Tonita, Taylor Qualify for Championship Round at College National Finals Rodeo

Laramie County Community earned their first points of the CNFR when bull rider Stefan Tonita rode Vold Rodeo’s bull named Short Bus for 81 points. His score got him the third round win and advanced him to Saturday night’s finals. Photo by Jackie Jensen

CASPER, Wyo. (June 18, 2021) — The third round at 72nd College National Finals Rodeo (CNFR) ended Friday with the lead changing in the first four events of the night. In the bareback riding, Jacob Lees of Pismo Beach, California, rode Vold Rodeo’s horse Stupid Cupid for 82.5 points. That score put the senior welding major at Western Texas College second in the third round. He had previously taken second in the first two rounds with scores of 83 and 82, respectively.

            Cole Franks, a sophomore agricultural business major at Clarendon College in his hometown of Clarendon, Texas, moved to second place overall. Franks had won the first two rounds with scores of 83.5 and 82.5. His 79.5-point ride on Vold Rodeo’s horse Wrangler Valley left him two points behind Lees heading into Saturday’s championship round. Franks, who won the all-around as well as the bareback riding in the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association’s (NIRA) southwest region, also earned saddle bronc riding points this week and has a commanding lead in the race for the national all-around title.

In the second event of the night, Cole Berquist of LaCrosse, Washington, continued to rope consistently. The junior agribusiness major at Montana State University stopped the clock at 8.7 seconds in the tie-down roping. He had turned in an identical time to win third in the first round and had placed second in round two with an 8.8. As the only athlete with three times of under nine seconds, Berquist leads the event by 3.1 seconds. He also placed third in round three.

Grace Felton, a freshman from Susanville, California, roped the overall lead in the third contest of the night – breakaway roping. Felton, an agricultural business major at Lassen College, caught her calf in 2.3 seconds, giving her a total of 7.6 seconds on three. The fifth-generation cowgirl from a ranching family was second in the first round with a 2.1 and finished 16th in round two with a 3.2. She has made a smooth transition to college rodeo after finishing fourth at the 2020 National High School Finals Rodeo.

Bethanie Shofner of Las Lunas, New Mexico, was down to her last chance to make a mark at the CNFR. The senior agricultural economics major at New Mexico State University had failed to finish higher than 25th in either of the first two rounds, She showed why she is the two-time NIRA Grand Canyon region breakaway champion when she roped her calf in 1.6 seconds. That tied the CNFR arena record set on Monday night by Taylor Lawson of Southwest Texas Junior College and tied for first in the third round.

Cash Wilson of Wall, South Dakota, kept the streak of new leaders alive in the saddle bronc riding with a 75-point ride on Vold Rodeo’s horse Happy Valley. Wilson, a sophomore agricultural business major at Clarendon College, had plenty of success in this event. He was the 2018 national high school champion and was reserve champion in 2019. He won the NIRA southwest region and was state high school champion three times.

He and Franks are the main reason Clarendon College leads the men’s team standings heading into the final round.

There was also a new leader in bull riding when Laramie College’s Stefan Tonita scored 81 points on Vold Rodeo’s Short Bus. The freshman is majoring in business and accounting is making the most of his first CNFR appearance. He is one of six successful bull riders in the third round and his ride on Friday was enough to advance to Saturday night’s final round.

The top 12 after the first three rounds in each event will compete for national event, all-around and team championships Saturday at 7 p.m. (MDT) at the Ford Wyoming Center. The performance will also be broadcast live on ESPN3.



