The 2018 College National Finals Rodeo will include a contingent of three tough, talented women from the University of Arkansas at Monticello.
Abby Searcy of Monticello, Jessica Rowland of Hot Springs and Whitney DeSalvo of Springfield will represent UAM when the nation’s top collegiate cowboys and cowgirls gather in Casper, Wyoming June 10-16.
Searcy is making her third trip to the CNFR, this time as the reigning season-long barrel racing champion of the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association’s Ozark Region. DeSalvo is making her second trip to the CNFR, her first for UAM and will compete in both team roping and breakaway roping. DeSalvo earned a trip to the national finals last year at UA Cossatot. Rowland will head to Wyoming for the second time, this time as the Ozark Region’s 2018 women’s all-around champion.
The College National Finals Rodeo is where the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association crowns individual event and team champions. Individual events include saddle bronc riding, bare back riding, bull riding, tie-down roping, steer wrestling, team roping, barrel racing, breakaway roping and goat tying. Team national championships are awarded for both men’s and women’s teams with over 400 cowboys and cowgirls from over 100 universities and colleges competing.
The UAM women’s team finished second in the 2018 Ozark Region standings, earning the right to compete as a team at the CNFR. The top two teams from each region receive automatic qualifying spots in the national finals. Searcy, Rowland and DeSalvo will be competing as individuals and as a team.
“I’m really proud of these girls,” said UAM Rodeo Coach Rusty Jones. “They’ve performed well all season and have earned the right to compete with the best.”
The College National Finals Rodeo will be available for viewing live using the WatchESPN app June 13-16.