Casper fits the bill for authenticity,  Walters said.

“When our student athletes quit calling it the College National Finals’ and say ‘I gotta qualify for Casper,’ you’ve branded that product,” Walters said. “When you look at all the possibilities and all the things available, Casper just stands out in every way, form, and fashion.”

Hendry commended Walters and the county, city, and community members on the CNFR committee that not only ran the rodeo and surrounding events.  “Everything goes on time,” Hendry said.

Collin Palmer (BHSU) in the Tie down roping short at CNFR 2021 (Gregory Hirst)

The full results are available at CNFR.com

  • Bareback: Cole Franks, Clarendon College, 330.5 points.
  • Tie-Down Roping:  Macon Murphy, Panola College, 39.1 seconds.
  • Breakaway Roping: Zoie Bedke, Idaho State University, 10.3 seconds.
  • Saddle Bronc Riding: Dylan Schofield, Western Texas College, 310 points.
  • Steer Wrestling:  Gavin Soileau, McNeese State University, 19.2 seconds.
  • Goat Tying: Jill Donnelly, Cochise College, 26.5 seconds.
  • Team Roping: Kellan and Carson Johnson, Casper College, 26.7 seconds.
  • Barrel Racing:  Tayla Moeykens, Montana State University, 56.84 seconds.
  • Bull Riding: Tristen Hutchings, Sul Ross State University, 241.5.
  • Men’s All-Around:  Cole Franks, Clarendon College, 195 points.
  • Women’s All-Around: Paige Rasmussen, Montana State University and Jill Donnelly, Cochise College 180.
  • Men’s Team: Clarendon College, 890 points.
  • Women’s Team: Montana State University, 590 points.
  • Men’s Rookie: Cole Franks Clarendon College 395.
  • Women’s Rookie :  Tayla Moeykens, Montana State University, 320.
Levi T. Delamarter (MTSU) competes in tie down roping at CNFR 2021 (Gregory Hirst)
CC’s Cody Lansing in the team roping short at CNFR 2021 (Gregory Hirst)
(Gregory Hirst)
Casper College Rodeo’s Kellan and Carson Johnson celebrate after their win in team roping a CNFR 6/19/21 (Gregory Hirst)
UW’S Uptain Garrett (Gregory Hirst)
Clarendon’s Cole Franks took the bareback championship at CNFR 2021 (Gregory Hirst)