The following are results after Friday’s performance at the 72nd annual College National Finals Rodeo, June 18, 2021, courtesy of the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association. Complete results are available at


Bareback Riding: (third round winners) 1, Kolt Dement, Panola Junior College, 83 points on Vold Rodeo’s Storm Valley. 2, Jacob Lees, Western Texas College, 82.5. 3, Nick Pelke, Missouri Valley College, 80.5. 4, (tie) Brody Smith, University of Montana Western, and Cole Franks, Clarendon College, 79.5. 6, Jake Kesl, Gillette College, 76. 7, Matthew Tuni, Fort Lewis College, 75. 8, Dean Thompson, Western Texas College, 74. (final round qualifiers) 1. Lees, 247.5. 2, Franks, 245.5. 3, Dement. 239.5. 4, Pelke, 238.5. 5, Dean Thompson, Western Texas College, 234. 6, Waylon Bourgeois, McNeese State University, 231. 7, Brody Smith, 227. 8, Gauge McBride, Panola Junior College, 226.5. 9, Ty Pope, Missouri Valley College, 223.5. 10, Jade Taton, Panhandle State University, 222.5. 11, Tim Murphy, Hill College, 219. 12, Stetson Bierman, University of Tennessee – Martin, 216.


  Tie-Down Roping: (third round winners) 1, (tie) Seth Peterson, University of Wyoming, and Zane Kilgus, Northeast Oklahoma A & M, 7.7 seconds each. 3, Caleb Berquist, Montana State University, 8.7. 4, Austin Madison, Mid Plains College, 9.1. 5, (tie) Garrett Elmore, Western Oklahoma State College, and Macon Murphy, Panola Junior College, 9.7. 7, Ladd King, Weber State University, 9.8. 8, Jase Staudt, University of Wyoming, 9.9. (final round qualifiers) 1, Berquist, 26.2 seconds on three. 2, Murphy, 29.3. 3, King, 32.6. 4, Garrett Jacobs, Sul Ross State University, 33.8. 5, Levi Delamarter, Montana State University, 34.3. 6, Collin Palmer, Black Hills State University, 35.8. 7, Madison, 35.9. 8, Elmore, 37.4. 9, Connor Atkinson, Wharton County Community College, 38.2. 10, Cole Dodds, California State University – Fresno, 38.8. 11, Wyatt Vankoll, Blue Mountain Community College, 39.9. 12, Kincade Henry, Panola Junior College, 40.5.


     Breakaway Roping: (third round winners) 1, (tie) Taylor Lawson, Southwest Texas Junior College, and Bethanie Shofner, New Mexico State University, 1.6 seconds each. 3, Lexie Russell, Oklahoma State University, 2.0. 4, (tie) Morgan Foss, Dickinson State University; Chloe Frey, McNeese State University; and Breanna Jenkins, University of Montana Western; 2.1 seconds each. 7, (tie) Quincy Segelke, Chadron State College, and Grace Felton, Lassen College, 2.3. (final round qualifiers) 1, Felton, 7.6 on three. 2, Zoie Bedke, Idaho State University, 7.9. 3, Courtney Peters, Black Hills State University, 8.1. 4, (tie) Winter Williams, Southwestern Oklahoma State University, and Blair Bryant, Eastern Mississippi Community College, 9.5. 6, Catherine Clayton, Cochise College, 10.9. 7, Brianna Williams, Chadron College, 12.6. 8, Lawson, 16.3. 9, Abbie Shofner, New Mexico State University, 16.7. 10, Hannah Phillips, Sam Houston State University, 18.3. 11, Jayce Blake, Treasure Valley Community College, 27.1. 12, Jade Boote, Dickinson State University, 27.2.


            Saddle Bronc Riding: (third round winners) 1, Parker Fleet, Hill College, 80 points on Frontier Rodeo’s Big Syrup. 2, Karson Mebane, Cal Poly State University – San Luis Obispo, 78.5. 3, Cash Wilson, Clarendon College, 75. 4, Brody Wells, Clarendon College, 74. 5, (tie) Ty Pope, Missouri Valley College, 73. 6, Damian Brennan, Western Texas College, 72.5. 7, Dylan Schofield, Western Texas College, and Lachlan Sheppard, Western Texas College, 71.5.  (final round qualifiers) 1, Wilson, 232 points on three. 2, Schofield, 225.5. 3, Weston Patterson, Clarendon College, 221.5. 4, Garrett Uptain, University of Wyoming, 221. 5, Clayson Hutchings, Utah State University Eastern, 217. 6, Reed Neely, California State University – Fresno, 215. 7, Jake Barnes,Tarleton State University, 213.5. 8, Michael Womack, Panola Junior College, 204.5. 9, Russell Kay, College of Southern Idaho, 199. 10, Scott Lauaki, Utah State University Eastern, 194. (on two) 11, Ty Pope, Missouri Valley College, 152. 12,  Cole Franks, Clarendon College, 150.


