Although they were once considered long shots to make nationals, Culver High team ropers Coy Aldrich and Chase Buchanan proved otherwise.
The duo conquered the OHSRA finals rodeo in Prineville to qualify for the NHSRA finals in Gillette, Wyoming, July 16-23.
Once at nationals, the duo bounced back from a no score July 18 in the first round when they clocked a time 6.52 seconds in the second go-round July 20.
They owned the best time in their Thursday heat between 11 teams, and the third-best time of all competitors in the second go-round.
The no score prevented them from reaching the finals, but with their scores averaged, Aldrich and Buchanan ranked 30th out of 93 teams from high schools throughout the United States and Canada.
The roping team of Aldrich and Buchanan, who are first cousins, came to fruition late last year in the aftermath of a tragedy.
Two rodeos into the season Aldrich's former partner, John Barry Rose, was killed in a single vehicle rollover crash last November between Crane and Burns.
Aldrich was devastated by losing his partner and best friend, but pressed on with Buchanan.
"I know I have to do my best for him," Aldrich told the Gillette News Record. "He was never nervous. It didn't matter what rodeo we were at, it was just another rodeo. We learned to be that way together."
As both are still underclassmen, Aldrich and Buchanan will have a couple more years to build on the experience of competing at nationals.
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