Madison Rau to race barrels at national finals
By Jay Davis
Mobridge-Pollock freshman Madison Rau is headed to the National High School Finals Rodeo.
Rau earned her berth on the South Dakota national team as a barrel racer. She had a strong showing at the South Dakota High School Finals Rodeo in Belle Fourche over the weekend.
Rau, and horse Piper, raced to sixth in the first go, second in the second go and eighth in the short go. Her average of 52.937 seconds put her in third place for the rodeo and in third place for points accumulated during the season.
Rau will be joined on the barrel racing squad by state champion Taylor Engesser of Spearfish, Jorry Lammers of West Central (Hartford) and Laura O’Leary of Timber Lake.
O’Leary used a seventh-place finish in the first go and a ninth-place finish in the second go to finish fourth and earn her trip to the national finals rodeo.
The barrel racers will not be alone, as seven more area athletes (including three state champions) will join the national team.
Jordan Bickel of Trail City and Timber Lake High School is the new South Dakota pole bending champion. Bickel came into the finals with a four-point lead in the season standings. After taking fourth in the first go and sixth in the second go, she held on and finished two points ahead of runner up Mazee Pauley of Wall.
Jana Hunt of Dupree and Sunshine Bible Academy will join Bickel after finishing tied for third with Bailey Moody of Sanborn Central (Letcher). Hunt used a second-place finish in the second go and a fourth in the short go to hold her spot and make the national team.
Nolan Hall of Timber Lake heads to nationals as the state bull riding champ. Taking third in the first go and tying for third in the second go was more than enough to ensure his state title. The bull riding team will have an area flavor as he will be joined by Timber Lake teammate Jake Frazier of White Horse and Dayton Spiel of Dupree (Parade). Frazier finished second in the standings after taking second in the second go. Winning the first go pushed Spiel into the top four and onto the team. Casey Heninger of Stanley County rounds out the bull riding squad.
Cassy Woodward missed her first calf at the finals, but secured the next two to win the state breakaway roping title. Woodward finished second in the second go and second in the short go. The state champ will be joined by Syerra “C.Y.” Christensen of Lyman (Kennebec), Alyssa Lockhart of Hot Springs (Oelrichs) and Brooke Howell of Belle Fourche at nationals.
Kash Deal cashed in with a win in the first go and a third in the second go to finish second in saddle bronc riding. His 71-point ride in the first go was the highest score in the rodeo. Deal will be joined at nationals by state champ Jordan Hunt of Rapid City Christian (Faith), Tayte Clark of Sunshine Bible Academy (Meadow) and Teal Schmidt of Sturgis.
Not all finals success is measured by making the national team.
Rau added an eighth-place finish in the first go of pole bending. O’Leary finished ninth in the same go. Woodward finished 11th in the first go of barrel racing.
Mobridge-Pollock graduated senior Pearson Wientjes placed 12th in the first go and eighth in the short go of tie-down roping.
Kailee Webb of Isabel and Timber Lake High School tied for second in the second go and took 11th in the first go of girls’ cutting. She also placed 13th in the first go and third in the short go of barrel racing and took fifth in the second go of pole bending.
Sloan Anderson of Timber Lake (White Horse) teamed with Nolan Hall for 15th in the first go and 10th in the second go of team roping.
Jett Peterson of Timber Lake placed 15th in the first go, tied for fifth in the second go and took seventh in the short go of boys’ cutting.
Jaden Maier of Bowdle took third in the second go of saddle bronc riding, while taking eighth in the first go and tying for 13th in the second go of boys’ cutting.
The South Dakota team will compete at the National High School Finals Rodeo in Rock Springs, Wyo., July 14 through 20.
The rest of the South Dakota team is: Bareback riding- Shane O’Connell, Rapid City Central, Trig Clark, Sunshine Bible Academy (Meadow), Tayte Clark and J.D. Anderson, Hill City; boys’ cutting- Treg Schaack, Edgemont, Josh Hunt, Rapid City Christian (Faith), Jade Crago, Belle Fourche and True Buchholz, Kadoka Area; goat tying- Carlee Johnston, Wall (Elm Springs), Cedar Jandreau, Lyman (Kennebec), Mazee Pauley and Rickie Engesser, Spearfish; girls’ cutting- Erin Kenzy Gregory (Iona), Taylor Bothwell, Pierre, Jessica Ryan, Belle Fourche and Katie Lensegrav, Kadoka Area (Interior); steer wrestling- Cameron Fanning, Parkston (Olivet), Andy Nelson, Spearfish, Tyler Gaer, Newell and Jake Fulton, Valentine, Neb.; team roping- Tyler Gaer and Carson Musick, Pierre, Treg Schaack and Levi Lord, Sturgis, Taylor Tupper, Belle Fourche (St. Onge) and Cyler Dowling, Newell, and Dalton Fischer, Viborg-Hurley (Centerville) and Matt Nelson, Colman-Egan.