Strong Finish Advances Men’s Team to the College National Finals Rodeo
The Casper College Men’s Rodeo Team has a history of success, particularly within the last decade thanks in no small part to head coach, Tom Parker. However, Parker’s young team was sitting back in the pack until a couple of big late-season wins earned them a return visit to the 2016 College National Finals Rodeo.
Dylan Wahlert of Kim, Colorado, was a huge part of the success of his team. He contributed 1,585 points to the team’s total of 3,490. Wahlert finished his final season of college rodeo as a region champion himself in the bareback riding.
Another standout Thunderbird this year was Coley Nicholls of Riverton, Wyoming. He and his partner, Trenton Turner of Northeastern Junior College, both won the region in the team roping. The duo won their fair share of rodeos throughout the fall season with solid performances in the spring as well.
Trevin Fox of Hays, Montana, also contributed points to his team in the steer wrestling. Though his fall started a little cold, Fox heated up tremendously in the spring. He won the Ropin’ and Riggin’ Days Rodeo at Casper and picked up average points at the final stop in Laramie.
In the saddle bronc riding, Casper native, JW Meiers, stepped up to the plate to help the red-vested team make the finals. His cumulative 475 points from the season assured him a chance at a national title.
Tyler Weeding of Pompeys Pillar, Montana, earning points in both the team roping and tie down roping, was a key member of the effort as well along with his fellow calf roper, Bryce Bott of Powell, Wyoming, who had a spectacular performance at the University of Wyoming rodeo. Weeding won the short go and the average to make up ground in the team race.
The men entered their final rodeo this past weekend at the University of Wyoming in third place behind Gillette College. Though Parker never gave up faith in his team, he admits that they were undoubtedly the underdogs. “If you would’ve asked me at the beginning of the season whether or not we would have a team at the finals, I would’ve told you no,” Parker says.
With a focused effort, they managed to move up one spot and secure their qualification for the CNFR. Parker will have a man in every event except for the bull riding in the June 12-18 rodeo.
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