Four from county heading for high school finals rodeoJul 12, 2013 By Bruce Tippets, Sports Editor
Three Fremont County cowgirls and one cowboy are making final preparations for the National High School Finals Rodeo in Rock Springs.
The rodeo starts this Sunday, July 13, and runs through Saturday, July 20.
Pavillion cowgirls Teal Stoll and Josee Vogel, along with Lysite's Sierra Spratt, are in the girls field.
Coley Nicholls of Kinnear is in the boys competition at the NHFR. He is a 2013 graduate of Riverton High School.
The national finals are made up of the top four from each event from different states.
"We have some really great cowgirls going from Fremont County," Stoll said. "Fremont County always has a pretty good team."
Spratt is the only freshman in the Fremont County contingent.
"I'm very excited to be going to nationals," Spratt said. "I'm preparing a lot. I have taken my horse to a couple of barrel races. I'm not nervous yet. I'm trying to not get to hyped up yet. I'm very blessed to have a nice horse."
Stoll finished in the national runner-up position last year in pole bending.
"Last year was a lot of fun," Stoll said. "Rock Springs is a great place to have it. It was just a good experience."
The rodeo starts at 7 p.m. Sunday with the first round, which continues through Wednesday morning.
The second round starts Wednesday night and continues through Saturday, July 20.
The finals start at 7 p.m. July 20, consisting of the top 20 in each event.
"I wish that it would just get here," Vogel said. "It's driving me crazy."
Vogel qualified in goat tying for her spot at Rock Springs. This is Vogel's first time at nationals.
"The biggest thing is being able to handle bad goats and make two clean runs," Vogel said.
Vogel is up Sunday night and Saturday morning.
"It just depends on the goats that I draw," Vogel said. "Anything from 7.5 seconds to 8.5 is going to be good."
The other goat tying cowgirls from Wyoming at nationals are Ashten Marchant (Newcastle) and Cashlee Cunningham (Banner).
"Wyoming goat tying is traditionally pretty tough," Vogel said. "The entire Wyoming girls team has a chance at competing for a girls title. We have girls in every event that have a chance to win the whole thing. I'm pretty excited to seeing what they can do."
Spratt won the barrel racing title in Wyoming last month in Douglas.
"I think that nationals will be really intense," Spratt said.
Spratt will go Monday morning and Friday night.
"It will be very important to get off to a good start," Spratt said. "I'm up at the beginning of the week and at the end of the week. I really hope that it doesn't rain so the ground will stay good."
Stoll is slated to be in pole bending and barrel racing.
"You learn a lot as you goes," Stoll said.
Stoll is going Tuesday night and Thursday morning for her two pole bending performances.
"I'm sure the competition in pole bending will be tough as ever," Stoll said. "It's really hard to break into that 19 second mark."
In barrel racing, Stoll is on schedule for Sunday night and Saturday morning.
Nicholls and team-roping partner Garrett Grieve from Baggs will be in their fourth straight NHFR.
"I have had some experience," Nicholls said."I should do a lot better than I have in the past at nationals."
The two were the team roping champions from Wyoming in Douglas.
"We just need to catch the first one smooth," Nicholls said.
"We need to be sitting somewhere in the top 15 or 10. In the second round, we just need to be quicker."
The pair will go Monday night and Friday morning.
"There are states like Texas that are really good," Nicholls said. "They have so many athletes."