Three rodeo contestants and a terrific individual day on the track earned the Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Wyoming WyoPreps Athlete of the Week awards for April 24, 2024. The girls’ honor was shared between rodeo cowgirl Kloe Nichols and Lusk senior track athlete Melody ZumBrunnen. The boys’ award went to rodeo cowboy team ropers Cam Johnson and Cael Espenscheid. They were chosen for their wonderful performances during the week of April 15 through April 20, 2024.



ZumBrunnen went 4-for-4 in individual events at the Kendra Roeder Invite track meet in Pine Bluffs. ZumBrunnen won the 100-meter dash at 13.21 seconds and beat her sister, Gracie, in the process. The senior won the 200-meter dash at 27.40 seconds and crossed the finish line over two seconds ahead of the runner-up. ZumBrunnen added a third victory on the track in the 400-meters. She placed first at a time of 1:05.82, about 3.5 seconds ahead of the next runner. Finally, Melody won the long jump at 16-3, more than two feet ahead of second place.

WyoPreps spoke with Ms. ZumBrunnen on Wednesday morning. She discussed her big day on a cold day in Pine Bluffs. ZumBrunnen was a bit surprised by her performance given the cold weather, reflected on each event she won, how staying warm and stretching was a key, her mental focus and not getting distracted by other competitors, and more.

Nichols won both rounds of barrel racing at the high school rodeo in Rock Springs last weekend. She stopped the clock at 15.800 seconds to win the first go. Nichols was a touch faster in the second go after a run of 15.437 seconds for the victory. She moved into first place in the season standings for barrel racing. Nichols beat out two other cowgirls at Rock Springs, who are in the top four of the season standings. She also competes in breakaway roping. Kloe sits sixth in the all-around standings.

We caught up with the cowgirl on Thursday to chat about last weekend’s rodeo. Nichols admitted she was nervous entering the weekend because of her horse, spoke about how she was able to navigate the barrels so quickly, her keys to her runs, and more.

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The boys’ winners were the team roping duo of Cam Johnson and Cael Espenscheid. Johnson is the header and Espenscheid is the heeler. In last Saturday’s first go, the tandem won the round at a time of 6.68 seconds. They were slightly faster on Sunday in the second go and stopped the clock at 6.63 seconds for the victory. The duo also sits in first place in the team roping season standings by just over 20 points. Johnson is fourth in the all-around, while Espenscheid is ninth.

WyoPreps visited with the duo on Wednesday night. They reviewed their weekend success, how they help each other, some good draws on the stock, how they have good chemistry despite being far apart, and more.

Congratulations to Melody, Kloe, Cam, and Cael on our weekly honors!

The WyoPreps Athlete of the Week nominations are open from Fridays at 5 p.m. until Mondays at 9 a.m. Coaches, family, friends, and student-athletes can nominate deserving student-athletes. Early and late nominations are not accepted.

Wyoming High School Sports Pics of the Week: Apr 11-13

Wyoming High School Sports Pics of the Week: Apr 11-13

Gallery Credit: Kati Baxter, James Yule, Greg Wise, Tony Montoya, Shannon Dutcher, Christina Berta,

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