STEPHENVILLE (April 29, 2016) — For the seventh-straight year, Tarleton State University’s men’s and women’s rodeo teams will compete in the College National Finals Rodeo.
Both teams qualified for the CNFR following this past weekend’s Tarleton Stampede, the regular season finale for the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association’s (NIRA) Southwest Region. The women’s team collected enough points to overtake Eastern New Mexico University at Lone Star Arena on Saturday, and clinch second place to qualify for the “Rose Bowl of College Rodeo.”
Upon concluding the 2015-2016 regular season schedule, Tarleton qualifies six men and four women for the CNFR, slated for June 12-18, in Casper, Wyo. More than 400 cowboys and cowgirls from more than 100 universities will compete at the CNFR after contestants competed all year in one of the NIRA’s 11 regions. The top three students in each event and top two men’s and women’s teams from the NIRA regions advance to the CNFR.
Tarleton’s cowboys finished the year-end Southwest region standings with 4,376.66 points—well ahead of reserve champion Western Texas College (2,711.66), while the women’s team won the reserve champion title with 1,466.66 points behind region champion Texas Tech (2,542.5).
Before Saturday night’s short-round, Tarleton women’s team trailed Eastern New Mexico by 121.66 points, but put together a comeback performance to collect 123 points and edge the visiting team by a razor-thin, 1.67-point margin, sending the cowgirls back to the CNFR.
Set to represent the Tarleton men’s and women’s teams at the CNFR are:
• Kody Lamb – Bareback Riding (Southwest Region champion)
• Zac Lomax – Bareback Riding (Southwest Region reserve champion)
• Jace Lane – Saddle Bronc Riding (Southwest Region, 3rd place)
• Jace Melvin – Steer Wrestling
• Brody Yeary – Bull Riding
• Kyle Parrish – Tie Down Roping
• Allison Danley – Breakaway Roping (Southwest Region champion)
• Lauren Bane – Breakaway Roping
• Baili Collins – Goat Tying
• Ashleigh Baugh – Goat Tying
Home of the 2015 National Champions
Home of the 2015 national championship men’s team, the Tarleton Rodeo Association has been part of a winning tradition since 1947. Tarleton teams have won seven national championship titles and 24 individual national championships. Today, Tarleton has one of the largest collegiate rodeo teams in the nation with 118 card-holding student members in 2015-2016.
The rodeo program operates under the Office of Rodeo Activities as part of the Division of Student Life and enjoys great support from the university’s administration, Tarleton alumni and numerous individuals in the Stephenville area—known as the “Cowboy Capital of the World.”
Mark Eakin is director of Rodeo Activities and head coach. Eakin graduated from Tarleton in 1997, and before returning as the head coach, Eakin received his master’s in agriculture from West Texas A&M and led the rodeo team to numerous NIRA championship titles. Assistant coaches are Trevor Ervin, Brittany Bell and Craig Wisehart.
For more information about Tarleton Rodeo, visit www.tarleton.edu/rodeo.