BY SETH ROMSA TRIBUNE SPORTS WRITER
Courtesy of the Powell Tribune
Making it to the big stage does not always pan out as four Trapper cowboys learned when they failed to garner any qualifying rides at the College National Finals Rodeo (CNFR) in Casper last week.
Starting out the week on Sunday, June 12, Sterling Rogers and Hunter Hughes both made it to the CNFR in bull riding.
But Hughes lasted just a couple of seconds out of the gate and Rogers lasted only six seconds before falling off, a common theme for all contestants during the week, who had a difficult time staying on the bulls.
Throughout the entire week, Rogers and Hughes were unable to get a qualifying ride at eight seconds, but the entire competition had only seven out of a possible 12 riders advance to the short go-round on Saturday.
“It was really tough in the bull riding,” Trappers rodeo Coach Del Nose said. “Only three guys rode all three bulls and the rest only rode on one bull.”
In team roping, Paden Woolstenhulme and Hagen Wallace were unable to finish a run, as hard running cattle led to difficulty for Woolstenhulme getting the throw he wanted.
Despite the NWC athletes being unable to score points at the rodeo, Nose felt the overall rodeo was a success.
This year, the CNFR broke last year’s attendance record. The week’s competition was marked by exciting finishes in events where the favorites going into the final day did not win the individual event or team title.
“It was a funky competition for the rodeo but a great event everywhere else,” Nose said.
NWC was not the only team out of the Big Sky Region that had a difficult time at the competition, as Montana State, Miles Community College in Miles City, Montana, and the University of Montana-Western struggled to score points.
Looking forward to the upcoming fall season, Nose said it is likely that Wallace will return to the team next year as the only CNFR qualifier. There is a possibility that Hughes could return but Nose said he is uncertain at this point.
There are several returners for the team next year who failed to qualify for the CNFR and Nose said they are working to recruit more athletes over the summer as the fall season is rapidly approaching.
The rodeo team will kick it back into high gear in August, as the team will have a short time to prepare for the Trapper Stampede Rodeo, which Nose said is set to take place the weekend after Labor Day.