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Ready for state - Central Oregonian
June 8, 2012Crook County High School
The final two Oregon High School Rodeo Association rodeos of the regular season are over and several Crook County athletes have positioned themselves to make a run at state championships.
A lot was on the line as cowboys and cowgirls competed over Memorial Day weekend in John Day and last weekend in Molalla. The two rodeos were the last chance to qualify for the Oregon High School State Finals Rodeo, which will be held next week in Prineville.
With just the top 20 individuals in the standings qualifying for the state championships, it was now or never for the competitors — and several local athletes came through with flying colors.
At John Day, McKennan Buckner and Dayton Stafford started things off with a second-place finish in the first go-round of team roping, with a time of 7.06. Stafford came back in the second go round to earn a sixth-place finish in tie down roping with a time of 10.79.
Jessie Loper led cowgirls from Crook County in the first go round, capturing fourth place in goat tying with a time of 8.58. Carly Hibbs finished in fifth place with a time of 8.64 while her sister Courtney wound up ninth with a time of 9.62.
Courtney rebounded to take first place in the second go round with a time of 7.87 seconds, while Carly took second in 7.89 seconds.
The final Crook County athlete to place in John Day was Harly Byrum, who placed in both go rounds of barrel racing. Byrum wound up fifth on day one with a time of 17.950, then dropped to seventh in the second go round with a time of 18.034.
The following weekend in Molalla, the same six Crook County athletes placed.
Buckner tied for fourth place in the first round of boys cutting with a score of 71. On day two, he improved his score to 73, coming away with first place in the go round.
Buckner and Stafford also placed in team roping in the second go round finishing fifth with a time of 10.48.
Meanwhile, Loper finished second in the first go round of goat tying with a time of 8.15. Then she came back in the second go-round with a lightning-fast time of 7.35, to take first place.
Both Hibbs sisters also placed in the first round of goat tying. Carly came away with third place in the event with a time of 8.23, while Courtney would up eighth with a time of 9.85.
Carly added a fourth-place finish in the second go round of breakaway roping with a time of 3.11 seconds.
Going into the state finals, Crook County will be represented by seven athletes.
Loper has been ranked first in the state the entire season in goat tying and should be considered the favorite going into the state championships. However, both Hibbs sisters may have something to say about who wins the championship. Courtney is in second place, just 8.5 points back of Loper, while Carly is sitting in fifth place, 20.5 points back. With double points in the state finals, anything can still happen.
After leading the standings in team roping the entire season, Buckner and Stafford are now in second place, one point behind state leaders T.J. McCauley and Ryan Opie. McCauley and Opie swept both go rounds in Molalla to move to the top of the standings.
Buckner is also in second place in boys cutting, while Stafford has also qualified for the state finals in tie down roping, where he is 13th in the standings.
Harly Byrum is the final athlete from Crook County with a solid chance to win a state championship. Byrum is in third place in barrel racing, 19 points behind leader Callahan Crossley.
Carly Hibbs also qualified for the state finals in pole bending, where she is 14th in the standings. Loper will also probably have a second event at state. With 40 team ropers qualifying for the finals, she finds herself in 41st place in the standings. However her partner Garrett Robinson is in 37th and that should be enough for her to qualify.
The final Crook County athlete to qualify for the state finals is Talia Radabaugh who is 19th in pole bending.
The state finals kick off Wednesday morning when the cutting events are contested at the Willis Ranch in Culver.
Rodeo events start in Prineville Thursday morning, at 10 a.m., when the first go round of all timed events are slated to begin. The rodeo continues through Saturday with the final go round set to begin at noon.