Tyrel Larsen of Southwestern Oklahoma State won the saddle bronc event late Saturday night at the 64th annual College National Finals Rodeo in Casper, Wyo. Larsen had a championship-round-best 79 to finish the rodeo with 301 points. He had rides of 76.5, 70.5, 75 and 79. Larsen finished 15 points ahead of runner-up Jeremy Melancon of Sam Houston State.
“I kept reminding myself about the basics of the ride,” said Larsen, a native of Ingliss, Manitoba, Canada. “Make sure I do the very best I can do and the scoring will take care of itself.”
Larsen is Southwestern State's first national rodeo champion since 2000, when Jennifer Hesiman won the goat tying event. The NCAA Division II athletic program has 17 individual rodeo champs in school history.
Freshman Ceri McCaffery came one-tenth of a second from winning the breakaway roping. The Wayne High School graduate had a final-round time of 13.0 seconds to finish with a four-run total of 13.1. Joey Painter of Black Hills State (S.D.) won the national title with four consecutive 13.0 runs.
SMART SHINES FOR U.S.
Marcus Smart, who will be a freshman this fall at Oklahoma State, had nine points and a game-high four steals while helping the U.S. National Team whip Mexico 110-59 on Sunday in the FIBA Americas Under-18 Basketball Championships in Sao Sebastiao Dos Paraiso, Brazil. Smart started at guard for the second consecutive game, collecting four assists and one blocked shot.