ST. GEORGE — Several Southern Utah rodeo athletes recently posted top finishes at the Utah High School Rodeo Association’s state finals rodeo, which took place in Heber City last week.
The top four finishers in each event qualified for the national finals, which are scheduled to be held in Lincoln, Nebraska, from July 18-24.
“We were happy to get in our full season this year and enjoy state finals in Heber again,” UHSRA spokeswoman Lisa Barnhurst Woodland told St. George News. “As always, the competition was tough and in many events came down to the short go. We are very fortunate to have such a strong Utah team.”
Winning all-around cowgirl honors was MaRynn Moody of the West Millard team in Delta. Moody took state in the pole bending event, posting an average time of just over 21.95 seconds per run over her three runs. Moody also placed fifth in goat tying and ninth in barrel racing.
In the goat tying event, Jacee Graff of Dixie and Staheli Adams of Enterprise tied for first place with 128 points apiece, making them the state co-champions.
Sharpshooter Melroy Vigoren of Dixie placed first in the rifle shoot, with his score of 134.5 edging last year’s champion, Beau Emett of Enterprise, who finished as runner-up with a 128. Also qualifying for nationals was Curry Wilkins of Dixie, who took fourth place with a score of 110.
In team roping, brothers Preston Olsen and Swade Olsen of Piute took first place with a score of 132.5. Although they live in Piute County, the Olsens compete as members of the Payson-based Southern Utah County team.
Statler Wright of West Millard was the state champion in saddle bronc riding, posting a winning score of 150. Bill Henry, also of West Millard, won the bull riding state title with a score of 134. Landon Houghton of Dixie placed fourth in bull riding with a score of 101.5.
Additionally, Blake Bowler of Enterprise placed second in tiedown roping, his score of 98 coming just seven points behind winner Range Martin of South Summit. Bowler also placed fourth in team roping, along with partner Garrett Riding of Dixie. Bowler ended up placing fourth overall in the all-around cowboy standings.
Dixie High School junior Dalli Holyoak, who was last year’s rodeo queen contest winner, finished as runner-up this year to winner Oliva Favero of Davis County’s Spikers team.
To see the full state finals results, click here.
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