Jun 10, 2014 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports EditorThe College National Finals Rodeo starts onR00;Sunday at the Casper Events Center. The rodeo will last the entire week.
Casper College rodeo coach Tom Parker has a lot of respect for his star steer wrestler, Riley Krassin.
Krassin, the former Lander Valley High School standout, is preparing for his third College National Finals Rodeo appearance this week under Parker.
Krassin, who won the Central Rocky Mountain regional steer wrestling title, was a team leader this year for Parker.
"Riley had an awesome season for us," Parker said.
"It didn't start out very strong in the fall. He kind of hung in there and did everything he could to keep himself in the hunt."
Krassin exploded in the spring season for his championship. He won three of the last four rodeos to blow out away the competition.
"He took advantage of what (steer) he had drawn," Parker said. "Once in awhile, he didn't have very good steers," Parker said. "He took the bad ones and made them good. He took the good ones and insured himself a regional title."
In the regional steer wrestling standings, Krassin scored 870 points. Tylor Bond from Northeastern Junior College was second (530 points).
Central Wyoming College's Coltin Hill placed third (460).
"It just shows how competitive he is," Parker said. "It shows his abilities and his skills in what he can do. Riley is one of those kids who doesn't let things get to him.
He just goes about his business. He is just a great competitor.
When you can qualify for the CNFR three out of four years, I would say that you are one of the elites when it comes to college steer wrestling."
Parker looked to Krassin to hep hold the team together.
"I could always count on Riley to make sure that things would get done," Parker said. "He played an important role in taking out team to where we ended up this year."
The annual CNFR starts on Sunday at the Casper Events Center.
Krassin will have the opportunity to perform three times during the week.
"I think that we are going to see the same old Riley," Parker said. "He is going to compete at the very best of his ability."
The CNFR is made up of the top riders from the other regions in the United States.
"Riley is going to take one run at a time," Parker said. "He is going to take the caliber of cattle he gets and do the best he can with them."
The top 12 from the early rounds make up the championship finals.
"He will be steady and consistent like he has all spring," Parker said. "If he does that, then I think he has a real chance at winning the national title."
Previous experience Krassin has had at the Casper Events Center should be a plus.
"He knows how the arena is set up," Parker said. "He knows how his horses work in there. I'm very confident he will get the job done."
Krassin and his Casper College teammates finished second in the region behind Gillette College.
The top two teams automatically qualify for the CNFR.
Casper College put up 3,143.33 points. Gillette College won the title with 4,720 points.
"One of our main goals at the start of the year was to get to the CNFR as a team," Parker said. "Getting second is not as good as first, but at the same time it gets all six of the guys there. It gives us another chance at winning a national title."
Get your copy of The Ranger online, every day! If you are a current print subscriber and want to also access dailyranger.com online (there is nothing more to purchase) including being able to download The Mining and Energy Edition, click here. Looking to start a new online subscription to dailyranger.com (even if it is for just one day)? Access our secure SSL encrypted server and start your subscription now by clicking here.