Steer Wrestling: (third round winners) 1, Ryan Nettle, Texas A & M University – Commerce, 3.8 seconds. 2, Bridger Anderson, Northwestern Oklahoma State University, 3.9. 3, (tie) Riley Westhaver, Northwestern Oklahoma State University, and Grant Peterson, Cal Poly State University – San Luis Obispo, 4.0 each. 5, Gavin Soileau, McNeese State University, 4.3. 6, Seth Peterson, University of Wyoming, 4.8. 7, Roy Lee, Missouri Valley College, 5.0. 8, Jesse Keysaer, University of Tennessee – Martin, 5.2. (final round qualifiers) 1, Soileau, 15.0 on three. 2, Walt Arnold, Tarleton State University, 18.7. 3, Pacean DeLeeuw, Cisco College, 18.9. 4, Chadron Coffield, University of Wyoming, 23.7. 5, Grant Peterson, 23.8. 6, Seth Peterson, University of Wyoming, 24.0. 7, Bryce Harrison, University of Montana Western, 24.6. 8, Sterling Lee, Mid Plains Community College, 26.0. 9, Keysaer, 26.5. 10, Trisyn Kalawai’a, Central Arizona College, 29.1. 11, Gus Franzen, Southeastern Oklahoma State University, 29.2. 12, Cody Faulkner, Montana State University, 35.5.


Goat Tying: (third round winners) 1, Paige Rasmussen, Montana State University, 6.3 seconds. 2, (tie) Lindsey Pulsipher, Montana State University, and Heather McLaughlin, University of West Alabama, 6.4. 4, (tie) Kamryn Duncan, McNeese State University, and Sierra Smith, Southwestern Oklahoma State University, 6.7. 6, (tie) Jill Donnelly, Cochise College; Tori Jacobs, South Dakota State University; Ricky Engesser, Tarleton State University; and Aubree Skone, Walla Walla Community College; 6.8. (final round qualifiers) 1, Rasmussen, 18.9 seconds on three. 2, Mayce Marek, Wharton County Junior College, 19.7. 3, Donnelly, 19.9. 4, Engesser, 20.0. 5, Madelyn Schauer, Eastern New Mexico State University, 20.2. 6, Kodey Hoss, Weatherford College, 20.3. 7, (tie) Sheyenne Anderson, Missouri Valley College, and Duncan, 20.4 each. 9, Maddee Doerr, Cochise College, 20.7. 10, Taylour Latham, University of Wyoming, 20.8. 11, McLaughlin, 20.9. 12, Jacey Hupp, South Dakota State University, 21.0.


