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Trojan Spurs head to nationals

Published 10:25pm Thursday, June 6, 2013

The Troy Rodeo team will make the near 1,700 mile trip to Casper, Wyo. to compete in the 2013 College National Finals Rodeo.

Two Trojans will take part in goat tying on the national stage, Troy’s most successful event this season. Sisters Kesia and Kassandra Smith finished the year first and second in the Ozark Region goat tying standings. Kesia, just a freshman, finished the season with 870 points while her sister and junior, Kassandra, finished with 580.

Troy rodeo coach Josh Simmons said the sisters are going to be tough competition for the rest of the competitors in Casper.

“My freshman, Kesia, was just amazing this year,” said Simmons. “Kassandra is just as talented. They led the pack in our region this year, and it is kind of hard to put in to words how good they are. You just have to see it.”

Cassidy Aldrige and Kendra Kennemer will also compete for the Troy team in breakaway roping.

Simmons said the women’s team reps are quite young, but they are ready for the opportunity.

“Cassidy is our only senior making the trip, and we have two freshmen,” said Simmons. “But we are really looking forward to seeing how they do. I think that we have a shot to make some noise.”

The lone male representative for the Troy team, Zack Mabry, will take part in the team roping event.

Zach Mabry will represent the men’s team in June after he and his partner, Ben Walker of Tennessee-Martin, picked up a second place finish in the region with 625 points.

“Zach is ready to grab a title, and he will have a good chance to get it this weekend,” Simmons said.

Rodeo is different than most college athletic events, in that the schools are not divided up in to different classifications. Simmons feels that the competiton level is good across the nation.

“We aren’t under the NCAA flag,” said Simmons. “We are out there competing against the big schools from Texas, and the big schools from California and the Northwest. It would mean a lot for us to bring home a national title competing against all those big schools from around the nation.”

“We aren’t under the NCAA flag,” said Simmons. “We are out there competing against the big schools from Texas, and the big schools from California and the Northwest.

It would mean a lot for us to bring home a national title competing against all those big schools from around the nation.”

The 65th Annual College National Finals Rodeo will begin June 9 and will run through June 15 at the Casper Events Center. The CNFR is the “Rose Bowl” of college rodeo.

It is where the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association crowns individual event champions in saddle bronc riding, bare back riding, bull riding, tie-down roping, steer wrestling, team roping, barrel racing, breakaway roping, and goat tying. National team championships are also awarded to both men’s and women’s teams.

More than 400 cowboys and cowgirls from more than 100 universities and colleges compete in Casper each year. Contestants compete all year in one of the NIRA’s 11 regions for a chance to rope or ride at the CNFR.

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