LINCOLN, Neb. – With the performance six rodeo activities official and the results posted, the preliminary stages of the National High School Finals Rodeo are halfway to naming the finalists who will be in the short go-round where the national champions will be named.
It has been a pretty good week thus far for Team Idaho as a number of cowboys and cowgirls have put up some good numbers and are ranked high in the standings at the halfway mark of a tough week of competition.
Following is an event by event look at where these Idaho cowboys and cowgirls are sitting at the halfway mark on the way to a possible national title.
181 cowgirls posted times in the six performances to date, led by Ashlyn Goven of Rozet, Wyoming with a 17.494 time. In second is Alexis McDonald of Gardiner, Montana with a 17.496 time and third is Ava Grayce Sanders of Vero Beach, Florida with a 17.501 seconds time.
The top Idaho cowgirl is Sierra Telford of Caldwell, with an 18.322 time and she is in 55th place in the standings. Dally Mendenhall of Soda Springs is in 68th with a time of 18.416. Raegan Steed is in 76th place with a time of 18.491 and Teely Bott of Rupert is in 96th place with a time of 18.661 seconds.
An even 50 cowboys have posted scores in the bareback riding event. Leading the way is a cowboy from East Helena, Montana who has posted the top score this week with an 83. Rexburg cowboy Kelby Schneiter is in second with a score of 78 and tying Schneiter with a score of 78 is Kaleb Norstrom from East Helena, Montana.
Idaho’s Kelton Maxfield of Nampa is in ninth place with a score of 73 and Cooper Cooke, reigning All Around Cowboy from Idaho is in 23rd place with a score of 67.
The second go-round of performances begins on Wednesday night with performance number seven in the NHSFR.
75 cowboys posted scores in the Cow Cutting Event and they are led by Russell Bushaw of Weatherford, Texas who had a score of 150. Tied for second and third are Porter Hales of Morgan, Utah and Cashton James Weidenbener of Payson, Arizona who both had a score of 145.
The top Idaho cowboy is the Idaho State Champion in Joe ZeBarth from Kimberly, who is in 10th place with a score of 143. In 19th place is Jett Brower from St. Anthony who is in with a score of 141 and Ryn Severe of Oakley is in 54th place with a score of 132. Zane Brackett of Homedale rounds out the Idaho cowboys and he is in 72nd place with a score of 124.
The times have been lightning quick in this event, with the leader coming in with an unbelievable 1.92 seconds and that belongs to Madison Outhier, of Utopia, Texas. In second is Hattke Renfrow of Pleasantville, Iowa with a 2.07 second run and in third is Emme Colvard of Crumpier, North Carolina with a time of 2.15 seconds.
The top Idaho cowgirl is Jetta Bott of Rupert who posted a fine 2.78 second run and holds down the number 16 place in the standings. Harley Beasley of Montpelier is in 23rd with a time of 2.93 seconds and Cassidy Bradshaw of Rexburg is in at 3.4 seconds and sits in 35th place.
Only 31 cowboys made the eight second ride on some of the toughest bulls around in the popular bull riding event. The list is headed by Clay Guiton of Cherryville, North Carolina who posted the top score of 87 in his first ride. In second is Idaho’s Rawley Johnson from Ririe who posted an 83 point ride which tied Brody Hasenack of Jackson, Wyoming who also had an 83.
Also representing Idaho is Tennessee Owens who had a score of 59, which gets him into the number 26 place on our list of riders.
The next set of performances should be something to watch so look out for some hard hitting cowboys posting some nice scores as they try and make the short go-round.
In the Girls’ Cutting event, there were 101 cowgirls who posted scores, led by Faith Farris of Midway, Texas with a 151 point score. In second we find Taylor Porter of Morgan, Utah with a 148 point score and in third is Makenzie Moore of Walnut Grove, Missouri with a 146 point score. Tied with Moore for third is Karrigan Cagley of Kenwood, Louisiana also with a 146 point score.
The first Idaho cowgirl is right behind the top four where Brenna Brown of Melba finds herself in fifth place with a 145.5 score, well within reach of the top spot in this event. Claire Sterling of Parma is in 14th place with a fine score of 144 points. Ava Manning is in 27th place with her score of 142.5 and Macardi Anderson of Bellevue is in 91st place with a score of 126 points.
The always popular goat tying event saw 143 cowgirls throw and tie a goat and post a time in the event. The leader is from Yoder, Wyoming and is Haiden Thompson who posted a time of 7.36 seconds. In second is Brooklyn Balch of Buckholts, Texas who posted a time of 7.66 seconds, and in third is Staheli Adams of Cedar City, Utah with a time of 7.68 seconds.
Leading the group of cowgirls from Team Idaho is none other than Halley Jo Gibbs, of Riverside, Utah who posted the fast time of 7.9 seconds, good enough for a fifth place tie. Laynee Gregersen, one of the finest goat tiers in the game came in with a time of 9.49 seconds, good enough for 47 place. Next was Harley Beasley, of Montpelier with a time of 18.22 seconds which finds her in position 137 and Halley Guthrie of Shelley posted a time of 20.15 for a placing at number 141.