Team Roping: (third round winners) 1, Marcus Theriot, and Cole Curry, East Mississippi Community College, 4.7. 2, Jace Staudt, University of Wyoming and JC Flake, Gillette College, 5.4. 3, Cobie Dodds, West Hills College and Cody Stewart, Feather River College, 6.3. 4, Jaret Whitman and Teegan Leno, Montana State University, 6.4. 5, Will Eddleman, Cisco College, and Garrett Jacobs, Sul Ross University, 6.5. 6, Jace Hanks, Utah Valley University and Kale Lamb, Utah State University Eastern, 7.5. 7, Kellan and Carson Johnson, Casper College, 7.6. 8,  Sherrick Sanborn, Cochise College, and Dylan Hill, Mesa Community College, 7.7. 6, JC and LJ Yeahquo, Western Oklahoma State College, 8.0. 7, Garrett Elmore, and Jessen James, Western Oklahoma State College, 10.0. 8, Stran Morris, Western Oklahoma State College, and Kolton White, Southeastern Oklahoma State University, 10.2. (final round qualifiers) 1, Johnson and Johnson, 20.7 on three. 2, JC Yeahquo and LJ Yeahquo, Western Oklahoma State College, 20.8. 3, Wyatt Murray, and Whitt Crozier, Panhandle State University, 29.1. 4, Jon Peterson and Tray Smith, Gillette College, 29.8. 5, Eddleman and Garrett, 32.4. 6, Hanks and Lamb, 36.8. 7, Stran Morris, Western Oklahoma State College and Kolton White, Southeastern Oklahoma State University, 37.2. 8, Wynn Schaack, and Zane Patrick, Midplains Community College, 45.6. 9, John Gaona and Trey Nowlin, Central Arizona State College, 54.2. (on two) 10, Bodie Mattson Gillette College and Cody Lansing, Casper College, 12.0 11, Ethan Griffin, Oklahoma State University and Blayne Horne, Western Oklahoma State College, 13.0. 12, Staudt and Flake, 15.9. 


Barrel Racing: (third round winners) 1, Tayla Moeykens, Montana State University, 14.10. 2, Bradi Good, Weatherford College, 14.11. 3, Abby Hepper, Southwestern Oklahoma State University, 14.15. 4, Taylor Hanson, Black Hills State University, 14.17. 5, Lake Mehalic, Colorado State University, 14.18. 6, Jaylie Matthews, East Mississippi Community College, 14.20. 7, Katelyn Danzy, University of Arkansas – Monticello, 14.24. 8, Shai McDonald, Montana State University, 14.26. (final round qualifiers) 1, Jaylie Matthews, East Mississippi Community College, 42.70. 2, Lakken Bice, Dickinson State University, 42.78. 3, Sadie Wolaver, Southwestern Oklahoma State University, 42.82. 4, Moeykens, 42.85. 5, Hepper, 42.92. 6, McDonald 43.08. 7, Karson Bradley, University of Wyoming, 43.28. 8, Payton Schoeppach, Cuesta College, 43.37. 9, Emilee Pauley, Black State University, 43.42. 10, Mehalic, 43.47. 11, Bradi Good, Weatherford College, 43.51. 12, Brooklin Quisenberry, Cuesta College, 43.52.


Bull Riding: (third round winners – six rides) 1, Stefan Tonita, Laramie County Community College, 81 points on Vold Rodeo’s Short Bus. 2, Austin Allred, Utah State University Eastern, 75. 3, Tristen Hutchings, Sul Ross State University, 74. 4, Mason Ward, Southeastern Oklahoma State University, 73.5.  5, Austin Herrera, Northwest College, 72. 6, Koby Jacobson, Mid Plains Community College, 68.5 (final round qualifiers – on two) 1, Tristen Hutchings, 151.5. 2, Allred, 147.5. 3, Holden Moss, Three Rivers College, 147. (on one) 4, Cole Skender, 84.5. 5, Tonita, 81. 6, Quinten Taylor, Casper College, 79.5. 7, Cullen Telfer, Tarleton State University, 78. 8, Hunter Tate, Coffeyville Community College, 77. 9, Kolten Achenbach, Missouri Valley College, 76. 10, (tie) Trey Holston, Fort Scott Community College; T.J. Schmidt, Panhandle State University; and Ward, 73.5.  


Men’s All-Around: 1, Cole Franks, Clarendon College, 235 points. 2, Ty Pope, Missouri Valley College, 135. 3, Seth Peterson, University of Wyoming, 125. 4, Roy Lee, Missouri Valley College, 120.


Women’s All-Around: No qualifications


Men’s Team: 1, Clarendon College, 565 points. 2, Western Texas College, 450. 3, Casper College, 390. 4, Missouri Valley College 380.


           Women’s Team: 1, Montana State University, 430 points. 2, Southwestern Oklahoma State University, 310. 3, Dickinson State University, 163.33. 4, Oklahoma State University, 160.


Courtesy Susan Kanode




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