Roger Walters (far left) director of the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association presents a scholarship check to BHSU Rodeo Team member PJ Painter (second from left) at the College National Finals Rodeo (CNFR) for his 3.8 grade point average (GPA); he had the third highest GPA of the contestants entered at the CNFR. Accepting with Painter are team members Chuck Schmidt, Jake Smith, Taylor Williams, and BHSU rodeo coach, Glen Lammers.

The Yellow Jacket men’s rodeo team earned fifth place in the nation at the 2009 College National Finals Rodeo (CNFR), in Casper this summer.

The seven-member men’s team included Marvin Heesacker, senior business administration major from Gillette, Wyo.; Tyler Manke, junior business administration major from Hermosa; PJ Painter, senior business administration major from Buffalo; Chuck Schmidt, junior history major from Keldron; Jake Smith, junior business administration major from Whitewood; and Taylor Williams, freshman business administration major from Broadus, Mont.

Amy Holmes, senior business administration major from Oregon, Wis., was the only BHSU rodeo club woman to qualify for the national competition.

Glen Lammers, BHSU rodeo coach, noted that the men’s team entered the tournament with a sixth place ranking and were able to improve their ranking and earn a fifth place. “This was a great accomplishment considering it was our first year sending a full team to the CNFR,” Lammers says.

Painter won the first round of the tie down roping and was presented with a CNFR Go-Round Ring at the awards ceremony. Painter was also recognized for having the third highest grade point average among all of the contestants at the national rodeo. For this outstanding academic achievement he earned a $1,000 academic scholarship. Painter currently has a 3.8 grade point average.

Heesacker and Painter ended up 16th in the average in the team roping event, just short of making the final round.

Holmes placed fifth in the second round of goat tying and received eighth in the first round of barrel racing.

Manke placed 12th in the second round and fifth in the third round of saddle bronc riding.

Schmidt, who earned a saddle bronc championship at last year's CNFR, nearly cinched another this year. After a strong performance, he ended up with a fourth place finish in the national standings.

Smith had two very strong rides in the bareback riding event but was bucked off and didn't qualify for the short round.

Williams earned a Go-Round Ring at the awards ceremony for winning the first round of the team roping with his partner Ryan Routier from Dickinson State University. The team finished sixth in the national standings.