• Colton Campbell - 2018 CNFR rodeo nationals
  • Meagan Kautz - 2018 CNFR rodeo nationals
    Meagan Kautz, So., Santa Clarita, Barrel Racing (11th place)
  • Mitchell Parham - 2018 CNFR rodeo nationals
    Mitchell Parham, So., Clovis, Bareback Riding (23rd place)
  • Jacob Bairos - 2018 CNFR rodeo nationals
    Jacob Bairos, So., Modesto, Steer Wrsetling (32nd place)
  • Bodi Dodds - 2018 CNFR rodeo nationals

    Bodi Dodds, Jr., Sanger, tie-down roping (40th)

*photos courtesy of Dan and Linda Hubbell (hubbellphotos@aol.com) 

Campbell and Kautz advance to college national rodeo short round

(June 21, 2018) -- Senior Colton Campbell (Klamath Falls) and sophomore Meagan Kautz (Santa Clarita) led the Fresno State Bulldoggers rodeo team with top-12 finishes at the College National Finals Rodeo, June 10 to 16 in Casper, Wyoming.

In his third trip to the CNFR event, Campbell finished seventh in the in the team roping header standings with a combined time of 25.5 seconds in four rounds of action. He paired with teammate Brushton Minton from West Hills College who competed in the healer category, and their best times of 6.0 and 7.4 seconds, came in the second and third rounds, respectively.

Campbell’s horse “Desperada” received the American Quarter Horse Men’s Horse of the Year honor after his heeler horse “Nic-n-Pine” won the same honor in 2016. 

In previous years Campbell placed fourth in 2016 in the team roping healer standings, and 19th in the team roping header and 27th in tie-down roping standings in 2017.

Rodeo Team - College National Finals Rodeo - Bodi Dodds, Jacob Iaros, Meagan Kautz, Michell Parham, Tony Branquinho, Colton Campbell, Art ParhamMeagan Kautz placed 11th overall in barrel racing with a combined overall time of 63.91 seconds. In her first trip to the national event, her top three times were less than a half-second apart from the first (15.06), second (14.74) and third rounds (14.57). 

"Colton and Meagan had the special privilege of competing the final night against the nation's best collegiate riders on national television - something they certainly deserve and will never forget," Branquinho said. "Colton is a true leader and approaches every day with the same humility and commitment to horsemanship - that's a large reason he's competed here three times. Meagan has matured so much the past two years. She dealt with a rough draw the opening round in the deeper dirt to come right back to have an excellent second run and help make the finals. She showed great composure for her first appearance in Casper and has an equally bright future." 

Two other Fresno State entrants also made their national event debuts.

Sophomore Mitchell Parham (Clovis) placed 23rd in bareback riding after recording 62 and 60.5 points in his second and third runs, respectively.

Sophomore Jacob Bairos (Modesto) placed 32nd in steer wrestling, and had a best time of 4.7 seconds in the second round and overall combined time of 15.5 seconds in three rounds.

Junior Bodi Dodds (Sanger) placed 40th in tie-down roping and his best individual round time of 12.9 seconds came in the opening round. He made his second straight national trip after competing in team roping in 2017.

Under the guidance of third-year coach Tony Branquinho and long-time team faculty advisor Dr. Art Parham, Fresno State ranked 35th overall in the final men’s team standings with 90 points.

"I was extremely happy with how all five athletes did," Branquinho said. "They represented the University and city of Fresno as outstanding individuals. I see nothing but great things ahead since we only graduate four seniors, and Colton is back with one more year of eligibility. Mitchell had a great showing and is helping get our rough stock program up and running which will add more saddle bronc riders next year. If we can get the rough stock portion stronger it will complement on our men’s timed team even more." 

Event results are available at http://cnfr.com, and more college rodeo standings and information is available at https://www.collegerodeo.com.

All five Fresno State individual entries qualified based on their West Coast region standings over 10 competitions from September through May. In the regional team rankings, the Bulldoggers men and women each stood third in the West Coast region — both one position shy of a national invitation.

“With the growth of our program the past three years from 14 athletes to over 45 now, I think our team is in a great place, especially since we were the only program in the West Region to have both teams ranked top five," Branquinho said. "Our student-athletes strive to excel in both the classroom and athletically, and this was one of the most enjoyable teams that I’ve had the pleasure of coaching since they strive to make each other better at every practice. I can’t say enough about what this program means to me.” 

The Fresno State rodeo team dates back to 1946 and officially became a club in 1949 — the same year the first College National Finals Rodeo was held in San Francisco. Today, the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association sponsors more than 100 college rodeos that include 3,500 student members and 137 universities.