Steamboat Springs Cowgirl Kaylee Myers will saddle her horse today for what will most likely be her final high school rodeo.
Myers, who graduated from Steamboat Springs High School in May, has been waiting for this week to ride into the post-graduate sunset.
"It's been a little weird," Myers said. "When I talk about going to the state rodeo people say, 'hey, didn't you already graduate.'"
Myers was one of the first members of the Steamboat Springs High School rodeo team. As a sophomore she was part of a group of students who fought to get the sport sponsored by the high school. She has competed all three years and attended the state finals the past two years.
This week she will give it her all at the Colorado State High School Rodeo finals where she hopes to show well in both the barrel and pole events.
She is a long shot to bring home the state title (which is determined by the athletes season-long finishes), but she is hoping to win the average on one of the days this week. She will compete today, Thursday and Friday.
"I'm really excited that I get to ride," Myers said. "Everybody goes to the state rodeo and it's just a lot of fun to get together and compete."
Myers said while this week might mark the end of her high school career she will continue to barrel race at professional rodeos across the state following the event. She plans on attending Colorado Northwest Community College in the fall and said she will maintain her contacts with the local high school team in the future. Her mom said she would continue to sponsor and organize the team each spring.
While Myers will be the only rider from the Steamboat team in Loveland this week, she will not be the only Routt County rider.
Other local athletes include Soroco's Jake Booco and Cody Denning. Genny McGeary and Danni Scheer will compete for the North Central Rodeo team.
McGeary is second in the state in cutting and is hoping to earn enough points this week to earn the state title. To do it she will need to catch Calla Cox of New Mexico, who is in first place, and hold off current third-place cutter Meghan Tumlinson of Montrose.
McGeary is also scheduled to compete in the barrel, pole and breakaway events.
"I want to move up," McGeary said. "But I'm going to need a pretty good week to get it done," McGeary said.
The local cutter is also hoping to post a couple of top days in the other events including barrels, poles and breakaway.
The Colorado State High School Rodeo Finals will open today at the Larimer County Fairgrounds in Loveland.
The rodeo will continue through Sunday with titles being awarded in girls cutting, boys cutting, barrels, pole bending, breakaway roping, bareback riding, saddle bronc riding, bull riding, steer wrestling, calf roping, goat tying and team roping.