The College National Finals Rodeo begins its week-long run in Casper on Sunday. Before that, though, Wyoming's top prep cowboys and cowgirls get things started Thursday at the state high school finals rodeo in Douglas.
The first two go-rounds take place Thursday and Friday ahead of Saturday's final go-round. The top-four competitors in each event qualify for the National High School Finals Rodeo on July 18-24 in Lincoln, Nebraska.
Here are the event leaders heading into the state finals: Saratoga's Tuker Carricato (bareback bronc riding), Thermopolis' Jase Longwell (saddle bronc riding), Jackson's Brody Hasenack (bull riding), Midwest's Kall Mayfield (steer wrestling), Gillette's Stratton Kohr (tie-down roping), Big Piney's Jade Espenschied and Buffalo's Coy Johnson (team roping), Douglas' Broc Schwartzkopf (boys cutting), Worland's Maddie Fantaskey (barrel racing), Yoder's Haiden Thompson (breakaway roping and goat tying), Gillette's Maddie Eskew (pole bending) and Thermopolis' Emme Norsworthy (girls cutting).
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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.