Cowboys With Crew Of Four At CNFR
The Wyoming Cowboys will have a four man squad at the College National Finals Rodeo which starts Sunday and goes through June 21 at the Casper Events Center.
The Pokes finished fourth in their region and failed to qualify a full team for the CNFR. Still, two members, Clayton Van Aken and Wyatt Clark, earned automatic berths based on regular season performances. UW gained two more members when Brit Ellerman and Kade Merritt got in after Gillette College and Casper College finalized their roster. It enabled the qualifiers to fill open spots in an event.
All four of the Cowboys have past CNFR experience.
In a release from the University of Wyoming, rodeo coach George Howard said,
“We have five chances to score points, but things have to go our way. You never know what will happen in the finals.”
It was just three years ago that the Cowboys finished in third place, just 100 points back, with only three competitors. Thus, it’s not out of the question.
Van Aken will compete in team roping and tie down roping. Ellerman and Merritt will also compete in team roping, while Clark is one of the bareback riders.
The Wyoming Cowgirls will not be represented in Casper, as they failed to qualify as a team, and no Cowgirls qualified individually.
The CNFR begins with the first round of saddle bronc, bareback and bull riding, along with women’s breakaway roping Sunday. There will be two matinee performances at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.
The rest of the events begin with two rounds of slack at 7 a.m. Monday, June 16.
The nightly performances start Tuesday, June 17 at 7 p.m. and go for five straight nights.
The championship round is set for 7 p.m. on Saturday, June 21. The top 12 competitors in each event advance to this round to compete for a national title.