Bittersweet ending for rodeo team seniors

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Sure the only home rodeo of the year for the Moffat County rodeo team is easier logistically. The cowboys and cowgirls don't have to travel multiple hours to get to the competition. But it's never easy emotionally, especially for the seniors.

"It's not fun because it's the last rodeo in the fall," emotional senior Kendel Fawcett said. "We always have to say goodbye at our rodeo."

With the exception of a few rodeos not sanctioned by the Colorado State High School Rodeo Association, the rodeo season ends for high schoolers in Craig. That means six months until they compete again.

"We might see some of our friends in other sports," said senior Becky White, who was sharing a tearful moment with Fawcett. "But it's not the same."

As a senior, every weekend is the last time they'll compete at a certain facility.

"Last night, the girls realized that they were competing here for the last time," rodeo coach Casey Fawcett said. "It was a tough night."

While it may have been a tough weekend on the sentimental side, eight of the 11 participants on the Moffat County team earned at least one top-10 finish. In total the local team had 19 top-10 finishes.

Senior Subrina Showalter finished the weekend with four top-10 finishes. She said her best was her barrel racing performance on Sunday. Her 16.83-second time was good enough for third place and it was the first time this fall she broke 17 seconds.

Subrina's sister, Whitney, returned to high school competition after a year off with three, top-10 finishes. Her top finish was a fourth-place result goat tying Saturday.

White also had four top-10 finishes during the two rodeos. The senior was fourth both days in pole bending.

"I didn't do great, but I was consistent," she said.

Kendel Fawcett had the team's top finish with a first-place performance in Sunday's breakaway roping. Her time of 2.36 seconds was the best of both days. "That was pretty sweet, all two seconds of it," Fawcett said. "It was the fastest time of my life."

The Craig cowboys also earned some money for the weekend. Senior Brandon Whitaker was sixth in calf roping Saturday. He teamed with Cody Miles for fifth in team roping Saturday. On Saturday, Justin Hegwer successfully wrestled a steer for sixth place and he teamed with Duane Sponable for eighth in team roping.

Coach Fawcett said she was proud of how much work her athletes put into getting sponsors for the rodeo. The fairgrounds were full of sponsorship banners. "They really went out and sold this rodeo to the community," she said. "Craig was great to us."

The volunteers who helped run the rodeo were also on Fawcett's thank-you list.

"Everything ran like clockwork and we even finished before noon (on Sunday)," she said. "It was a good weekend."

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