Craig kids win State Rodeo Championships
Craig — The Colorado State High School and Junior High Rodeo was the last competition of the season for most of the cowboys and cowgirls in Craig during the weekend, but most of them from Moffat County made sure they will have a few more rounds.
Craig was host to the state competitions during Memorial Day weekend, when a couple of youths from Craig competed in the state event and several more qualified for the upcoming national rodeos.
In the junior high ranks, Kinlie Brennise finished another excellent season in Colorado with two state championships and a second-place finish in the all-around points competition.
“It was awesome,” Brennise said. “I came into the state finals sitting pretty good in every event, then I just did my best here and it worked out. I was very happy with it.”
Brennise, who just finished seventh grade, repeated as state champion in breakaway roping and added barrel racing to her championship tally. She also qualified for nationals by finishing in the top four in the state in goat tying and ribbon roping, in which she finished third with brother Kasen.
“Last year, I made it in goat tying in fourth place,” she said. “But I went into state in second or third and dropped down. This time, I was in fifth and then I moved up to fourth.”
Kasen Brennise was feeling under the weather during the final weekend of the Colorado season, but his stellar performance throughout the rodeo season was too good to beat. Participants earn points for each regular-season rodeo based on their finishes in each event, and double the points are available at the state competition. The one with the highest point total from the season is the champion.
Kasen wasn’t at his best in some events at state, but he still managed a state championship in tie-down roping, in which he blew away the field, and team roping with teammate Chadron Coffield. He also will go to nationals in goat tying and ribbon roping and was the Colorado all-around champion for 2014.
In the high school ranks, Casey Barnes, of Maybell, was hoping to bring the boys’ all-around back to Moffat County, as well, but didn’t have his best weekend, either. In each of his events, Barnes had one bad round, which hurt his chances to pick up the points he needed to catch Jase Staudt of Nathrop.
“It didn’t quite go as planned,” he said. “Sometimes you’re on, and sometimes you’re not. Unfortunately, that was my weekend to be a little off.”
A “bad” weekend for Barnes still resulted in him qualifying for the high school national rodeo in two of his three events, steer wrestling and tie-down roping. Craig’s Dusty Taylor also advanced to nationals in tie-down roping while Taylor and brother Denton advanced in the team roping.
The national rodeo, which begins July 13 in Rock Springs, Wyoming, doesn’t take previous results into account, so anything can happen, and Barnes hopes to come up big there.
“I’m very excited to still be going to nationals,” he said. “Anything can happen there. It’s a whole new rodeo.”
Contact Nate Waggenspack at 970-875-1795 or nwaggenspack@CraigDailyPress.com. Follow him on Twitter at @CDP_Sports.