The stands were packed once again for the fourth performance at the National High School Finals Rodeo in Rock Springs, Wyo., on Tuesday.
Zack Kirkpatrick from Idalou, Texas, roped and tied in a 9.28 in the tie-down roping for Performance four. This places him second in the go-round behind Bristol’s Nolan Richie, the South Dakota cowboy who picked up the overall lead in the first performance with an 8.44-second run.
Utah’s boys and girls sat atop their respective divisions to hold a 2,800 to 2,005 lead over Texas in the overall standings. South Dakota is in eighth place with 1,055 points on the strength of its girls team in fifth place. The South Dakota boys are in 13th.
Eight cowboys covered their broncs in the bareback, but two cowboys rose to the top. Blackfoot, Idaho’s Rylie Clemens and Braxton, Mississippi’s Morgan Thompson rode for a score of 70 points. They are tied for sixth place in the first go-round standings.
Kassie Cattoor caught one quick in the breakaway roping with a time of 2.51 seconds. The St. George, Utah, cowgirl is sitting third in the first go standings.
Mia Manzanares from Opelousas, La., finally broke the ice on Morgan Williams’ lead in the goat tying with a 7.12 second run to top Williams’ 7.15 from earlier. Manzanares is well accustomed to winning hardware at national events as she was the 2012 NHSFR All-Around Champion and Rookie All-Around and the 2014 NHSFR All-Around & Goat Tying Champion.
Iowan Briar Dittmer scored 75 pints to take the lead in both the fourth performance and the go-round of saddle bronc. Steer wrestler Riley Wakefield from O'Neill, Neb., bumped Jacob Bairos from first place in the go-round with a time of 6.05 seconds.
Only one bull rider covered as Blake Bentley from Sandy Valley, Nev., posted a score of 42 points. At 18 years old, Bentley is a three-time NHSFR qualifier.
There is a three way tie for second place in boys cutting after Judd Grover’s 146-point score. Grover, from Cresco, Iowa, is tied with J.D. Reed of Spearman, Texas, and Jack Jaros from St. Charles, Iowa.
Cassie Eaton from Arcola, Saskatchewan, bumped Morgan Matte down in the girls cutting to take first place in the go-round with 149 points.
The top 20 contestants, based on aggregate times/scores from round one and two in each event, will advance to Saturday evening’s short-go. There are 1,604 contestants competing for national titles this week.