Three Northwest College cowboys ranked in the top 20 for their events at the College National Finals Rodeo in Casper last week.
“It was a good rodeo, but they had some tough luck,” said head rodeo coach Del Nose. “Had some bad breaks here and there — they tried hard.”
Only the top three riders in each event had the honor of competing at the CNFR and NWC hit the trails with a roster of four cowboys — freshman Bubba Boots in steer wrestling, sophomores Lane Lahaye and Shawn Bird in team roping and Casey Fredericks in bull riding.
The Trappers were up against the toughest competition in the country, hailing from four-year universities and some with a solid start to their professional rodeo careers.
But, they came out strong with a 16th-place finish for Boots in steer wrestling and Lahaye and Bird in 17th for team roping.
“It went pretty good,” Boots said, adding that he made good draws and his horse performed well.
It was a rough start at the finals as Boots pulled down at 14.0 in the First Go due to a 10-second penalty.
“My first one, I was 4 (seconds) flat and broke the barrier,” Boots said. “But other than that, I felt like I was able to go out and make good runs on the rest of my steers. It was just a cool experience being there with the best and being able to bulldog right with them.”
Boots came back with a more consistent approach, landing a 6.5 in the Second Go and then a 6.3 in the Third Go, giving him a 26.8 on the average and final seat in 16th.
Bird and Lahaye also had a rough start, unable to make the catch in the First Go. But, the Trapper duo kicked up some dust in the Second Go round with a 7.6-second time. Then in the Third Go they had it all tied up in 10.1 seconds, ranking them 17th in the nation for team roping.
“They didn’t make it to the Short Round, but they roped good,” Nose said.
The duo almost landed a 5-second time, but the calf’s legs slipped out of the rope. Had they made a successful catch, they would have made it to the Short Round.
“I would have liked to have them in the Short Round to climb up further,” Nose said.
Trapper fans unable to make the trip to Casper last week will get a chance to watch the CNFR on ESPN3 later this summer, Nose said.
Up next, the NWC rodeo team begins registration this week and will be competing at the Cody Nite Rodeo throughout the summer in preparation for the 2016-17 rodeo season, Nose said.