One of the fastest events that also requires great agility on the behalf of the horse and great horsemanship from the rider saw 164 cowgirls complete the course and post a time. Leading the way is Kiley Hargrave-Batten of Groveton, Texas who had a time of 20.225 seconds. In second is Kylie Cliburn of Prarieville, Louisiana with a time of 20.323 and in third, another Texas cowgirl in Dessa Hext from Canadian, Texas with a time of 20.349.
Idaho’s best is Trinity Olson of St. Anthony, who is in 22nd place with a time of 21.088 seconds. Taylor Eiguren of Team Idaho and Arock, Oregon is in 46th place with a time of 21.587 while right behind Taylor is Abby Ricks of Newdale in 47th place with a time of 21.599 seconds. Hayden Corta of Bancroft is in with a time of 21.934, good enough for a 61st place finish.
REINED COW HORSE
One hundred and eight contestants posted scores in this event, which is beginning to rival some of the other events in high school rodeo. It is also a co-ed event, so it is very popular. Heading the list at the top is Trevor Hale of Perryton, Texas and he posted a nice 298 point score to lead the event. In second is Tyler Todd of Rexford, Kansas with a 295.5 point score while Tatum Olson of Bloofield, Nebraska sits in third with a 294 point score.
This is where Idaho begins to make some noise. Tied for fourth is Sierra Telford from Caldwell, and she is having a very good National High School Finals Rodeo. She is among the leaders in the All Around Cowgirl Event as well as making herself known in Reined Cow Horse. Her score of 291.5 has her tied with Maddie Fantaskey of Worland, Wyoming and leads the Idaho contingent of cowgirls in this event. Just behind Sierra is Elizabeth Frisbee, who posted a score of 290.5 in her first performance and is tied for sixth. Frisbee hails from Filer. Not to be outdone is the other Telford, Shawney, who is sitting in 13th place with her score of 287 points. That puts three Idaho cowgirls in the top 13 and that just isn’t bad at all.
SADDLE BRONC RIDING
This has proven to be the toughest event at this year’s NHSFR and only 29 riders have posted scores thus far. That is not very many when you consider how many cowboys have given the event a try.
Leading the way is Gus Gaillard of Morse, Texas with a 78 point ride. Tied for second behind Gaillard is Talon Elshere of Hereford, South Dakota and Slade Keith of Stanfield, Arizona, both who scored a 74 in their first ride.
Cooper Cooke of Victor is the top Idaho cowboy and he is in 19th place with his score of 59 in the first performance. Wyatt Lyman of Heyburn is also on the list of riders who posted a score as he put up a 49 as he looks to make up some ground with his second ride later in the week.
No matter what anyone tells you, Steer Wrestling has to be the hardest rodeo event on a person’s body. You leap from a running horse onto an 800-pound steer and then try wrestling him to the ground. Topping the list of fast times goes to Colin Fox of Manvel, Texas who got his steer turned over in 3.94 seconds. That is a very fast time. In second is a South Dakota cowboy in Dawson Kautzman from Capitol, Montana with a time fo 4.39 seconds and in third is Traden Anderson of Hanna, Oklahoma with a time of 4.44 seconds.
Idaho’s top cowboy is Wes Shaw who posted a good time of 4.87 seconds. Shaw hails from Dietrich, and leads the Idaho contingent. Hunter Roche is in 15th place with is time of 5.3 seconds. Roche resides in Inkom, and attends Marsh Valley High School where he also plays football and basketball for the Eagles. A third Idaho cowboy, Ethan Southern posted a time of 30.66 seconds. Ethan is from Malta.
Another popular event that is growing rapidly in the high school rodeo arena finds Colton Allen and Wyatt Allen, both of Dadeville, Alabama leading the pack with at time of 6.03 seconds. In second is J.R. Gonzalez of Laredo, Texas and Chase Sandstrom of Comfort, Texas who have a time of 6.09 seconds. In third we find Clay Clayman of Highlandville Missouri and Cooper Freeman of Carthage, Missouri with a time of 6.14 seconds.
Showing you just how tough this event has become, there were eight teams that posted times quicker than seven seconds. The only Idaho team to make a showing is Clay Stapleman of Paul, and Kashli Stouard of Spring Creek, Nevada who posted a time of 8.39 seconds and sit in the number 28 place in the event.
TIE DOWN ROPING
No fewer than 104 cowboys formed a loop in the hopes of grabbing this event, one of the first events ever in rodeo. Leading the way is a Nebraska cowboy named Matthew Miller who hails from Callaway Nebraska and was quick enough to rope and tie a calf in 8.83 seconds. In second place is Clay Yadon of Ottergein, Indiana who posted a time of 8.97 seconds and in third is Blake Bowler of Enterprise, Utah with a time of 9.09 seconds.
Wyatt Stephens of Team Idaho leads the Idaho contingent with his time of 11.03 seconds, good enough for 15th place. Stephens is from Tremonton, Utah. Hunter Roche is the next Idaho cowboy with a posted time of 13.86 and he sits in 42nd place. Lucas Cruz also posted a time as the Rupert resident stopped the timer in 14.83 seconds, good enough for 51st place. Luke Dalton rounds out the Idaho cowboys as he stopped the timer in 18.43 seconds, good enough for 69th place in the standings.