By Jamie McIntosh Noyes
Three local White Pine Junior High Rodeo athletes qualified for the 2023 World Finals in Perry, Georgia, and were fortunate enough to attend as contestants. The top 4 in each state are welcomed to attend and compete, each trying to be named the best in the world. They made the nearly 4,500 mile round trip trek to Perry to chase their dreams, June 18th-24th.
While they were there to rodeo, they also participated in several other activities during the week-long event. They all played on the Nevada volleyball team, winning their match against Kentucky, but barely losing to New Mexico in the 3rd set, putting them out of the tournament. They competed in a scavenger hunt, ice cream social, field day, fishing derby, and attended clinics and event practices. The mornings were early, the days full, and the evenings went late, but they lived each day to the fullest.
The rodeo was split up into 10 performances; the first 5 performances were the 1st go, the next 5 (6-10) were the 2nd go, and the 11th performance was short go. All the athletes preform once in each go per event and in accordance with their draw. The second go performances were the reverse of the first.
Heston Rimington of Lund, qualified in Bull Riding. Heston covered his bull in the first go, scoring 63.5 points, placing 29th in the round. His second round bull left him wanting a re-ride, receiving a no score and landing him outside of the short go qualifiers (the top 20 in the average after 2 gos). Heston finished his final junior high rodeo season placing in the top half in the world over all.
Brooklynn Sena of Ely, qualified in Barrel Racing and Goat Tying. Brooklynn finished her final junior high rodeo season as the number one barrel racer in the state. Her first go in barrels at the finals fell short of her expectations, as they tipped the second barrel, inciting a 5 second penalty, and creating enough of a deficit to end their chances at advancing to the short go. They came back stronger in the second go, running a cautious, but respectable run, placing in the top third of the round and the top half in the world over all. The goat tying stock was as rank as they come, proving to be difficult for the majority of the competitors. Brooklynn was able to tie and keep both goats she drew down in each go. Placing long both rounds and outside of the short go, but in the top half in the world over all.
Sawyer Bliss of Ely, qualified in Team Roping and Boys Breakaway. Sawyer and his partner Cade, were the Nevada state reserve champion team ropers. The first go didn’t come together completely for them and they received a no time. The second go however, came together nicely. They were second in the performance and 7th in the round, narrowly missing short go by five places. They ended their season 25th in the world, bettering 85% of their competition. His first breakaway run was a bit rough. He caught his calf, but received a barrier penalty (failing to give the calf a proper headstart) of 10 seconds. This put him automatically too long for short go, which was later finalized in the second go, where he received a no time. Based on his one penalized catch, he ended the season middle of the pack.
What an amazing event these kids got to experience. For Heston and Brooklynn, it was a wonderful way to end their junior high rodeo career, as they both move on the high school next year. They will be chasing the high school finals qualification from here on. Sawyer will have a year of experience under his belt moving into his 8th grade year and having one more shot at the Junior High finals. These athletes represented our state well and we are proud of their character, resolve and drive. Their future is bright. We will see them representing their communities and their state again.