Jul 15, 2012 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports EditorThe big high school rodeo starts Sunday in Rock Springs.
Coley Nicholls is more relaxed this year.
The Riverton High School senior will be at the National High School Finals Rodeo on Sunday through Saturday in Rock Springs.
This is the third straight time Nicholls and team-roping partner Garrett Grieve of Baggs have qualified for the NHSFR.
Grieve won the boys all-around title this year from Wyoming.
"It's always good because you will get better and better at nationals," Nicholls said about making it three times. "You will get more comfortable."
The pair hasn't made it to the finals in the previous two trips. They won the Wyoming team roping title last month in Douglas.
"We should be able to do a lot better this year," Nicholls said.
Grieve and Nicholls have been team roping partners since the sixth grade.
"We always rope well together," Nicholls said. "We were national champions in 2009 in the junior high school. We have really good chemistry together."
The NHSFR is made up of the top four team roping competitors from each state. There will be two rodeo performances a day in Rock Springs, 9 a.m. and 7 p.m.
"The pressure picks up a lot," Nicholls said. "You just have to concentrate and go out and do what you do."
Nicholls has a goal of making a run in six or seven seconds.
"The competition is tough," Nicholls said. "There are a lot of tough teams there."
The finals of the NHSFR are Saturday night in Rock Springs. The finals are for the top 20 in each event.
Several Fremont County rodeo athletes have qualified for Rock Springs.
Shoshoni 2012 graduate Coralee Spratt is entered in breakaway roping and goat tying. Spratt won the state goat tying title.
Cousin K.L. Spratt made it to NHSFR in team roping with her partner Logan Milligan from Torrington. Spratt was the Wyoming girls all-around champ.
Pavillion resident Teal Stoll will be participating in pole bending and barrel racing.
Kinnear's Drew Antone is in bull riding and steer wrestling.
Antone and Stoll both qualified for the 2011 NHSFR.
Shelby Eckley of Riverton is in the girls cutting event.
Qualifiers from Wyoming to National Finals Rodeo
Barebacks -- Jeffrey Zdziarksi, Sheridan; Garrett Ford, Gillette, Gillette; Justin Kissack, Gillette; Grant Griffin, Wheatland.
Saddle broncs -- Blaze Cress, Hillsdale; Mason Rockafellow, Clearmont; J.W. Meiers, Mills; Wiley King, Casper.
Tie-down roping -- Garrett Grieve, Baggs; J.W. Thrush, Gillette; Bailey Young, Gillette; Cameron Irwin, Buffalo.
Breakaway roping -- Deena Norell, Meeker, Colo; Coralee Spratt, Lysite; Amelia McGuire, Wheatland; Justene Hirsig, Cheyenne.
Steer wrestling -- Austin Eller, Glendo; Drew Antone, Kinnear; Ross Wahlert, Grover, Colo; Kane Butcher, Jelm; Cutter DeHart, Laramie.
Goat tying -- Coralee Spratt, Lysite; Jaime Thompson, Whitney, Neb., Emily Faber, Rozet; Shai Schaefer, Torrington.
Barrel racing -- Cassidy Kruse, Gillette; Chandler Markel, Scottsbluff, Neb., Teal Stoll, Pavillion; Rheanna Gail, Farson; Kylee Cahoy, Sheridan.
Pole bending -- Breanna Reimler, Buffalo; Teal Stoll, Pavillion; Chloe Ashenhurst, Wheatland; Amber Robinson, Pinedale.
Team roping -- Coley Nicholls, Kinnear/Garrett Grieve, Baggs; Jayden Johnson, Casper/Klay Ready, Dixon; K.L. Spratt, Lysite/Logan Milligan, Torrington; Ameila McGuire, Wheatland/J.W. Thrush, Gillette.
Bull riding -- Hawk Whitt, Thermopolis; Bryce Burnelll, Arvada; Tyler Orchard, Baggs; Drew Antone, Kinnear.
Boys cutting -- Chett Whitman, Big Piney; Colby Thurston, Lance Creek; Jayden Johnson, Casper; Ty Garrett, Casper.
Girls cutting -- Lacee Good, Greybull; Shelby Eckley, Riverton; Jasmine Gould, Meeteetse; Lexi Hamm, Rozet.
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.