McNeese sends four to College National Finals Rodeo in Casper, Wyoming

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Four McNeese State University rodeo team members have earned spots in the 69th College National Finals Rodeo scheduled June 11-17 in Casper, Wyo. Qualifiers are: Kelsey Brashear, Lake Charles, and Mia Manzanares, Opelousas, breakaway roping; Cole Frey, Morganza, team roping header; and Gabe Soileau, Bunkie, steer wrestling.

Brashear is currently ranked No. 9 in the nation in breakaway roping while Manzanares is ranked No. 13. In the Southern region, Brashear and Manzanares finished No. 1 and No. 2 respectively in breakaway roping.

Frey is ranked sixth in the nation in team roping header and 19th in the nation for men’s all around honors. In the region, he was No. 2 in team roping header and in men’s all around honors.

Also in the region, Soileau finished second in steer wrestling.

Contestants compete all year in one of the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association’s

11 regions for a chance to rope or ride at the CNFR. The top three students in each event in each of the regions are eligible for the national competition.

Cole and Manzanares are making their second straight appearances while Brashear and Soileau are making their first appearances at the CNFR.

McNeese intercollegiate rodeo began in 1947 and this is the 26th consecutive year that McNeese has sent students to the national championship finals.

The NIRA crowns both individual event and team champions. Over 400 students from more than 100 universities and colleges will compete at this year’s competition.

“We have a seasoned group with these four students,” said rodeo coach Justin Browning. “They have worked hard to reach the finals and I think we will do well this year at nationals.”

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