Routt, Moffat County rodeo riders take huge honors at national finals
Northwest Colorado athletes are coming back from the National High School Finals Rodeo with some heavy honors.
The weeklong event from July 14 to 20 in Rock Springs, Wyoming went well for competitors from Moffat and Routt counties, two of whom captured world championships.
Hayden’s Keenan Hayes took the title in bareback riding, and Yampa’s Jace Logan did the same in steer wrestling.
After earning sixth place in the first go round, Hayes earned third in the second round before winning the short go, amassing 232 points to win the aggregate.
Though he didn’t place in the top six for the first go, Logan took fifth place in the subsequent round to send him to the short go, which he won outright, with a total score of 15.18 seconds across the week to win the big one.
While he was out of the rankings in most rounds of tie-down roping, Logan also earned second place in the event’s short go, which helped him take All-Around Cowboy with a total 1,120 points.
Craig’s Kinlie Brennise, who took a state title in May in breakaway roping, finished fourth overall in barrel racing.
Besides a sixth-place finish in the second go, Brennise had her best time of the week in Saturday’s short round, ranked sixth at a time of 17.227, her combined time 52.315 keeping her high in the final aggregate totals.
While Hayes will be moving into his junior year at Hayden, Logan and Brennise will be going onto college-level rodeo at University of Wyoming and Texas’s Weatherford College, respectively.
Brennise, who also competed at the International Finals Youth Rodeo in Shawnee, Oklahoma, a week earlier, said she was inspired to go all out at her final high school event.
“It just started a fire within me to get me excited for the next level,” she said. “My horses are feeling good and my roping has been solid lately, so I’m ready. I’ve been really blessed to have horses to get me where I am today and thankful for my parents to have hauled me everywhere.”
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For the first time in 18 months, the Moffat County High School auditorium will fill with music and singing from students, as the school performs MCHS’s musical, “Beauty and the Beast.”