Entering the College National Finals Rodeo last month, Western Nevada College’s Kayla Norcutt wasn’t among the favorites in breakaway roping.
However, by the conclusion of the CNFR in Casper, Wyo., attendees knew all about the WNC Rodeo Club member.
With an average of 12.8, Norcutt claimed third place in breakaway roping to earn a $1,000 scholarship. She finished behind Loni Kay Lester of Sam Houston State (10.9 average) and Hannah Springer of Southern Arkansans University (11.2).
“I think I ended up doing so well because right before every run I would be talking to my coach (Jesse Segura) and he just kept telling me to have fun and go for it,” Norcutt said. “He constantly kept telling me throughout the year that there is no point in doing rodeo if you’re not having fun while you’re doing it. So, I just went for it and decided to let the cards fall where they may.”
Norcutt helped WNC’s women’s team finish 13th in the country, with Sam Houston State University taking the crown.
Norcutt’s consistent performances through three breakaway roping go-rounds and a short go-round placed her among the top 3 in the country. She was third in the short go-round, 14th in the first go-round, fifth in the second go-round and 25th in the third go-round.
“The second I roped my short-go calf I couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t believe I roped every calf and was so excited I was raising my arms and smiling from ear to ear,” said Norcutt, who also was 51st overall in goat tying, including a ninth-place finish in the first go-round.
Three other WNC Rodeo Club members also participated in the College National Finals Rodeo. Courtney Wood was 23rd overall in goat tying, while Quincy Crum was 27th overall in saddle bronc riding and Sydney Howard was 35th overall in goat tying. Crum’s best in the go-rounds was 18th, while Howard and Wood topped out at sixth and 11th, respectively in their go-rounds.