Leading ladies earn top spots for rodeo team

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Going into each high school rodeo, Moffat County freshman Becky White said she doesn't think too much about the overall point standings in the state. But the top-ranked rookie along with her sister, Kelly, and teammate Tia Brannan make it so others think about it.

The three from Craig are currently ranked in the top five for cumulative points in the state, with Brannon in third with 76 points, Kelly White fourth with 73 and Becky White in fourth with 72.

"All three have really been accumulating points the last couple of rodeos," said coach Denette Webber.

"Having them all in the top five is impressive for one team."

While there aren't team scores in the Colorado State High School Rodeo Association, the location of "Craig" shows up often on the final scorecard.

This weekend in Rifle it was much of the same as Becky finished third in barrel racing on the first day and second and fourth in pole bending and barrels respectively on the second day. Kelly took the team's only first place with the best time in the pole bending on Saturday. Brannan placed in the most events with four; eighth in breakaway roping, 10th in goat tying, fourth in barrel racing the first day and an eighth-place finish in goat tying on Sunday.

"This was a pretty good weekend for me," Becky White said. "It was nice to have more people here to compete with."

The top-three girls were joined by more riders from MCHS this weekend because the rodeo was in Rifle, the closest location for a rodeo in the spring. Twenty of the 23 members came to test their roping and racing abilities. Webber said in the spring the team had been averaging 18 members.

The increased number of participants also yielded more placers for the team. There were 14 top-10 finishes for Moffat County, with the best team showing in the first day's barrel racing. MCHS had four finish in the top 10 with Sarah Fleming in ninth place and Chelsey Schnackenberg's in 10th, along with the aforementioned finishes of White and Brannan.

Fleming also finished 10th in pole bending Sunday.

Tori and Shayne Zimmerman placed as well with Tori finishing 10th in pole bending Saturday and Shayne earning a ninth-place finish on Sunday in calf roping.

In calf roping, Luke Wilson followed Zimmerman on Sunday and roped his calf as he had done every time this springs but his overall time still wasn't what he wanted.

"My dismount was slow and I didn't get down to tie him fast enough," he said.

"I've done a good job of getting them roped, I haven't been quick enough to place."

With rain mixed with snow on Saturday, the rodeo dragged on until 11:30 p.m. because the events were all run in the indoor arena instead of both the outdoor and indoor venues. Except for the longer day, it didn't make much of a difference for the competitors.

"The soil isn't as deep indoors and the length of some of the runs is shorter," White said.

"But it's not really that noticeable."

"It doesn't realy make a differnce," Wilson said.

The MCHS team will hope for better weather as it travels to Westcliffe next this weekend. The CSHSRA final will be June 17-21 at Larimar Fairgrounds in Denver.

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