Otero Junior College rodeo standout Nicole Waggoner (Fowler) is ready to start competition at the College National Finals Rodeo. More than 400 cowboys and cowgirls from more than 100 universities and colleges travel to Casper, Wyoming, each year to compete for a National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association title.

Waggoner finished the year splitting third and fourth place in the Central Rocky Mountain Region barrel racing standings, qualifying her for the CNFR with 540 points. She is the first OJC rodeo contestant to ever qualify for the CNFR since the program was reinstated in 2009.

"I could not be more proud of Nicole," said OJC coach Linsay Sumpter. She has been through so much with her horses the past few years and she deserves to be a national champion. She is dedicated to the sport, works extremely hard both in and out of the arena, and I have no doubt that she will be in the championship round representing Otero."

Waggoner will compete the three preliminary rounds: Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. She is vying for a spot in the championship round on June 18.

The Rattler rodeo program will be back in action in the fall starting in September. For more information about the OJC rodeo team, contact Sumpter at Linsay,Sumpter@ojc.edu.