McNeese honors Smith for rodeo win _lowres

Photo provided by Reneé Leleux -- McNeese State University honored six rodeo team members at an awards banquet Sept. 11 for their accomplishments at the 67th College National Finals Rodeo in June. On hand for the presentations, from left, were McNeese rodeo coach Justin Browning, Trace Porter, Bobby Abernathy, Paige Plush Abernathy, St. Francisville native Kirsten Smith, Lauren Hansen, McKenzie Cooper, sponsor William Doré Sr. and McNeese President Philip Williams.

Six McNeese State University rodeo team members were honored at an awards banquet Sept. 11 for their accomplishments at the 67th College National Finals Rodeo held in June in Wyoming.

Honored were Kirsten Smith, of St. Francisville, who won the national All-around Cowgirl Championship and National Reserve Championship in goat tying; Bobby Abernathy, of Athens, Alabama, for winning the National Reserve Championship in tie down roping; and Trace Porter, of Leesville, who won the National Reserve Championship in team roper heeler.

The women’s team of McKenzie Cooper, of DeQuincy, Lauren Hansen, of Sulphur, and Paige Plush Abernathy, of Merryville, captured the National Women’s Reserve Championship.

McNeese rodeo coach is Justin Browning. The rodeo team is the only intercollegiate squad in Louisiana.

William J. Doré Sr., a founding member of the Golden Saddle Club, sponsored the banquet and awards.