Rodeo team finishes fall season strong, prepare for spring

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Ian Duzik, left, and his cousin, Taylor, chase after a calf during the dally team roping event of the Moffat County High School & Junior High Rodeo event Sunday at the Moffat County Fairgrounds. The event was the last rodeo for the high school competitors for the fall season.

Results

Standings and times for local competitors at Saturday and Sunday’s Moffat County High School & Junior High Rodeo:

High school, Saturday results

Name Place Time

• Breakaway roping

Taylor Duzik 9 12.62

• Team roping

Casey Barnes 4 (team) 16.02

• Pole bending

Gabbi Steele 5 21.74

Taylor Duzik 9 23.36

• Tie Down roping

Casey Barnes 10 15.05

Ian Duzik 15 26.75

High school, Sunday results

•Team roping

Wyatt Uptain 1 (team) 13.83

• Pole bending

Gabbi Steele 10 26.671

• Tie down roping

Casey Barnes 5 11.99

Ian Duzik 7 17.05

Middle school, Saturday results

• Boys goat tying

Cutter Barnes 6 12.47

Dusty Taylor 8 13.38

Trent Vernon 10 22.35

• Ribbon roping

Dusty Taylor 3 (team) 18.88

Trent Vernon 4 (team) 19.09

• Team roping

Cutter Barnes 1 (team) 14.81

Trent Vernon 1 (team) 14.81

Middle school, Sunday results

• Boys breakaway

Trent Vernon 2 2.99

Garrett Uptain 6 4.53

• Boys goat tying

Trent Vernon 3 11.88

Dusty Taylor 4 12.26

Cutter Barnes 8 13.20

• Ribbon roping

Taylor Denton 1 (team) 9.65

• Team roping

Garrett Uptain 3 (team) 17.06

Cutter Barnes 4 (team) 17.33

Trent Vernon 4 (team) 17.33

Waiting for his name to be called while in the corral leading to the arena of the Moffat County Fairgrounds, Ian Duzik cheered on all competitors as they roped calves and rode bulls.

Duzik said the people involved in the rodeo support each other, regardless of teams. And, being at his home meet, he wanted to be a courteous host.

Duzik was one of about a dozen local rodeo participants who finished out the sport’s fall season at the Moffat County High School & Junior High Rodeo. The teams, made up of competitors from Craig Middle School and MCHS, competed strongly, with each participant placing in the top 10 in at least one event.

“I think we did excellent today,” rodeo sponsor Janice Edwards said. “I think this was one of the best this fall.”

The meet was the fourth and final one for the season, following rodeos in Montezuma-Cortez, Gunnison and Hotchkiss.

“The kids are used to traveling, but it always helps to be close to home,” Edwards said.

The high school and middle school teams both performed well in events including pole bending, goat tying, breakaway roping and more.

Events like ribbon roping and team roping involved participants lending their skills to people from other teams in some instances, though seventh-graders Cutter Barnes and Trent Vernon’s stayed paired together for the team roping events, taking first place on Saturday and fourth on Sunday.

“I’ve been doing rodeo all my life,” Barnes said. “It’s an adrenaline rush.”

Barnes said he and Vernon, both of Maybell, did well throughout the weekend, though Vernon said he would have liked to have been able to be in the bull riding competition.

“It’s my favorite, and I haven’t gotten to do too much of it this year,” he said.

Vernon said he wanted to be able to perfect his time in his events over the winter.

“Most of these kids will keep doing Little Britches Rodeo in the winter, and then we’ll start back up in the spring,” Edwards said. “We’ll get some practice and come back even stronger.”

Edwards said it was too soon to tell how the team would place for the rodeo finals in June.

“It’s been a good season, and they’ll keep working hard,” she said. “We’ve got a much younger team this year because we don’t have any seniors.”

MCHS juniors Duzik and Gabbi Steele led the high school portion of the team, along with top 10 finishes from sophomore Garrett Uptain, freshman Casey Barnes and Duzik’s cousin, sophomore Taylor Duzik.

“This is the first year I’ve done this on the high school team,” Taylor said. “I’ve done rodeo for eight years, but this is the big kid rodeo.”

Ian and Taylor competed in team roping without placing, though the two did better individually, posting strong times in events like tie down roping and pole bending.

“I’ve improved a lot since last year,” Ian said. “I just haven’t been doing any stupid stuff out there.”

Ian said his love for the rodeo is in the atmosphere that comes from the event.

“The people out here are wonderful,” he said. “We all help each other any way we can.”

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