Heading to the Finals
Casper - The best that Casper College Rodeo Coach Tom Parker can figure, it’s been about 25 years since Casper College has had a team go to the finals.
This year, the 2011 Casper College Men’s Rodeo Team won the Regional Championship this spring and will compete at the College National Finals Rodeo (CNFR), scheduled for June 11-18 in Casper.
Although there are 30 people on the Casper College Rodeo Team, only six from the men’s team will compete at the CNFR: Brayden Huxtable of Douglas, Riley Krassin of Lander, Chance Madsen of Pine Bluffs, Justin Moldaschel of Minnesota, Ray Tom Meiers of Casper and Chris Newman of Casper.
Not only did Casper College claim the team championship title this spring, but two of the individuals on the team also won individual championship titles. Riley Krassin was the co-winner in the steer wrestling for the year, and Chance Madsen won the title and the saddle for the bareback riding.
Joining her male counterparts at the finals will be Megan Schrock from Farson, who took third in the breakaway roping for the region and will be one of three women to represent the region at the CNFR.
“Megan is the one lady from our team that will be competing at finals, and our team is supporting her 110 percent,” says Parker.
Recently the CNFR announced that Casper will continue to host the finals for the next 20 years, making winning the regional title all the more exciting for not only the team, but also the school and the community.
“It means a lot not only to me, but to the school as well, to win the championship. The caliber of students whom we recruit and their dedication to the program is incredible. The school always supports us and has amazing dedication to the program,” Parker notes.
All of the team members have been working extremely hard and preparation will continue through the week of competition.
“The kids have worked hard and have done all that we asked in preparation for competing for the championship. This year everything finally fell together – we won the championship and now here we are at the finals!” Parker says.
The only freshman on the team is no exception. Hailing from Lander, Krassin was a freshman at Casper College this year, where he majors in general agriculture.
“It feels awesome to be on the winning team,” says Krassin.
Krassin has been participating in rodeo his entire life and plans to continue his rodeo career into the future, hopefully even making it to the National Finals Rodeo one day soon.
The team members who will compete in the finals say the support they’ve received from all of their teammates is phenomenal, and is inspirational to others. The team effort is a reflection not only on the six young men on the team, but the entire Casper College Rodeo program, says Parker.
“One of the things that I’ve said all along is that, even though we only have six of the guys competing at the finals, it took a total team effort for all of us to get here. Even the members who didn’t qualify to compete at the finals were practicing everyday, and pushing the other team members as hard as they could,” he says.
This is a dream come true for Casper College Rodeo Team members, and for the men’s and women’s teams alike.
“It wasn’t just those six working hard all year, it was all 30 members trying their hardest,” notes Parker.
The team has become known across the Casper College campus for their 6 a.m. workouts, five days a week. Casper College alumnus and rodeo team assistant coach Kelly Timberman has kept them busy with routines and fitness regimens that have left more than one rodeo member stiff and sore.
“The guys have been out on their own practicing, continuing their fitness regimen and working hard. The preparation hasn’t changed any – it’s been the same as it has been all year. It was successful for us, so we decided to stick with it,” says Parker of the time that has lapsed between the regional finals and the CNFR.
With the finals right around the corner, the men’s team will soon arrive back in Casper to represent Casper College and compete for the championship.
“The other team members will be here supporting the guys and Megan throughout the week, and we will all root for them,” says Parker.
Parker says the team wouldn’t be where they are now without the support of Casper College, the community and everyone else.
“We just want to thank everyone for their support this past year. We’re just going to do what we’ve done all year and go out and try to win a national championship,” Parker concludes.