Central Arizona College women’s rodeo team headed to College National Finals Rodeo
By Angela Askey, Director of Marketing
PINAL COUNTY, Ariz. – The Central Arizona College women’s rodeo team earned a berth in the 65th Annual College National Finals Rodeo (CNFR) after finishing second in the Grand Canyon Region.
The nationals will take place at the Casper Events Center beginning Sunday, June 9, through Saturday, June 15.
The CNFR is considered by rodeo athletes as the Rose Bowl of college rodeo. Within the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association, contestants from 11 Regions compete all year to earn a trip to the CNFR. The top three students in each event and the top two men’s and women’s teams from each region will compete for individual event and national team championships.
CAC women’s rodeo team members and Florence, Ariz., natives Kelsey Lutjen and Devin Cordova will represent the Vaqueras this year. The freshmen grew up competing together in high school rodeo and recently completed their first year at CAC.
Lutjen will compete in breakaway, goat tying and barrel racing, while Cordova will participate in barrel racing.
Results and information about the event may be found on the CNFR website: http://www.cnfr.com/.
Although they didn’t qualify for the nationals, the CAC men’s team finished fourth in the region and featured multiple Top 10 individual performances.
Austin Woods of Oregon was fifth in steer wrestling and fourth in the men’s all around competition, while Kayse Winkle of Queen Creek, Ariz., finished eighth in breakaway roping.
CAC’s Jessie James from Payson, Ariz., was eighth in team roping header and Oakley Baker of Las Vegas wound up seventh in team roping heeler.
Joe Moody, CAC’s rodeo team advisor and equine program coordinator, was named 2013 Grand Canyon Region Coach of the Year. Moody has coached the team for the past 10 years, the last five as head coach after spending five years as an assistant.
Moody attended West Texas College and Texas A&M where he competed in rodeo for both institutions. He is a Pro Rodeo Cowboy Association (PRCA) cardholder and continues to rodeo professionally as a tie down roper in his spare time.
“The best part of coaching is seeing a kid work really hard and win,” Moody said.
About CAC Rodeo Team
More than 40 students have signed letters of intent to become a CAC rodeo team member for the upcoming fall semester. By participating as a member of the Central Arizona College Rodeo Team, students may obtain their collegiate/educational goals.
As a member of the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association, team members compete against other rodeo athletes from colleges and universities in Arizona, New Mexico and Southern Colorado. Student competitors participate in 10 rodeos each year to qualify for a chance to compete at the College National Finals Rodeo.The team hosts a NIRA sanctioned rodeo in March every year. In addition to competing, rodeo team members are required to take an active role and participate in fundraising activities, promotional events, organization and decision making.