Aug 7, 2013 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports EditorTeal Stoll set a pace in her high school career as one of the best cowgirls in the state.
The Pavillion pole bender and barrel racer is heading to Gillette College in the fall to be on the rodeo team.
Stoll was a home-schooled high school student.
Stoll was in Riverton last week watching the PRCA Ram rodeo at the Fremont County Fairgrounds.
"I'm very excited," Stoll said. "I really like it up at Gillette College. I enjoy all the girls on my team. They have a great coach."
Will LaDuke is the Gillette College rodeo coach.
In six seasons, LaDuke has turned his program into a power in the Central Rocky Mountain Region. It took just three years before Gillette College to win regional titles on both the men's and women's sides.
The women's team this year finished second in the region. Gillette scored 2,675 points to qualify for the College National Finals Rodeo.
Northeastern Junior College won the region with 2,705 points. Central Wyoming College finished fifth (1,922 points).
The top two teams advance to the CNFR.
"Coach LaDuke has done a really good job with that team," Stoll said. "He only has a total of six girls. He only takes four every weekend. He keeps it pretty small. He gets the ones that he wants. I like the quality thing that he has for the team."
Stoll will concentrate on barrel racing because there isn't pole bending on the college level.
"My pole bending career has officially ended," Stoll said.
Stoll begins her career Sept. 13 at the annual Rustler Roundup Rodeo at the Fremont County Fairgrounds.
The rodeo is the first one of the college season in the region.
"That will be exciting," Stoll said.
There are five fall rodeos in the region. The spring season starts in March.
Stoll qualified for the National High School Finals Rodeo last month in Rock Springs in both barrel racing and pole bending.
Nationals are made up the top four cowboys or cowgirls in each event from every state.
"Nationals started really well," Stoll said.
Stoll was sitting eighth in pole bending after the first round.
"I came back the second round, and my horse just wasn't feeling it that morning," Stoll said. "Everything was covered with mud. The arena wasn't bad. Where we were parked was bad. It just didn't happen this year. I ended up hitting a pole. It just didn't work out that morning."
Stoll placed in the runner-up position in 2012 in pole bending.
"That is kind of disappointing they don't have it at the college level," Stoll said. "I just don't know why they have cut it. I will miss it."
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