College National Finals Rodeo team roping championship over the weekend, earned a big payday at the Bob Feist Invitational on Monday in Reno, Nevada.
The team of Thorp and Zac Small won the prestigious one-day roping title with a time of 42.71 seconds on six runs. The two split $130,000 for their accomplishments — $124,000 for winning the average and an additional $6,000 for their work in earlier runs.
Thorp is currently No. 4 in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association world heeling standings while Small is No. 5 in heading.
In other rodeo action in Reno, Feather River College teammates Clayton Biglow and Wyatt Denny currently sit second and third, respectively, in the first round of bareback bronc riding at the Reno Rodeo.
Manzanares, a freshman, is currently ranked No. 3 in the nation in breakaway roping after winning the 2016 Southern Region championship in the same event. She is also ranked 15th in the nation for the all-around cowgirl honors and was the region’s reserve champion in this category. She placed third in the region in goat tying.
Manzanares said it “was cool” about competing in her first CNFR and being ranked so highly in an event, but she is no stranger when it comes to competing in rodeos at both the state and national levels. She won three Louisiana High School Rodeo Association goat tying championships, two all-around championships, and a breakaway roping championship. She also won two National High School Rodeo Association all-around championships, a rookie all-around championship and a goat tying championship.
“Mia’s accomplishments are amazing especially since she competed a third of the season on a torn ACL in her left knee,” said McNeese rodeo coach Justin Browning. She plans to have surgery after nationals.
Taylor Santos walked away with his first national championship in the tie-down roping at the 2014 College National Finals Rodeo (CNFR) as a freshman.
When he earned that title he was competing for Cal Poly State University – San Luis Obispo. He qualified again last year competing for Cal Poly. Then in the fall, he made the journey to Texas moving to Huntsville and joining the ranks of the Sam Houston State University Bearkats.
He had a blazing-fast run in the third round at the first performance of the rodeo on Tuesday night, stopping the clock in 7.5 seconds. That is the fastest time here so far through two preliminary rounds held on Monday and Tuesday.
His success in the third round gave him command of the overall standings. He has a total time of 29.2 seconds on three runs. Ben Walker from the University of Tennessee – Martin is in second with 31.3.
Santos, who is from Creston, Calif., was just one-tenth of a second off of the arena record of 7.4 seconds set at the 2015 CNFR by Blane Cox from Hill (Hillsboro, Texas) College. He now has to wait through three more performances to see if he qualifies for Saturday night’s final round and has a chance to earn another championship here.