CASPER, Wyo. -- After all the saddles and buckles had been handed out Saturday to the various team and individual winners at the College National Finals Rodeo, Idaho State's Kimberlyn Fehringer-Fitch and College of Southern Idaho's Timmi Ward stepped to the award stand one more time and posed for photos.
Based on their showing at the just-completed CNFR, the two freshmen might want to get used to it.
Fehringer-Fitch won the breakaway roping title with a four-run time of 9.7 seconds -- the fastest at the CNFR since Central Wyoming College's Daysha Hulme posted a 9.6 in 2004.
Ward, a Top of Utah cowgirl, was equally impressive in barrel racing. She had the fastest run of the week in the short go-round -- 13.86 seconds -- to win the average title with a four-run time of 56.19 seconds.
While the CNFR served as a coming-out party for Fehringer-Fitch and Ward, they weren't the only freshmen to serve notice of their arrival on the college rodeo circuit during the week-long event. Fehringer-Fitch and Ward, of Tremonton, were two of 22 freshmen that qualified for Saturday's short go, and they were joined in the winner's circle by another freshman -- University of West Alabama tie-down roper Zac Wilson.
In all, freshmen won nine go-rounds at this year's CNFR.
"With all these young student-athletes, (the CNFR) is just going to get better," National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association commissioner Roger Walters said.
College rodeo's showcase event was at its best Saturday in front of a record crowd at the Casper Events Center.
* College of Southern Idaho's Spencer Wright, the latest in a long line of saddle bronc riding brothers, won the family's first national championship.
* Wright's teammate, Orin Larsen, won the bareback bronc riding title one year after his brother Tyrel captured the saddle bronc title.
* Hill College's Tim Bingham, a Honeyville native who was competing with a broken arm suffered earlier in the week, won the bull riding, which featured four rides of at least 80.5 points in the short go. There were 11 bull rides of at least 80 points during the week, compared to just two in the other roughstock events.
* UNLV's Corey Rogers completed an improbable run to win the steer wrestling. The senior finished fourth in his event in the West Coast Region but made it to the CNFR as a result of UNLV finishing second in the region. He made the most of his opportunity, winning the average by nearly six seconds.
* Jordan Thurston-Miller from Gillette College won her second national title in the goat tying. The senior finished atop a leader board that showcased the Central Rocky Mountain Region's dominance in the event as the top four placers all compete in the CRMR. Thurston-Miller's win also marked the fifth time in the past seven years that a CRMR goat tyer had won the national championship.
* Billy Bob Brown from Tarleton State and Logan Medlin from Eastern New Mexico won the team roping title, with Brown also claiming the all-around saddle.
* Northeastern Junior College sophomore Hayden Segelke won her second all-around title in as many years, edging out Fehringer-Fitch for the honors.
* Team titles went to the Panhandle State men and the Idaho State women. Not surprisingly, Fehringer-Fitch led the way, scoring 445 of her team's 520 points.
"This week was so much fun," Fehringer-Fitch said. "I can't wait to come back next year and do it again."