MCHS rodeo team saddles up for state

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A few days before she left for her third Colorado State High School Rodeo Association state rodeo, Moffat County High School junior Rebecca Runyan was undecided on the best part of the five-day event.

"It's hard to say what's the best part," she said. "Of course there's the competition, but there are so many other activities for us to enjoy."

Last year's rodeo competition was a memorable one for Runyan as she finished fourth in the overall average for pole bending.

"I hope to finish better this year," she said. "But fourth is pretty

good."

Runyan is one of 10 MCHS rodeo team members competing in 24 events who checked in for the rodeo today at the Larimer County Fairgrounds in Loveland.

Other cowgirls competing are Tia Brannan, Kendel Fawcett, Nicole Keen, Chelsey Schnackenberg, Kristin Webber, Becky White, Kelly White and Tori Zimmerman.

Shayne Zimmerman is the lone cowboy at the rodeo from Moffat County.

Check-in for each team is today and roping and riding starts Wednesday. There will be two rounds each day until Friday.

After Friday, points will be tabulated and the top 15 scorers in each of the 10 events will move on to the short go Saturday.

Once the short go is completed, the points from state will be added to the points from the regular season rodeos and the top four in each event will qualify for the national rodeo in Farmington, N.M. Fifth-

through ninth-place finishers qualify for the Silver State rodeo in Reno, Nev.

The MCHS team will have a full roster in barrel racing will all but Runyan racing. Schnackenberg, Brannan, Becky White, Kelly White and Fawcett are ranked in the top 20 in the event.

Becky White is the highest-ranked rider for MCHS in the overall standings in seventh place. She is attempting to be the third consecutive freshman to qualify for the national rodeo after her sister Kelly and Brannan went in their first high school seasons in 2001 and 2003 respectively.

While the events are the main focus of the rodeo, the entertainment on the sides also is an aspect that provides incentive to attend.

With 28 rodeos throughout the school year, friends are made from other places and the final rodeo is a chance to hang out for one last time.

"It is kind of a farewell with everybody," Runyan said. "There's a lot of time to hang out with your friends and just enjoy the week."

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