The South Dakota State University rodeo team is sending eight student-athletes to compete in the College National Finals Rodeo in Casper, Wyoming, June 9-15. The top three student-athletes in each event, along with the top two men’s and women’s teams from each region, qualify for the CNFR. The SDSU women’s team placed second in the Great Plains Region while the SDSU men’s team finished third in the region, one place short of qualifying.
“We have a lot of chances to do great things at the CNFR with the team members we have qualified this year,” said SDSU Rodeo Team Coach Ron Skovly.
SDSU will have two student-athletes competing in saddle bronc riding this year at CNFR. Reed Arneson, a junior animal science major from Meadow, will be making his second consecutive trip to nationals. Arneson was reserve regional champion in saddle bronc riding. Also competing in saddle bronc riding is Paden Sexton, a junior political science major from Bison. Sexton placed third in the region and this will be his first time competing at the national event.
Both Scott Halverson and Nolan Richie will be competing in team roping at CNFR for the first time. Halverson, a sophomore animal science major from Fairview, placed fourth in the region as the team roping header. Richie, a senior agricultural business major from Bristol, also placed fourth in the region as the team roping heeler.
Madison Rau, a junior agricultural business major from Mobridge, placed second in the region in barrel racing. Rau will be making her third consecutive trip. Hannah Sauve, a sophomore animal science major of Osage, Iowa, placed sixth in the region in barrel racing. Allison Pauley, a freshman biochemistry major from Honey Creek, Iowa, placed 11th in the region. This year will be both Sauve and Pauley’s first time at the CNFR.
Tori Jacobs will be making her second appearance at the CNFR after placing fifth in the region in goat tying. Jacobs is a sophomore interior design major from Madrid, Iowa.
“I am proud of both teams this year, especially with the adverse weather conditions that started last fall and stayed with us all spring,” Skovly said.
For updates about the SDSU rodeo team before and during the CNFR, follow the SDSU Rodeo Facebook page.
About the CNFR
The CNFR is where the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association crowns individual event and team champions. It hosts over 400 cowboys and cowgirls from over 100 universities and colleges. For the past 20 years, they’ve competed at the 9,700-capacity seating Casper Events Center. Coverage of the performances will air on ESPNU in June.