Cowgirl Thunderbird qualifies for Fourth CNFRApril 25, 2013
SUU senior Milli Twitchell can do more in 6.5 seconds than most could even dream to do on college rodeo’s grand stage. After taking first place in the Rocky Mountain Region in goat tying for the fourth straight year, Twitchell is now in first place in the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association and will be competing in June at the College National Finals Rodeo (CNFR) in Casper, Wyo.
This will mark Twitchell’s fourth consecutive appearance in the CNFR for goat tying; she has taken first place in all three previous national competitions and is well positioned to claim her fourth title, According to SUU Rodeo Coach Shane Flannigan
“This achievement is unheard of,” said Flannigan. “To see one girl be completely dominant in one event for four straight years is a feat you rarely see. At the national level she is more than 200 points ahead of any competitor, she can’t be touched.”
Though no less impressive, it would seem Twitchell has been untouchable for quite some time in collegiate rodeo. She set a new CNFR goat tying record in 2011 that still stands today, with a 5.7-second run. And in 2012 she won the Rocky Mountain Regional All Around Women’s Championship.
Given her background, it would also seem the die was cast early on for Twitchell's success, growing up in Veyo, Utah, with five older siblings in regular rodeo competition. The younger Milli then began goat tying competitively at age 11, and has traveled across the nation competing in rodeos and taking home the gold buckles ever since. And while in high school, Twitchell was the reigning state champion in goat tying for three years.
Now in her final year competing in Goat Tying, Twitchell is determined to make it count.
"Since I am graduating in May this will be my final CNFR, and I am going to make it worth it. To be able to sweep the competition all four years of college will be a great accomplishment and I know I can do it.”
Twitchell also competes in team roping and breakaway calf roping on her quarter horse, Leo, which was named the 2013 Rocky Mountain Region Women’s Horse of the Year.
Even though Twitchell will be done competing at the collegiate level after the CNFR in June, she does not plan to give up the sport and will continue competitively team roping with her two older brothers.
Twitchell will be the only SUU Rodeo team member traveling to the College National Finals Rodeo this year, after the team finished the 2012-13 season fifth in the region and 25th in the nation.