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Yeehaw! SOSU hoping to rope in a win at the College National Finals Rodeo

Published: May. 18, 2022 at 9:13 PM CDT
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DURANT, Okla. (KXII) - The Southeastern Oklahoma State rodeo team already touts some extensive hardware.

But now they’re trying to lasso an even bigger prize, they are headed to Wyoming.

Eight members of the SOSU rodeo team are going to the College National Finals Rodeo, tying the team record for qualifying members.

Two women, one of them the all around regional champion, and six men, who collectively are the Central Plains Region champions.

“Having a really talented team like we did this year makes the rodeos a lot more fun that’s one of the coolest parts about college rodeos is rodeos not typically a team sport so getting to have other guys and having an incentive to cheer them on along with you it’s a blast,” Steer Wrestler Gus Franzen said.

Southeastern Oklahoma State University is no stranger to the College National Finals Rodeo, especially junior member Gus Franzen.

“The college finals last year was definitely at the top of all the rodeos I’ve been to, getting to go back for a second time gives you the opportunity to maybe approach it a little differently,” Franzen said.

But for the other seven members, this is literally their first rodeo, national rodeo at least.

“I’m for sure taking everything in, goat tying you don’t get to do it after college so it’s kinda upsetting but I’m just gonna make the best out of it and whatever happens happens,” Goat Tying Martie Shockley said.

“I’ve always wanted to make the College National Finals and so it’s a big goal of mine and it just feels good to complete the goal,” Steer Wrestler Mason Couch said.

Senior Martie Shockley qualified for the CNFR in 2020, but due to the pandemic, the rodeo was canceled.

“It’s exciting cause I worked for four years I’ve worked really hard to get it and I was always so close but too far away and finally this last year like I said it came down to the last rodeo and four of us had to battle it out and I’m just thankful I came out on top,” Shockley said.

This year, she said she is worked even harder to qualify to make it back, and is going in as the Central Plains Region all around champion.

“It’s extremely awesome, I’m grateful, I’m thankful and I’m blessed. You know it’s just awesome being this young and being able to do what I do. I just want to keep going and have a long successful career,” Bareback Rider Tyler Griffin said.

Freshman Tyler Griffin said the legacy of greatness at the SOSU program has rubbed off on him, and he strives to fit in.

“It’s just great to have good veterans to tell me what to do, to know that they’ve seen it before and done it before and it’s possible,” Griffin said.

The College National Finals Rodeo is June 12 to the 18th in Casper, Wyoming.

The riders said they will be practicing and preparing in pro rodeos for the next three weeks and hope to one day make it to the National Finals Rodeo.

Photos in the video are courtesy of Southeastern Oklahoma State University.

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