Sioux County’s Leif Meidell covered his saddle bronc horses in all three rounds of the National High School Rodeo Finals in Gillette, Wyo, and finished 4th in the final standings.
Meidell started his stand with a 66 in round one, which tied him for 20th with James Perrin of Saskatchewan, Canada.
He made a statement on horse number two with an 81-point ride that put him in second place in the round behind Mitchie Story of Aztec, New Mexico, who posted an 84.
A re-ride in the short-go set Meidell up for an eventual score of 74.5. The score placed him fourth in the round and secured his fourth-place finish in the average with an aggregate score of 221.5, just seven and a half points out of first place. Statler Wright of Beaver, Utah, was named World Champion with a 229.
Meidell also picked up $1,686.14 in jackpot winnings over the course of the finals.
Nebraska’s men’s team finished 5th overall with 3,204.28 points behind Steer Wrestling Champion Coy Johnston of Stapleton. Johnston was 4th in the final round, but that was enough to jump him into the title.
Nebraska had 2 other top 10 finishers. Bo Bashhouser of St Libory was 7th in Boys Cutting with Sid Miller of Merna 8th in Tie Down Roping. Carter Anderson of Merriman just missed, ending 11th in Tie Down.
Utah won the men’s team title with 5,565 points while Texas won the women’s title with 6,600 points. The Nebraska’s women were 28th with 438.57 points.
Wyoming was 2nd in the women’s standings with 4,338.03 points behind All-Around Cowgirl winner Rayne Grant of Wheatland. Grant was the Pole Bending champion, placed 2nd in Barrel Racing, and 11th in Goat Tying.
The highest individual event finish for Ashlyn Goven of Rozet was 10th in Barrels, but her overall performance placed her 6th in the All-Around standings.
Kaeley Hutchison of Rozet was 5th in Breakaway Roping while hometown girl RaeLee Caldwell of Gillette and Tavy Leno of Sheridan were 4th and 5th in Goat Tying.
The Wyoming boys placed 3rd with 3,743.33 points. Broc Schwartzkopf of Douglas was 6th in Reined Cow Horse, Roedy Farrell of Thermopolis was 7th in Bareback Riding, and the Team Roping duo of Jade Espenscheid of Big Piney and Cord Herring of Veteran was 6th.
The South Dakota boys were a spot behind Nebraska in 6th with 3,080.00 points. Thayne Elshere of Hereford led the way with a 2nd-place finish in Saddle Broncs, Jesty Woodward of Custer tied for 4th, and Mason Moody of Letcher was 8th in Bull Riding.
The South Dakota girls placed placed 7th with 2,228.75 points. Isabel Risse of Martin and Jaysee Jors of Hawes had the top finishes, placing 3rd and 8th respectively, in Goat Tying,