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Tarleton Rodeo Finishes Strong at CNFR

Casper, WY — As the doors of the Casper Events Center closed on the 2010
College National Finals Rodeo Saturday night, Tarleton Rodeo was in the

After a week of ups and downs in rounds one, two and three, Tarleton men
went into the final round sitting 12th.  A strong finish from the four men
that qualified for Short Go competition allowed the Tarleton men to claim
third-place honors coming in 20 points behind second place Missouri Valley
College and a 120 points behind first place Vernon College.  The Tarleton
Men’s team was awarded $6,000 in scholarship monies for the third-place

Issac Diaz, a senior from Florida, brought home the 2010 CNFR National
Championship title in Saddle Bronc riding after splitting first and second
in the average with Vernon College’s Kaleb Asay.

Diaz placed third in round one with a 79.5 ride on Frontier’s bucking horse
Medicine River. After a sixth-place finish in the second round, the two-time
NFR qualifier tied with Will Smith of Missouri Valley College for second
place in the average with 157.5 on two head.  After a 71.5-point ride on
Harry Vold’s Webmaster in round 3, Diaz finished round competition splitting
third and fourth in the average, tied again with Smith (MVC) for a total of
229 points.

In short go competition, Diaz drew Frontier bucking horse, Dakota Girl, a
horse he had ridden on the PRCA circuit. With a 77.5-point ride Diaz split
first, second and third place in the short go with Bryan Martinat of Blue
Mountain Community College and Troy Crowser of Panhandle State University,
giving him 306.5 points on four head. Kaleb Assay of Vernon College turned
in a 74.5 point ride on Frontier’s Too Good, causing a first and second
split for the national honors.

“Winning the college finals was a goal I set for myself 5 years ago,” Diaz
said about winning the National Title. “Having finally accomplished that in
my last year showed me not to lose sight of your dreams no matter how long
they may take you.”

Two hometown cowboys, Chase (freshman) and Chad (sophomore) Williams claimed
2010 CNFR Reserve Team Roping Championship honors. After three rounds of
competition the team sat fifth in the average with a 15.0, 7.5 and 9.5 for a
total of 32.0 on three head. Being one of the 7 teams in the top 12 to catch
all three steers, the boys had a good shot at improving their average
status. In short go competition, the team had a clean catch of 5.5, allowing
them to win first in the round and moving them to second in the average.  In
addition, USTRC awarded the top three teams shoot out spots at the USTRC
finals in Oklahoma City in October.  Chad was also awarded a $1,000 academic
scholarship by the CNFR Foundation Committee for his achievements in the

In first-round bull riding competition Harve Stewart, a junior from
Stephenville, scored an 80.5 on a Barringer bull known as Beau finishing
fifth in that round. In second round competition, Stewart scored a 79.5
giving him a total of 160 on two head. In the third round, the two-time PBR
finals qualifier faced Unicorn, a Broken Arrow bull, and had a chance to be
the first cowboy to ride three bulls at the 2010 CNFR. After riding the bull
for 7.5 seconds, Stewart hung up to the bull, losing his helmet. Luckily, he
was able to walk away from Unicorn and qualified for short go competition on
two bulls.

In the short go, Stewart drew Q, a bull he had bucked off of at the CNFR
short go two years before. The rematch was in Stewart’s favor and he scored
an 84.5 ride to give him a total of 244.5 to finish out the final round.
However, this fell 3.5 points short of the national title and Stewart placed
fourth behind cowboys from University Tennessee- Martin, Hill College and
College of Southern Idaho.

After a rough start to the beginning of the week, two ladies of the Tarleton’s
Women’s team made it back to CNFR short go. Kody Engle, a junior from
Stephenville, split fourth and fifth in the first round with a time of 2.5.
Engle drew a runner in the second round and caught the calf in 3.8 for a
total of 6.3 on two head, which ranked her fifth in the average.  After
turning in a time of 4.0 in the third round, Engle qualified for short go
with a 10.3 on three head, sitting third in the average. In short go action,
Engle missed her calf dropping her out of average standings.

Cassie Ward, a junior from Oklahoma, qualified for short go competition in
barrel racing. Ward turned in a time of 14.92 in the first round finishing
22nd of 47 contestants.  In the second round, Ward ran a 14.20 placing first
in the round.  Her second round placed her solid in the average with a
third-place ranking.  In third-round competition, Ward turned in a time of
14.65, moving her to fifth in the average going into short go competition.
In the short go, Ward ran the pattern in 14.34 seconds, giving her an
overall finish of fourth in the average standings. Ward’s points in the
average standing helped Tarleton’s Women finish seventh in the nation.

In addition to CNFR arena honors, the two teams brought in approximately
$4,800 dollars in scholarship monies awarded to them for their achievements
at the regional level.  Scholarship monies are awarded to students placing
first and second in their respective events as well as first and second in
the all-around competitions.

“Overall this was a great week. We brought home $11,800 in scholarship
money, third- and seventh-place team finishes, and a well deserved national
title in the saddle bronc riding,” said Head Rodeo Coach Mark Eakin. “The
two teams were made up of exceptional talent. I am proud of each of them and
glad to be part of their accomplishment.”

Other Tarleton students qualifying for CNFR competition include: K.C.
Curtis—team roping; Clay Norell—team roping; Chase Williams—calf roping;
Tate Owens—saddle bronc; Cassie Ward—goat tying; Kody Engle—barrel racing;
Kylie Ward—barrel racing; and Cassie Vierstra—goat tying.

For more information on CNFR results please visit www.collegerodeo.com.