SDSU student Justin Zwiefel named reserve world champion tie-down roper during CNFR | TSLN.com

SDSU student Justin Zwiefel named reserve world champion tie-down roper during CNFR

Justin Zwiefel, 20, took home the reserve world champion tie-down roper title during the College National Finals Rodeo (CNFR) held in Casper, WY, June 12-18.

The South Dakota State University (SDSU) student grew up on his family’s farm near Burt, IA. He credits his dad, Gerald, with instilling in him a passion for rodeo and helping him develop a talent in the tie-down event.

“My dad used to calf rope and trained horses when I was growing up. He didn’t push me, but once he saw that I was interested, he would practice with me everyday in the summers and after school,” said Zwiefel, who won his first buckle at age 14, during a Little Britches Rodeo.

“Dad always told me to try my best and give it my all every time,” said the agronomy major, who is an intern with Pioneer, scouting fields in north central Iowa this summer.

Zwiefel attributes long hours of practice to developing the skills necessary to beat out the competition in Casper. Under the supervision of his dad, and his dad’s friends, Jack Peterson and Dick Bergsather, Zwiefel spent hours roping year-round. His mom, Laura, would often run the chute.

“Every night after school and in the summers he would help me rope, teaching me and giving me tips,” Zwiefel said.

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SDSU Rodeo coach, Ron Skovly said Zwiefel’s dedication and athletic ability is obvious when you watch him compete.

“You can tell he’s one of the cowboys who put in the time – years of roping for hours and hours every day, and training his horse,” Skovly said. “He’s an athlete who could play basketball or football if he wanted, but he choose rodeo.”

Zwiefel said rodeo is his sport of choice because of the atmosphere, camaraderie and the unique opportunity the sport gives him to compete with his horse, “Amarillo.”

“It’s not just you. You work with your horse, and how well your horse performs depends on how well you train it,” Zwiefel said. “It’s so rewarding when you both do well and win.”

Zwiefel was among 11 SDSU students who qualified to compete at the CNFR this year. Overall the SDSU Men’s Rodeo Team ranked 16 out of 50 teams, continuing the nationally competitive winning tradition of the SDSU Rodeo team. In 2010, Rachel Tiedeman was named reserve world champion barrel racer and the SDSU Women’s Rodeo Team was named reserve world champions; in 2009, Tiedeman was named the world champion barrel racer; and in 2008, Andrew Coughlin was named reserve world champion bull rider. The SDSU Rodeo Team is one of the largest rodeo programs in the country. It was established in 1952.

“For most of the students, this was their first time to compete at the CNFR,” said Skovly. “After competing there this year, I know it will drive them to get back there again next year.”

Justin Zwiefel, 20, took home the reserve world champion tie-down roper title during the College National Finals Rodeo (CNFR) held in Casper, WY, June 12-18.

The South Dakota State University (SDSU) student grew up on his family’s farm near Burt, IA. He credits his dad, Gerald, with instilling in him a passion for rodeo and helping him develop a talent in the tie-down event.

“My dad used to calf rope and trained horses when I was growing up. He didn’t push me, but once he saw that I was interested, he would practice with me everyday in the summers and after school,” said Zwiefel, who won his first buckle at age 14, during a Little Britches Rodeo.

“Dad always told me to try my best and give it my all every time,” said the agronomy major, who is an intern with Pioneer, scouting fields in north central Iowa this summer.

Zwiefel attributes long hours of practice to developing the skills necessary to beat out the competition in Casper. Under the supervision of his dad, and his dad’s friends, Jack Peterson and Dick Bergsather, Zwiefel spent hours roping year-round. His mom, Laura, would often run the chute.

“Every night after school and in the summers he would help me rope, teaching me and giving me tips,” Zwiefel said.

SDSU Rodeo coach, Ron Skovly said Zwiefel’s dedication and athletic ability is obvious when you watch him compete.

“You can tell he’s one of the cowboys who put in the time – years of roping for hours and hours every day, and training his horse,” Skovly said. “He’s an athlete who could play basketball or football if he wanted, but he choose rodeo.”

Zwiefel said rodeo is his sport of choice because of the atmosphere, camaraderie and the unique opportunity the sport gives him to compete with his horse, “Amarillo.”

“It’s not just you. You work with your horse, and how well your horse performs depends on how well you train it,” Zwiefel said. “It’s so rewarding when you both do well and win.”

Zwiefel was among 11 SDSU students who qualified to compete at the CNFR this year. Overall the SDSU Men’s Rodeo Team ranked 16 out of 50 teams, continuing the nationally competitive winning tradition of the SDSU Rodeo team. In 2010, Rachel Tiedeman was named reserve world champion barrel racer and the SDSU Women’s Rodeo Team was named reserve world champions; in 2009, Tiedeman was named the world champion barrel racer; and in 2008, Andrew Coughlin was named reserve world champion bull rider. The SDSU Rodeo Team is one of the largest rodeo programs in the country. It was established in 1952.

“For most of the students, this was their first time to compete at the CNFR,” said Skovly. “After competing there this year, I know it will drive them to get back there again next year.”

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