Jun 9, 2013 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports EditorColton Miller, Blaine Mathews and Shaylee Hance qualified from Central Wyoming College.
Central Wyoming College cowboy Colton Miller has experience being on the big stage.
Miller, a sophomore, is making his second straight appearance this week at the College National Finals Rodeo in Casper.
The rodeo starts Sunday afternoon at the Casper Events Center.
Miller qualified for the CNFR when he won his second consecutive Central Rocky Mountain Regional saddle bronc title.
Miller will be joined by teammates Shaylee Hance (goat tying) and Blaine Mathews (saddle bronc ) at the CNFR.
The top three in each event secure a spot to the CNFR.
"Colton has been phenomenal this spring," CWC rodeo coach Drew Schrock said. "He came back at the start of the week and practiced well."
Miller scored 795 points on his way to the saddle bronc title in the regular season..
"Colton is really confident," Schrock said. "He has a lot of ability."
Cowboys and cowgirls get three rounds at the events center.
"There are some nerves," Schrock said. "It's a big stage. Colton being there one time before will help him out. That is for sure."
The top riders advance to the finals on Saturday night.
"All the rides are important," Schrock said. "I always go back and say that it's one run a time. They just need to go out there and not beat themselves. They need to stick to the basics and what they have practiced all year."
Mathews won the Cheyenne and Casper rodeos to put himself in the CNFR.
"Blaine has a really good attitude," Schrock said. "It doesn't matter if he gets bucked out the night before. He will forget that and goes for it every single time. I don't think that the CNFR will bother him too much."
Ezekiel Thurston from Sheridan College placed second in saddle bronc competition in the region.
"When you start to bring in all of the regions and kids from all over, it's tough competition," Schrock said.
Schrock enters his first CNFR after taking over for longtime CWC rodeo coach Rick Smith, who now the head rodeo coach at Cochise College in Arizona.
"In my first year of coaching, it's always an honor to get the kids there," Schrock said. "I'm really excited about it. I think that the kids that are going have a good chance at doing some good over in Casper.
"Shaylee was the rock of our team, especially on the girls side," Schrock said. "After watching this winter, it wasn't really a surprise to me that she did as well this spring."
Hance chalked up 982 points for her goat tying championship.
"She is a good hand," Schrock said.
"I'm really excited for her."
Hance arrived in Casper on Thursday to scout out the events center.
"She was just making sure that her horse was working good," Schrock said. "She is doing all the right steps. She just needs to go out and have some fun."
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.