Sep 9, 2012 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports EditorTeal Stoll looked like a veteran Saturday in the rodeo arena.
The senior from Pavillion made two clean rides in barrel racing and pole bending to start the two-day high school rodeo at the Fremont County Fairgrounds in Riverton.
The rodeo featured cowboys and cowgirls from all over the state.
"I can't be happier," Stoll said. "It was clean, and points is the only thing that matters."
Rodeo action started at 10 a.m. on Saturday and continued at 9 a.m. Sunday. Complete results will be published this week.
Stoll had a time of 21.00 in her first run in pole bending.
"The main thing is about being smooth and don't get in the way a whole bunch. Let your horse work," said Stoll, who has turned into one of the best pole benders in the nation on the high school level.
As a junior, Stoll finished second at the National High School Finals Rodeo in Rock Springs.
She gave a lot of credit to her horse.
"I have been on him for about three years," Stoll said. "We get along pretty good. We have each other figured out. We have a lot of fun."
Stoll said the two have a special relationship.
"I didn't start high school with my horse, but I started with him my sophomore year," Stoll said. "I have had him for a long time."
Stoll finished fourth in barrel racing in a time of 17.10.
"My horse ran really good," Stoll said. "The first day was a little rough," Stoll said. "We were getting back into the swing of things, but he has been perfect since then."
The fall season will end Sept. 15-16 in a rodeo in Jackson. The first one in the spring season is April 13-14 in Laramie. The state finals run June 5-9 in Douglas.
"The spring is huge, because it's a solid two and a half months," Stoll said. "It keeps you busy. You just have to stay with it."
The top four in each event advance to the National High School Finals Rodeo.
Riverton High School freshman Deni Lou Nicholls competed in the first home rodeo of her career on Saturday.
"I wasn't that nervous, because with my horse you really have to control your nerves," said Nicholls afterward. "I just go out there and do my best."
Her time in pole bending was a 22.01.
"I think that it's a decent time," Nicholls said. "I could probably do better, but it's pretty good. I just need to keep my hands low and use my legs."
Nicholls enjoyed being at home in the second week of the regular season. The first rodeo of the season was Sunday, Sept. 2, and Monday, Sept. 3 in Wheatland.
"I would much rather have it here, because it's my hometown. It makes me feel better being at home," Nicholls said.
In the morning, Nicholls played volleyball for the Wolverines vs. the Rock Springs Tigers. Nicholls is a middle hitter.
"It's hard work doing volleyball and rodeo," Nicholls said.
Former high school rodeo standouts Dahl and Devin Nicholls are Deni's older brother and sister.
"They always help me out when I'm doing something bad," Deni said.
"They help me, and it gets me better."
Devin just finished her career at Central Wyoming College and helped the Rustlers place second in the nation at the College National Finals Rodeo in Casper.
Devin will compete in the fall at Tarleton State University in Texas.
Deni also competes in goat tying, team roping and breakaway roping.
Her goal is to get into the top four and qualify for nationals.
"I just want to try my best and make it to nationals," Deni said. "It will take a lot of hard work to make it to nationals."
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.