Thorpe and Wheeler hope for repeat at College National Finals Rodeo

by Susan Kanode

CASPER, Wyo. (June 12, 2017) — One year ago, Wesley Thorpe and Cole Wheeler left Casper, Wyoming as the newly crowned team roping champions in the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association.

They qualified again this year and are on a mission for a repeat. The duo, who come from Texas Tech University at Lubbock made their first appearance at the 69th annual College National Finals Rodeo on Monday during slack. They stopped the clock in 6.1 seconds to finish second in the first round.

The first-round winners came from California’s Cuesta College. Tristan Ruffoni and Dalton Pearce were the only team ropers to be under six seconds at 5.2. These teams will have their second round of competition during Tuesday’s slack.

Second generation rodeo competitor Jake Fulton from local Casper College and Northwestern Oklahoma State University’s Cody Devers split the win in the steer wrestling with 3.7-second runs. Wyoming was also well represented in the barrel racing with Kailee Webb. The University of Wyoming student took first in the round with a 14.53.

Last year’s all-around champion Marcus Theriot from East Mississippi College had some success in the tie-down roping with an 8.8-second run, which finished in second place. Theriot is also competing in the team roping and steer wrestling here and will need to earn points in those events to have an opportunity for a second title.

The second round of competition will be completed during slack on June 13 beginning at 7 a.m. The third round will start at the evening performance.


CASPER, Wyo.—The following are results from the 69th annual College National Finals Rodeo, June 12, 2017, courtesy of the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association. Complete results are available at

Bareback Riding:(second round leaders) 1, Austin Williams, Odessa college, 75.5 points. 2, (tie) Tristan Hansen, University of Montana – Western, and Rio Lee, Cochise College, 70.5. each. 5, Hunter Carlson, Sheridan College, 70. 6, (tie) Paden Hurst, Wharton College and Cory Brown, Fort Scott Community College, 67.5. 8, Colton Delgado, Fort Scott Community College, 66.5.

Breakaway Roping: (second round leaders) 1, Kirbie Crouse, Missouri Valley College, 2.2 seconds. 2, Tierra Gray, Eastern New Mexico University, 2.3. 3, Loni Lester, Sam Houston State University, 2.7. 4, Bailey Smith, Idaho State University, 3.1. 5, Ryanne Tracy, Montana State University, Montana State University, 3.7. 6, Jamie Giefer, Fresno College, 4.0. 7, Lakota Bird, Central Arizona College, 12.4. 8, Breanna Ellis, Missouri Valley College, 15.0.

Steer Wrestling: (first round winners) 1, (tie) Cody Devers, Northwestern Oklahoma State University and Jake Fulton, Casper College, 3.7 seconds each. 3, Fenton Nelsen, Missouri Valley College, 4.0. 4, Brady Thurston, Central Wyoming College, 4.6. 5, Cole Frey, McNeese State University, 4.8. 6, Cade Goodman, Texas A&M University, 4.9. 7, Kris Rasmussen, Midplains Community College, 5.0. 8, Bubba Boots, Northwest College, 5.2.

Team Roping: (first round winners) 1, Tristan Ru ffoni and Dalton Pearce, Cuesta College, 5.2 seconds. 2, Cole Wheeler and Wesley Thorp, Texas Tech University, 6.1. 3, Dylan Schulenberg, Northwest Oklahoma State University and Wyatt Miller, Fort Scott Community College, 6.2. 4, Braden Pirrung, Eastern Wyoming College and J.D. Kirwan, Gillette College, 6.5. 5, Ross Mitchell, University of Tennessee – Martin and Ethan Wheeler, East Mississippi Community College; and Cooper White and Riley Wakefield, Gillette College, 6.6 seconds per team. 7, Mason Boettcher and Ty Arnold, Sam Houston State University, 6.7. 8, Chase Onaka, Cal Poly State University – San Luis Obispo and Brushton Minton, West Hills College, 6.8.

Saddle Bronc Riding: (first round winners) 1, Preston Burr, New Mexico Junior College, 78.5 points. 2, Brody Cress, Tarleton State University, 76.5. 3, Blaise Freeman, Western Texas College, 75. 4, Logan cook, Panola Junior College, 74. 5, Will Centoni, Cuesta College, 73.5. 6, Jalen Joaquin, Cochise College, 72.5. 7, Johnny Espeland, Blue Mountain Community College, 72. 8, Parker Kempfer, Sam Houston State University, 70.5. (second round leaders) 1, Luke Logan-Marvel, College of Southern Idaho, 74.5. 2, (tie) Jalen Joaquin, Cochise College and Treyson Antonick, Sam Houston State University, 72.5 each. 4, Briar Dittmer, Missouri Valley College, 71.5. 5, Wyatt Hageman, University of Wyoming, 71. 6, Mitch Pollock, College of Southern Idaho, 69. 7, Keenan Reinhardt, Montana State University, 64.5. 8, Jake Burwash, Cochise College, 59.5.

Goat Tying: (first round winners) 1, Jacey Hupp, South Dakota State University, 6.1 seconds. 2, Janey Reeves, University of Idaho, 6.2. 3, (tie) 3, Rickie Engesser, Gillette College; LeighAnn Scribner, University of New Mexico; and Celie Vick, Eastern New Mexico University and Lauren Bane, Tarleton State University; 6.3 each. 7, (tie) Carlee Johnston, Black Hills State University and Amelia Anderson, University of Wyoming, 6.4.

Tie Down Roping: (first round winners) 1, Cooper Mathews, Hill College, 8.5 seconds. 2, Marcus Theriot, East Mississippi Community College, 8.8. 3, Andrew Burks, Pearl River Community College, 9.0. 4, Wyatt Willaims, Boise State University, 9.6. 5, Chace Valdez, New Mexico State University, 9.9. 6, Colton Farquer, Cal Poly State University – San Luis Obispo, 10.1. 7, (tie) Reid Zapalac, Tarleton State University, and Kolbey Hughes, Idaho State University, 10.2 each.


Barrel Racing: (first round winners) 1, Kailee Webb, University of Wyoming, 14.53 seconds. 2, Abby Knight, University of Great Falls, 14.58. 3, Kynzie Rae McNeil, Texas Tech University, 14.66. 4, Sierra Spratt, Sam Houston State University, 14.70. 5, Danyelle Williams, Blue Mountain Community College, 14.71. 6, Nealey Dalton, University of Tennessee – Martin, 14.73. 7, Rainy Robinson, South Plains College, 14.74. 8, Leia Pluemer, University of Nevada – Las Vegas, 14.78.

Bull Riding: (second round leaders – three rides) 1, Dakota Rice, Chadron State College, 75.5. 2, BoDell Jessen, Odessa College, 72.5. 3, Josh Frost, Panhandle State University, 66.5.



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