Men’s Rodeo Team Secures Spots at College National Finals Rodeo

Published: May 29, 2024 | Author: Kierstin Holloway | Read Time: 2 minutes

Brian Evans riding a bucking broncoThe Southern Utah University (SUU) Men’s Rodeo Team has had an outstanding season, finishing fourth overall and clinching a victory at Utah Valley University’s Home Rodeo. Team members Brian Evans and Blake Bowler have qualified for the College National Finals Rodeo (CNFR), set for June.

Brian Evans won the Saddle Bronc year-end award for the region. Blake Bowler placed second in the tie-down roping and earned the titles of “Rookie of the Year,” and “All Around Cowboy.”

“We had a strong men's team overall, and they pushed each other throughout the season,” said team advisor Shane Flanigan. “Their persistence across all 10 rodeos paid off.”

Evans, a senior biology major at SUU, will compete in the bronc riding event at the finals. He became involved in rodeo only after joining SUU, though he had long been interested in the sport.

“The practice has been paying off,” said Evans. “I had a great season, and for someone who’s only been doing it for a year and a half, I think that’s pretty good. I feel like I’ve got a long way to go before the finals, but I’ll keep working at it and figuring it out. I love the work and I’m grateful for the opportunity to represent SUU.”

Bowler, an agribusiness major, has been involved in rodeo most of his life. He will compete in calf roping and team roping and has been roping every day, ensuring his horses are sharp and ready to compete.

“I’ve always loved horses and roping so rodeo was the perfect fit for me,” said Bowler. “I feel good about the finals this year. I’m well-mounted and my roping has been solid, so I’ll take it one calf and steer at a time and see how it ends up.”

Both competitors expressed that supporting each other in winning their respective titles was the highlight of their season.

“My favorite thing about coaching the SUU rodeo teams is the chance to give back to the community,” said team coach Mike Randall. “By utilizing our network and contacts, we help raise scholarship money and other funds so these athletes can be competitive and have the opportunities they need to succeed.”

The College National Finals Rodeo will take place from June 9 through June 15, with all CNFR performances airing on ESPN3. Those wishing to donate to the team can contact Shane Flanigan at

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