Seven local cowboys and cowgirls competed at the National High School Rodeo last month in Rock Springs, Wyoming.

Competitors qualified with points earned during a series of regional rodeos during the 2018-19 season, culminating with the state finals in June at Richland Center.

The local competitors were Karter Hoag, Mikayla Olson, Ruth Schwichtenberg, Cheyenne Check, Coy Nelson, Sierra Steele and Krista Cook.

Hoag is a 2019 graduate of Tomah High School. He competed in bull riding and trap shooting. He was the state champion in trap, earning him a spot at the National Finals in trap shooting. He will be attending college this fall. He earned a scholarship from National High School Rodeo Association.

Olson was also a 2019 THS graduate. She competed in pole bending, barrel racing, reining cow horse and light rifle shooting. She went to Nationals in both reining cow horse and light rifle shooting. She will be attending the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, where she will study equine science and compete on the intercollegiate horse team. She earned a scholarship from NHSRA.

Schwichtenberg, another 2019 THS graduate, competed in pole bending, barrel racing and reining cow horse. She was the top finisher in Reining Cow Horse at the state competition. She finished her year as Wisconsin High School Queen at the end of the season in June. She will be attending the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse in the fall. She earned a scholarship from NHSRA.

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Cheyenne Check is from Tomah and will enter her junior year this fall. She competed in pole bending, barrel racing, reining cow horse, cutting, goat tying and breakaway roping. She was a national qualifier in pole bending and reining cow horse.

Coy Nelson is from Tomah and will enter his junior year this fall. His events include tie-down roping, team roping and steer wrestling. He qualified for nationals in all three of the events.

Sierra Steele will be a sophomore this fall at THS. Her events include pole bending and barrel racing. At nationals, she competed in barrel racing.

Krista Cook is an incoming senior at New Lisbon High School. She competes in pole bending, barrel racing, goat tying, and light rifle shooting. She was the state champion in light rifle and finished in the top four for the goat tying competition. At the competition in Rock Springs, she was the only local contestant who made the short-go, which she did in light rifle. After a windy competition, she finished tied for ninth. She’s qualified for Nationals several years in both middle school and high school. This year was her best finish.

NHSRA members compete at state levels for local recognition, and the top four contestants in each event qualify for the National High School Finals Rodeo held annually in July. Over 1,500 contestants from each of the 47 state/province associations compete for national titles, awards and scholarships.

In 2020, the competition will be held in Lincoln, Nebraska.

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Tomah Journal editor

Steve Rundio is editor of the Tomah Journal. Contact him at 608-374-7785.

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