LINCOLN, Neb. – Saturday morning was the final chance for anyone to grab a spot in the short go-round on Saturday night for the National High School Finals Rodeo, the performance that would determine the world champions for 2021.
If you didn’t have your spot locked up already, this was the last opportunity to reach up and touch the stars.
Idaho’s Raegan Steed, who rodeos for Idaho but actually lives in Plymouth, Utah, jumped out in the very first performance and let people know that she was in Lincoln and ready to rodeo. She was forced to wait until Saturday morning to get her second run in and while she finished in 11th place, with a time of 18.352 seconds, she probably needed a little better time than that, especially with all of the 17 second runs that were popping up everywhere.
Taking the performance honors was Alissa Flores from Laredo, Texas with a 17.4 second run. She was followed by Alexis McDonald of Gardiner, Montana with a time of 17.769 seconds and in third we found Jessica Bennett of Fremont, Michigan with a time of 17.875 seconds.
This has been an event that has had three Team Idaho cowboys duking it out all week long. First Kelton Maxfield was there, then Kelby Schneiter showed up and then it was Cooper Cooke who was right there and all three will be in the short go-round with a chance at the world title.
Maxfield, who hails from Nampa, secured his spot in the short go-round with a tie for first in the 12th performance by posting a score of 68. He was joined by Kade Madsen of Honeyville, Utah and Jaspur Brower of Big Piney, Wyoming. An interesting note here is that Jaspur Brower rodeoed for Team Idaho a year ago.
BOYS’ COW CUTTING
Saturday morning featured an Idaho cowboy in Zane Brackett who was trying to get into the Saturday night performance. Unfortunately for Zane, he finished in sixth place in the performance and was sitting on the bubble to see if he made the Saturday night finals. Zane would just miss out when the list was put out late Saturday afternoon.
Winning the performance was Robert Meyer of Commercial Point, Ohio with a score of 145 points. In second place is Jake Shelton of Krum, Texas with a 144 point score and in third we find Kerry Duvall of Farmington, California with a score of 143 points.
Idaho’s Cassidy Bradshaw can flat out rope and she proved it with her first run the previous Sunday evening where she posted a 3.4 second run. Since then, it took a run under three seconds to make any noise and there was even a run under two seconds posted.
In performance 12, Cassidy posted another good run, this time a time of 3.63 seconds, but when compared to the top four scores from this performance, it just wasn’t quite good enough. Cassidy finished in 12th place in the performance which was won by Addy Gose of Lorida, Florida with her time of 2.17 seconds. In second was Shyanna Reeves of Boone, Colorado with a time of 2.36 seconds. In third we find Jace Hurlburt of Arcadia, Nebraska with a time of 2.68 seconds.
With Team Idaho already having two cowboys who secured spots in the short go-round in Cooper Cooke and Rawley Johnson, there wasn’t anything to gain from this performance.
Finishing in first was Brady Turgeon of New River, Arizona with a score of 80. In second is Wacey Schalla of Arapahoe, Oklahoma with a 79 and in third we find Kahiwa Augustiro of Hoolehua, Hawaii with a 78.5 point ride. Monte Downare of Harsel, Colorado finished in fourth with a score of 62.5 points as those were the four who made the eight second ride in this performance.
GIRLS’ COW CUTTING
There weren’t any Team Idaho cowgirls in this performance, but there were still a few who were trying to make the short go-round.
Finishing in first in this performance was Jade Mitchell of Weatherford, Texas with a score of 149.5. In second is Kate Fitzgerald of Heber City, Utah with a 144 point score and a second Utah cowgirl finished in a tie for second with Fitzgerald, in Abbi Bowthorpe of Wallsburg, Utah also with a 144 point score.
One of the toughest things to do is to perform in the very first performance of the week, the previous past Sunday evening, and then have to wait until Saturday morning to have a second chance at a good score.
That was the challenge facing Laynee Gregersen of Malta. By the time Saturday morning rolled around, all the pressure was on Gregersen and although she posted a time of 8.7 seconds, good enough for sixth in the performance, she really needed something much faster than that.
Finishing first in the performance was Brooklyn Balch of Buckholts, Texas with a time of 7.15 seconds. In second we find Kennedy Pelzer of Pleasantville, Iowa with a time of 7.58 seconds and in third was Meadow Raymond of Oak Grove, Louisiana with a time of 8.64 seconds.
This was the time of the week where you had to be clean in your runs. You can’t have a single mistake happen or it will cost you a chance at the short go-round. Trinity Olson of St. Anthony was in a precarious position. She was sitting in 22nd place after the first go-round, so really needed a fast time in the 19 second range to make the short go-round. She gave it her all and unfortunately knocked over a pole costing her a five second penalty. That cost her any chance of making the finals.
Leading the way in this performance is Kylie Cliburn of Prarieville, Louisiana who posted a time of 19.878 seconds. In second, Katelyn Hurl of Shandon, California with a 20.000 time and in third was Cassidy Davidson of Mandan, North Dakota with a time of 20.273 seconds.
This had been one of the toughest events of the week It was tough to post a score in any of the previous performances so it was a bit surprising when there were six scores posted Saturday morning, led by Larry Bennett of Lowndes, Missouri who had a score of 69. In second is Coy Hebert of Welsh, Louisiana with a score of 68 and in third, Coleter Martn of Beulah, North Dakota who posed a score of 66 for the performance.
This performance was all about Chance Sorenson of Arvada, Wyoming, who broke the four second barrier with a fine run of 3.95 seconds. In second was Chance Story of Martinsdale, Montana with a 4.1 second run and in third was Shayde Harris from Searcy, Arkansas with a 4.2 second run.
Idaho’s Ethan Southern, who had trouble in his first run last Sunday evening, encountered a bit more trouble on Saturday morning. He posted a time of 10.28 seconds, but it could have been faster with a little cooperation from the steer.
The farther you go in a week-long event like the NHSFR, the tighter the loops get and the faster the steers seem to be resulting in fewer and fewer teams making a time in the team roping event. That appeared to be the case on Saturday morning when only 10 teams posted a time. Those times were led by Jade Espenscheid of Big Piney, Wyoming and partner Coy Johnson of Buffalo, Wyoming who were able to get the job done in 7.12 seconds. In second was Cutter Cain of Milburn, Oklahoma and his partner Dace Morris of Woodward, Oklahoma who posted a 7.29 second time. Third went to Cooper Bass of Brewster, Nebraska and Dane Pokorny of Stapleton, Nebraska with a time of 7.58 seconds.
TIE DOWN ROPING
Another event where things got tougher as the week went along saw only 17 cowboys get the job done and post a time in the Saturday performance. This performance was led by Cayden Newsome of Myakka City, Florida with a time of 9.82 seconds. In second place is Range Martin of Evanston, Wyoming who had a time of 9.88 seconds and in third we find Mason Theriot of Poplarville, Missouri with a time of 10.24 seconds.