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Seven UT Martin Representatives Qualify For 2017 College National Finals Rodeo


By Ryne Rickman

MARTIN, Tenn. – Seven University of Tennessee at Martin team members will compete against the best cowboys and cowgirls in the nation when they take part in the upcoming College National Finals Rodeo, which will be held on June 9-17, 2017 at the Casper Events Center in Casper, Wyo.

Houston Herbert (bareback riding), Ryan McDaniel (bull riding), Ross Mitchell (team roping – header), Douglas Rich (team roping – heeler) will participate from the UT Martin men’s team, while Madison Crow (barrel racing), Nealey Dalton (barrel racing) and Kenzley Wilson (breakaway roping) will represent the UT Martin women’s squad.

A junior out of College Grove, Tenn., Herbert will be making his first career CNFR appearance next month. He ranks ninth nationally and second in the Ozark Region with 1,145 points in bareback riding.

McDaniel is also set to make his CNFR debut in five weeks. The sophomore from Yuma, Tenn. has accumulated 570 points in bull riding, which ranks 11th in the nation and second in the Ozark Region.

Also making his CNFR debut is Mitchell, a freshman from Bolivar, Tenn. He ranks 24th in the country and third in the Ozark Region with 480 points in team roping.

Hailing from Herrick, Ill., Rich’s 515 points in team roping rank 18th nationally and second in the Ozark Region. The senior is making his second consecutive and third career CNFR appearance.

Crow earned her first CNFR career appearance after tallying 500 points in barrel racing. The senior out of Kingston Springs, Tenn. ranks third in the Ozark Region in the above category.

Making her fourth career CNFR appearance is Dalton, a senior from Adamsville, Tenn. Her 500 points in barrel racing is tied with Crow for the third-highest total in the Ozark Region.

Wilson is also set for her CNFR debut, as the junior from Black Oak, Ark. currently ranks fourth in the Ozark Region in women’s all-around (570 points), eighth in barrel racing (365 points) and 11th in breakaway roping (205 points).

Considered the “Rose Bowl” of college rodeo, the CNFR is a weeklong event where the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association crowns individual champions in saddle bronc riding, bareback riding, bull riding, tie down roping, steer wrestling, team roping, barrel racing, breakaway roping and goat tying. Over 400 cowboys and cowgirls from more than 100 universities and colleges from the NIRA’s 11 regions compete for a chance to rope and ride at the CNFR.

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