CCHS athlete is only Central Oregon competitor to reach short go at finals

With seven athletes representing Crook County qualified for this year’s National High School Finals Rodeo, including four state champions, it looked like this might be the a big year for Crook County cowboys and cowgirls.

However, when the dust settled last Saturday night following the short go round at Rock Springs, Wyo., just one Crook County athlete placed in the final standings at the rodeo.

Riley Rae Sappington, who won the state all-around title, led the way for Crook County, finishing 17th in the final standings of goat tying. Sappington placed 36th in the first go round of goat tying with a time of 9.15. She improved her time in the second go round, finishing 24th with a time of 8.86. by: LON AUSTIN/CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Riley Sappington makes a goat tying run during the Oregon High School Rodeo Association State Finals, which were held in Prineville in June. Sappington qualified for the national finals where she recently placed 17th in the event. Nationals were held in Rock Springs, Wyo., July 13-19.With just the top 20 qualifying for the short go round looked like Sappington might not reach the finals. However, her consistency paid off and she narrowly qualified for the short go. Once there, she placed 17th in her final run.

Her total time for the three runs was 30.38 seconds. Mia Manzanares of Opelousas, La., won the short go round with a time of 7.42 to vault into first place overall with a three-run time of 23.35.

Sappington, who qualified for nationals in three events, failed to reach the short go round in her remaining two events.

In barrel racing she was 66th in the first go round with a time of 18.21, then knocked over two barrels in her second run finishing in 170th place with a time of 28.14.

Lindsey McLeod, of Whitesboro, Texas, won the event with a three-run total time of 51.719 seconds.

In her final event, Sappington failed to earn a time in the first go round of breakaway roping. With a time of 2.87 seconds, Sappington placed 16th in the second go round, but with no time in the first go it wasn’t enough to make the finals.

Kimmer Severance also competed in breakaway roping, finishing 59th in the first go round with a time of 4.39 seconds, then improving to 38th in the second go round with a time of 3.62 seconds.

Despite the steady performance it wasn’t enough to reach the short go. Mikayla Harrison, of Elk City, Okla., won the event with a three round time of 8.75 seconds.

Severance also competed in girls cutting where she finished 87th in the first go round and did not score in the second.

Sadee Smith, of Star, Idaho, won the event by .5 points over Emma Reinhardt, from Irricana, Alberta, Canada.

State bareback champion Brent Bannon failed to earn a score in the first go round and then placed 36th in the second go with a score of 46. Logan Berg, of Mandan, N.D., won the event with a three round total of 216.

Bull rider Austin Severance, who was second in the Oregon state finals, failed to make a qualified ride at nationals. However, two cowboys with Oregon connections did place. Chase Dougherty, of Woodburn, who won the state title, placed third in the final standings with a score of 147 on two rides. Bobby Vaughan, of Dorris, Calif., who was fourth at the Oregon finals posted a score of 81 in the short go round to vault into first place in the final standings with a score of 160 on two head. Although Vaughan competes in Oregon all year, he counts in the team scoring for California during the national finals.

James Beatty, who won the state championship in light rifle, was the final Crook County athlete to compete at nationals. After scoring 347 points in the state finals, Beatty struggled at nationals, posting a score of just 184 to finish in 74th place. Idaho’s Cooper Champheys won the event with a score of 325.

Two other Crook County athletes, Miranda Mosby, and Talia Radabaugh, also qualified for nationals, but did not compete.

As a team, Oregon also struggled at this year’s finals. The Oregon boys squad finished in 16th place with a score of 1,390, while the girls were 30th with just 210.45 points.

Oklahoma won both the boys and girls championships, scoring 5,124.15 in the boys competition and 3,337.22 in the girls while winning the combined championship with 8,461.38 points. Utah finished second in the girls competition with a score of 3,091.56 while Texas was second in the boys scoring with 4,835 points.

Texas was able to take second in the combined standings with 7,515 points, while Idaho snuck into third with 6,145 points.

Athletes from 41 states, five Canadian Provinces and Australia competed in the event.

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