The Cam-Plex in Gillette will be the site of the largest rodeo in the world — the National High School Finals Rodeo — beginning today.

The NHSFR brings together more than 1,700 cowboys and cowgirls from around the United States as well as Canada and Australia.

The week-long event is comprised of 12 events — bareback bronc riding, saddle bronc riding, bull riding, steer wrestling, tie-down roping, team roping, pole bending, barrel racing, breakaway roping, goat tying, and boys and girls cutting — with the top 20 contestants in each event after two go-rounds qualifying for the short go on July 22.

The Wyoming contingent returns three reserve champions from last year’s NHSFR in Big Piney barrel racer Karson Bradley and the Casper team roping duo of brothers Kellan and Carson Johnson.

Other Wyoming competitors who made it to the short go last year are team ropers Wheaton Williams (Big Horn) and Jerren Johnson (Casper), steer wrestler Chance Anderson (McKinnon), goat tyer Makenna Balkenbush (Sheridan), pole bender Shay Hough (Gillette), and girls cutters Rylee Whitman (Big Piney) and Ayanah Winsor (Kaycee).

Wyoming finished fourth overall in the team standings last year, with the boys team placing sixth and the girls team seventh.

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Jack Nowlin returned to the Star-Tribune in 2007 after eight years covering Michigan State University athletics. A Wyoming native, and a graduate of Jeffrey City High School and the University of Wyoming, Jack serves as the Star-Tribune’s sports editor.

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