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Top-ranked bareback rider leads Bulldoggers to national rodeo finals

Seven members Fresno State Rodeo Team will compete in Rodeo College National Finals from June 12 to June 18 in Casper, Wyoming.

Under the guidance of fourth coach Uhuru Adem, the Fresno State men’s team enters the event ranked 16th nationally. The Bulldoggers’ 4,866 team points for the 10 tournaments held between October and May were also second in Normal period score in the West Coast men’s area.

The TV action of the last five days will be shown ESPN3 from Tuesday 14 June.

Three of the men’s competitors are veterans of the tournament – graduate student Mitchell Parham (Clovis) and seniors Cole Dodds (Sanger) and Reed Neely (Sanger) – while senior Philip Knierieme (Oakdale) and junior David Stark (Lincoln) will make their debut.

For the women’s team, graduate student Maren Powers (Occidental) and senior Hailey Wilbur (Lodi) will make their first national appearances.

“We are getting a very talented team in national teams,” said Adem. “I believe they will have some success if they can continue to do what they have already done this season. “Many of our qualifiers have done well in this event in the past, and I’m excited to see what our newcomers are capable of after a great season.”

Ahead of his fourth trip to Rodeo in the College Finals, Parham leads the country’s naked riding standings with 1,580 points, ahead of Wyoming (1,545) Bryce Patterson and Missouri College Cole Franks (1.95) (1.4).

Two other members of the men’s team are ranked in the top 10 national teams in their competitions.

Dodds is eighth in tie-down roping and 10th in the group rope heeler categories and leads the area in both races. Neely ranks fifth in the saddle bronze rankings and second in the region.

Also competing in the rudder fight based on the Fresno State team offer, Dodz will be ranked in the overall standings and will be 12th nationally and leads the region.

In his first season fighting for the Bulldogs, Stark ranked 13th nationally on the team rope and second in the area behind Dodz.

Knierieme will compete in tie-down roping and won his place at the invitation of the team.

In previous national finals, Parham scored the top-25 naked finish in 2021 (19th), 2019 (14th) and 2018 (23rd). Neely is the team’s top returnee since 2021, where he finished fourth in the saddle bronze after finishing 14th in his 2019 debut.

Dodds competed in the college final in tie-down roping in 2021 (11th) and in the team roping header in 2021 (37th) and 2019 (11th).

For the women’s team, Wilbur ranks 14th nationally this season on the breakaway rope and third in the region. Powers is also third regionally in barrel racing.

Two other members of the women’s team finished the season in sixth place at the regional level – Ellie Hilvers (barrel racing) and Machaela Sinclair (goat tying).

The Fresno State women’s team almost won its own team spot based on fourth place in the area. The Bulldoggers scored 1,716 points for the season, just 28 points behind the second and final automatic position held by Feather River College (1,744).

“Our women really fought to get back to the national team and ended up in the final event of the season,” said Adem. “I feel confident about the two people who will go and I hope our team can return next year.”

Cuesta College finished third in the region with 1,717.5 points, just 1.5 points ahead of Fresno State, while Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo won the regional women’s team title with 5,019 points.

Feather River College won the men’s regional title and is ranked fourth nationally with 6,975 points. Fresno State followed with 4,866 points, ahead of Cal Poli (third, 4,170.5).

In the overall national season standings, Missouri Valley College and Blue Mountain Community College topped the men’s and women’s divisions, respectively.

In previous national finals under Adem, the men’s team finished 27th in 2021 and 17th in 2019 and celebrated a national title by then-senior Colton Campbell in Adem’s first season. The event was canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The women’s team also achieved successful finishes in 10th and 12th place in its most recent trips to national finals in 2016 and 2015, respectively, after second place in the region.

Adem, a graduate of the Department of Agricultural Business, shares an additional link to delivering the program as a qualifier to national finals twice. The program began in 1946 and officially became an association in 1949 – the same year that the first College National Finals Rodeo was held in San Francisco.

More information on the sport is available at Rodeo National Intercollegiate Association and Rodeo College National Finals websites.

Top-ranked bareback rider leads Bulldoggers to national rodeo finals Source link Top-ranked bareback rider leads Bulldoggers to national rodeo finals

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