Finishing with a bang |

Finishing with a bang

Adam Robertson
Kayla Norcutt ropes a calf during a college rodeo event. Norcutt just placed third in the nation in breakaway roping at the finals in Wyoming.
Courtesy of Kayla Norcutt |

Kayla Norcutt had a perfect end to her college rodeo career, placing third in the nation in one of her events at the College National Finals Rodeo in Wyoming last weekend.

Norcutt placed in the breakaway roping event, competing for Western Nevada College. She said it was a “pretty cool” experience and a great way to end her time in college rodeo; she said she liked going out leaving an impression.

“That was the big thing I was worried about, was going out with a bang,” Norcutt said.

She also competed in goat tying. While she placed in the first run, her goat broke the tie and she did not get full points.

Norcutt described rodeo as the most humbling sport. She said she has competed most of her life and put lots of work into training.

“When I’m not practicing for my rodeos, I’m helping practice with youth rodeos,” she said. “I’m kind of always practicing.”

According to Sherry Black, director at WNC’s Fallon campus, there were over 400 competitors in the rodeo. She said Norcutt’s results were especially impressive, since this is the first year for WNC’s team.

Norcutt said she plans to continue with rodeo outside of college. She said she plans to compete in local team roping and in amateur events.

She added she was surprised by the Fallon community’s response to her performance in the finals and how many people followed the college event. When the news had only just come out, she said she had already had people congratulating and praising her.

“I could never ask for more,” she said. “It’s very eye-opening for me. I never realized how many people were rooting for me and our Western Nevada group.”

Norcutt has been involved in rodeo most of her life and competed at the college level for five years. She noted this was unusual, since someone can usually only do four years of rodeo; since she was elected as student director of the program, however, she was able to compete another year.

Norcutt grew up in Fallon and recently returned to the area after living in California for a time.