Eric Fleming competed in the Lane Frost Challenge bull riding competition during Grand Olde West Days, and one week later, he took his turn in Las Animas. Fleming, along with Taylor and Troy Vernon, will travel June 10 to Lamar for the Colorado High School rodeo state finals.

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Eric Fleming competed in the Lane Frost Challenge bull riding competition during Grand Olde West Days, and one week later, he took his turn in Las Animas. Fleming, along with Taylor and Troy Vernon, will travel June 10 to Lamar for the Colorado High School rodeo state finals.

MCHS rodeo team to travel to Lamar for state

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Rodeo results

Rodeo results from three day meet in Las Animas

May 29

Name event score/time place

Eric Fleming Tie down roping 34.9 17

Hanna Hegwer Goat tying 12.1 15

Pole bending 26.467 14

Taylor Vernon Barrel racing 17.181 12

Goat tying 8.93 3

Pole bending 27.323 18

Troy Vernon Tie down roping 14.29 8

May 30

Name event score/time place

Eric Fleming Tie down roping 14.21 10

Hanna Hegwer Goat tying 13.89 17

Taylor Vernon Barrel racing 17.351 19

Goat tying 10.31 13

Pole bending 26.67 24

Troy Vernon Bull riding 67 4

May 31

Name event score/time place

Eric Fleming Team roping 17.55 8

Steer wrestling 18.18 6

Tie down roping 13.31 10

Taylor Vernon Barrel racing 17.157 20

Breakaway roping 12.69 18

Goat tying 10.15 16

Pole bending 21.355 5

Troy Vernon Bull riding 69 3

Tie down roping 12.19 6

For Dave Fleming, Moffat County High School rodeo coach, his last regular season rodeo trip went relatively smooth.

Except for the snow.

Fleming said it was 88 degrees in Craig when the team left last week, and 93 degrees in Las Animas when they arrived for the last meet of the year.

It was the middle part that represented a challenge.

"It was 33 (degrees) at the top of Hoosier Pass," he said. "I guess we're just lucky like that.

"I'm glad to be done traveling in snow. Every weekend it snowed. It snowed there and back last weekend."

Once the team was in Las Animas for the three-day rodeo, Fleming had reason to smile, however.

His son, Eric, had a pair of 10th-place finishes in tie down roping, an eighth-place finish in team roping and a sixth-place finish in steer wrestling.

Fellow senior Troy Vernon had a third- and fourth-place finish in bull riding, and Taylor Vernon had a fifth-place finish in pole bending and a third-place finish in goat tying.

"It was one of our better weekends," Fleming said. "The kids that went, for the most part, did reasonably well."

From Wednesday to June 14, the trio of Eric Fleming, Troy and Taylor Vernon will travel to Lamar for the Colorado High School State finals.

The state finals will be Fleming's last rodeo as the head coach. But, he said, his experience was positive.

"In general, it was a pretty good year," Fleming said. "We had three strong seniors who went pretty hard this year, and some kids fought a few injuries - nothing major, but it slowed them down."

He said he only planned on being the coach for one year, before Eric left for college.

He said there was no word on his replacement.

"I haven't heard of anyone yet who has put in for it," he said. "But I'm sure they'll find somebody."

Fleming said he anticipated a new rodeo head coach would be installed after Richard Wildenhaus, the newly appointed athletic director, comes to Craig.

"That's what happened last year," Fleming said. "Nothing happened until the new AD came in. But I'm not sure what the plans are.

"I'm sure somebody will come along and be the sponsor for next year."

Fleming said his decision to take the reins was a natural move for him.

"If you're a parent in this sport, you're already pretty involved," he said. "It was just a little more responsibility."

Ben Bulkeley can be reached at 875-1795 or bbulkeley@craigdailypress.com

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