The College National Finals Rodeo took place at the Casper Events Center from June 10 through June 16. The CNFR brought thousands to the Wyoming community to witness the excitement of the top students from 11 different regions compete in the array of traditional rodeo events.
College rodeos grew in popularity following WWII, which influenced the development of the College National Rodeo Association. By 1949, the first College National Finals Rodeo took place. In the last two decades, Casper, Wyoming became the home of the competitions, which is considered one of the best rodeos in the country. More than 400 Western athletes from more than 100 colleges and universities compete each year for the chance to enter the finals. At the end of the season, the top students in each event along with the top men’s and women’s teams earn the chance to compete in the finals.
The National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association awards NIRA students scholarships each year. Qualifications include an accumulation of NIRA points, a 3.5-grade average and nominations by individual rodeo coaches. In 2017, more than 100 students received scholarships.
Standings for the 2018 College National Finals Rodeo:
Bareback riding-Tyler J. Berghuis with 375 points
Barrel racing-Kynzie R. McNeill with 320 points
Breakaway roping-Mia M. Manzanares with 160 points
Bull riding-Will J. Centoni with 260 points
Goat tying-Mia M. Manzanares with 320 points
Saddle bronc riding-Jake E. Finlay with 300 points
Steer wrestling-Tristan L. Martin with 260 points
Team roping-Kellan J. Johnson and Trey D. Yates with 190 points
Tie-down roping-Ty H. Harris with 345 points
Men’s All Around -Will J. Centoni with 545 points
Women’s All Around-Mia M. Manzanares with 480 points
Men’s Team-Panhandle University finished with 750 points
Women’s Team-McNeese State University amassed 480 points
To the delight of spectators, the event center also offered all with the chance to enjoy chicken, turkey and BBQ rib platters, which were available at entrance locations. Other events taking place during CNFR week included a Special Olympics rodeo, a Cinch Style Show, golf and softball tournaments.
CNFR ticket prices range from $10 to $25 each night for general admission to reserved box seats. Tickets for the entire week or season tickets are also available. The Casper Event Center offers the chance to purchase tickets in advance of the event.
Anyone unable to attend the College National Finals Rodeo has the chance to capture the events as they unfold by tuning in to the Cowboy Lifestyle Network. The CLN along with the Ak-Chin Indian Community and the Earnhardt Auto Centers Road Team provide live coverage of the event.