Local contestants hope for strong showing at the College National Finals Rodeo

CASPER, WY –  The College National Finals Rodeo kicked off Sunday at the Ford Center in Casper, Wyoming.

Several local cowboys and cowgirls are competing this week including former New Underwood standout, Cooper Filipek.

Filipek just wrapped up his first year of competing in rodeo at Mesalands Community College in New Mexico.

Cooper Filipek

Cooper Filipek

He finished first this year in the bareback riding in the Grand Canyon Region.

Filipek is now competing in his first ever College National Finals Rodeo.

He entered the CNFR ranked seventh in the bareback riding.

Filipek competed during the opening day on Sunday and scored 60 points.

“Everybody’s goal is to win it and I’m going to go in there and try my hardest and do my best to win it,” said Cooper Filipek. “But just to get an experience out of the whole deal. This is one of your next stepping stones in trying to be in pro-rodeo and try and make it to the NFR and be a world champ. So if your can make a good name out there in this deal, most of the judges or the judges you’ll see in all your pro-rodeos. So it’ll be good just to get to know them and have them get to know me and see how I am.”

Filipek currently has his PRCA permit and he hopes to earn his pro card in the near future.

“I’m hoping next year to get my pro card in October and go hard and make the NFR as the rookie of the year and hopefully make my debut and the NFR,” said Filipek. “But if that doesn’t happen, I’m going to keep going and keep trying at it. But college finals and college rodeos is what’s paying for my college right now so.”



Black Hills State University

Black Hills State also sent eight contestants to the College National Finals Rodeo.

Men’s Team Qualifiers

Clayton Backhaus – Team Roping

Riley Hannum – Team Roping

Austin Madison – Steer Wrestling

Riley Staton – Team Roping


Women’s Team Qualifiers

Brooklyn Hanson – Breakaway Roping

Sydney Maher – Barrel Racing

Cashae McGee – Goat Tying

Emilee Pauley – Goat Tying and Barrel Racing


Cash Wilson

Cash Wilson, who was a state high school saddle bronc champion from Wall, is competing at the College National Finals Rodeo for the Tarleton State University rodeo team.

In fact, Wilson is currently fourth in the saddle bronc at the CNFR.


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