After the Wednesday morning session, awards were handed out for top 10 finishes for the first round of events (Sunday evening through Wednesday morning) at the National High School Finals Rodeo, with several Nebraskans getting awards.
In tie-down roping, Matthew Miller from Callaway finished first and Trace Travnicek from Minatare was ninth. Travnicek will attend Eastern Wyoming on a rodeo scholarship.
In boys cutting, Cody Miller from Broken Bow (Anselmo-Merna high school) finished 10th.
In pole bending, Madison Mills from Eddyville finished eighth.
In goat tying, Jessica Stevens from Creighton placed fourth.
In reined cow horse, Tatum Olson from Bloomfield finished third.
In saddle bronc, Brody McAbee from Ansley was eighth and Dean Schroder from Taylor 10th.
They’ll each compete again later in the week in hopes of qualifying for the finals on Saturday.
Announcers enhance experience: The rodeo provides a good fan experience. From the covered grandstand, there are two arenas visible, so there is almost always something to watch.
There also are video boards that have replays just moments after a ride ended. The arena announcers do a good job of telling spectators who the competitors are and what states they come from, and put extra emphasis on letting the crowd know when a Nebraska cowboy or cowgirl is coming up next. The announcers also share background on some of the athletes — one was an all-state quarterback — and where they rank in the event standings.
The announcers also provide some analysis on what went right, or wrong, for the competitors in the team roping event.
Some of the largest cheering sections are for athletes from New Mexico (they’ve got the cowbells) and Washington.
Performances last about three hours: For those looking to attend a session of the rodeo, the morning performance went from 9 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. on Wednesday. The evening performances begin at 7 p.m.
— Brent C. Wagner