Three rodeos this past weekend marked the end of the regular season for Nebraska cowboys and cowgirls.
The Panhandle Rodeo, held in Harrison, along with the Harrison and Crawford rodeos were the last chances for local competitors to either solidify their place in the standings, or make the leap toward the top of them, in order to qualify for the 2018 State Finals in Hastings this June.
When the dust had settled four area cowboys and four area cowgirls had made the cut.
Heading into the weekend Harrison’s Maddie Meidell was ranked 36th overall in breakaway and needed to get the most out of her remaining performances to get herself into the top 30 that qualify for State.
After failing to score points in both the Panhandle and Harrison rodeos it wasn’t looking good for Meidell, but undeterred, the recent Harrison graduate posted a time of 2.94 seconds on Sunday in Crawford, good for first in the event. Her ten points earned was enough to boost her to 28th in the standings, good for a trip to State.
Much like Meidell, Crawford’s Taryn Underwood was also on the outside, looking in, sitting 33rd in barrel racing prior to the weekend’s rodeos.
While the Crawford cowgirl failed to post points in both the Harrison and Crawford rodeos, her time of 18.496 at the Panhandle Rodeo on Friday was good for fifth place, moving her to 25th overall in the event, and qualifying her for State.
Joining Meidell and Underwood in Hastings will be Chadron’s Bayli Bilbi and Gordon’s Morgan Darnell.
A first-place finish in Crawford, second-place finish in Harrison, and a fourth place finish at the Panhandle Rodeo, also in Harrison, were more than enough to maintain Chadron’s Bayli Bilby place at the top of the state’s girls’ cutting standings.
Darnell has qualified for State in team roping with 22 points, 42nd overall in the standings. She’s also ranked 31st in breakaway, one spot out of contention for State, but could find her way to Hastings if one or more higher ranked cowgirls drops out.
Gordon cowboy Conner Halverson will be making the trip to State along with Darnell after finishing the season ranked second-overall in bull riding. Although Halverson didn’t manage any points in this weekend’s rodeos, his 114 points on the season were more than enough to earn him his bid at State.
Three other local cowboys, Rushville’s Blake Henry, Crawford’s Blaine Flack, and Marsland’s Jack Skavdahl have also qualified for State.
Henry is currently ranked sixth-overall in steer wrestling with 96.5 points. The Rushville cowboy posted points at two rodeos this past weekend with a fifth-place finish at the Panhandle Rodeo, and a seventh-place finish in Crawford.
In Hastings, Crawford’s Flack will compete in both team roping and tie down. Currently the recent graduate is ranked 10th in team roping, and 19th in tie down. This past weekend he earned a ninth-place finish in tie down at the Panhandle Rodeo, a fourth-place finish in the same event at Harrison, and second place finish in team roping, also at Harrison.
Skavdahl made the most of the Panhandle Rodeo in Harrison on Friday, finishing first in saddle bronc with a score of 69. He sits ranked sixth-overall in the event with 20 points.
The Nebraska State Finals Rodeo will be held in Hastings, June 13 through 15.