The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

By Jaryd Cline
Sports editor 

Goldendale High School Rodeo Club turns in strong performance at state, seven advance to nationals


John Longfellow

Cassie Kayser works to loop a goat's feet together during the goat tying event on May 20 in Conboy Arena.

The Goldendale High School Rodeo Club had a strong finish to the season at the Washington State High School Rodeo Association State Finals (WSHSRA) in Kennewick from May 25-28 while a handful of cowboys and cowgirls ended the year among the seasonal point leaders in respective events.

The club ended the regular season strong at Conboy Arena in Goldendale from May 18-20 with both junior high and high schoolers competing before wrapping up the season at the Benton County Fairgrounds.

Two cowboys and cowgirls ended the season as champions in one of their events while three more added reserve champion finishes based on their cumulative scores from each of the nine rodeos (including the state finals) throughout the 2017-18 season.

Courtney Tatro ended the year as the WSHSRA champion in the light rifle while Corynn Kayser and partner Brayden Schmidt finished as the top ribbon roping team among all junior high competitors.

Adding reserve champion finishes for Goldendale was Curtis Kayser in team roping, Justin Slater in the saddle bronc and cutting, and Dusty Dodge in the bareback.

The seasonal finishes are based off the competitors' scores from each of the nine rodeos over the season. Rodeos in Coulee City, Othello, Kennewick, and Longview took place in 2017, while an additional rodeo in Coulee City along with Ritzville, Omak, Goldendale, and the state final events took place this spring.

High School cumulative finishes

Tatro finished on top of the field of 10 people in the light rifle with a cumulative score of 869 over three rodeos this spring in Coulee City, Omak, and Goldendale. She was the top shooter in Coulee City (275) and Goldendale (308), and was the only one to finish with a score over 300 in a single rodeo this season.

Tatro also finished runner-up in a tightly contested reigning cow horse event. That event took place over two rodeos in March not connected with the WSHSRA with Tatro coming in second with 64 points and Brandi Chambers finishing first with 69 points.

Last season, Curtis Kayser earned Rookie of the Year honors from the WSHSRA. He followed that up by tying for third place in the tie down roping while also ending the season as the reserve champ in the team roping event.

Kayser teamed up with a familiar face in the roping, joining his cousin Lance Mills to finish second among the 22 teams that competed this season.

Kayser and Mills compiled 318 team points throughout the season, finishing only behind Caleb Berquist and Levi Delamarter (426 team points) in the event.

The sophomore at GHS also tied for third with a cumulative score of 162 in the tie down roping. He tied with Mills, with both finishing behind Delamarter and Berquist, who took first and second respectively.

Kayser's sister, Cassie, who graduated late last week, came away with a third place showing among a packed field in the breakaway roping. She was just one of five cowgirls in the event to finish with over 100 cumulative points.

Kayser finished with a total of 135 points over the nine rodeos this season, trailing just Makenly Davis (195.5) and Kaitlyn Meek (145.5) in the breakaway.

Twice throughout the season, in Longview and in Othello, Kayser had first place marks in the event. Season wide, 42 cowgirls recorded a score in the event.

Slater finished the year runner-up in both the saddle bronc and the cutting events, and came in fifth in team roping with partner Chantz Poplier.

Slater and Brennan Maletzke were the only two to compete season wide in the saddle bronc, and Maletzke just edged out Slater for top honors.

In the event where competitors try and ride a bucking bronco for eight seconds, Maletzke finished the season with 109.5 points with Slater just behind with 100.5. It's one of the tougher events to compete in, with each recording scores in three of the nine rodeos. Slater picked up 10 points for a top finish in Kennewick, took second for nine points in Coulee City, and tied in Ritzville for 9.5 points.

Neither Slater nor Maletzke recorded scores at the finals in Kennewick, but both received bonus points for their efforts. Slater received 72 bonus points with Maletzke getting 80.

Slater also was in the cutting event in three rodeos over the season. He took second over the season behind Tice Hiner, finishing with 46 points to Hiner's 49.

That wasn't it for Slater though. He also recorded a high finish in the team roping, tying for fifth as one of only six teams out of 22 total to record more than 200 cumulative team points.

He and Poplier took fifth with 202 season-wide points, and added a first place finish and 10 points at state in Kennewick in the short go.

Lane Siebert also came away with high finishes in a multitude of events throughout the season, with a third place mark in the team roping, third place showing in the light rifle, and a sixth place finish in the tie down roping.

Siebert partnered with Grady Adams for the third place finish in the team roping, making it three teams in the top five that featured a Goldendale cowboy. Siebert and Adams garnered 296 team points throughout the season, including first place marks in Coulee City and Ritzville, along with the top time during the first go of the state finals.

Siebert also was on target in the light rifle where his year-end total of 816 points placed him third among the 10 shooters that competed throughout the year.

The Goldendale High School junior also finished with a seventh place mark after a consistent season-wide showing in the tie down roping. He accumulated 122 points across the season and picked up points in seven straight rodeos including three top marks and two second place finishes.

Dodge, a freshman at GHS, finished the season second in the bareback after garnering 90.5 points over the course of the year.

Middle school cumulative finishes

Along with the high schoolers, the junior high kids also enjoyed a successful season with many high cumulative finishes led by Corynn Kayser's top finish in the ribbon roping event.

Kayser, along with teammate Brayden Schmidt, bested the competition all season long in the ribbon roping with three top finishes over the regular season and another first place mark in the second go of the state finals.

Kayser and Schmidt finished the year with 469 total points, 54 more than the second place finishing team.

She also added high finishes in the breakaway and goat tying events.

Kayser finished seventh overall in the girls goat tying and had three second place marks season wide in the event including during the home rodeo in Goldendale on May 19.

She also finished seventh season wide in the breakaway while garnering 88 total points.

Kayser was joined in the breakaway by middle school teammate Carly Tatro, who came in third place over the year after having two top finishes and three more runner-up marks during the pre-state finals rodeos.

Tatro had a strong showing in the breakaway at state, taking second in the first go, first in the second go, and taking second overall with a state showing of 109 points, trailing just Amelia Hermann who finished with 127.

Jorgia Bean was another middle schooler who strong and consistent season. She came in sixth for the season out of 17 qualifiers in the pole bending with a seasonal total of 118 points.

Wade Endicott finished in the top half of the field in the boys breakaway roping, garnering five top finishes and two more second place marks during the regular season to finish fourth over the year. He ended competition this year with 137 total points in the event.

Advancing to nationals

Although the spring rodeos and state finals have come and gone, the season isn't quite over for a handful of Goldendale cowboys and cowgirls.

John Longfellow

Curtis Kayser gets ready to release the lasso in the team roping event during the home rodeo in Goldendale.

Seven will make the trip to Rock Springs, Wyoming, for the National High School Finals Rodeo to compete against the best high schoolers and junior high participants in the country. This year's national rodeo kicks off July 15 and runs to July 21.

Cassis and Curtis Kayser along with Justin Slater will be making repeat appearance after all three competed last year in Gillette, Wyoming.

Those three will be back at nationals and joined by teammates Corynn Kayser, Courtney Tatro, Lane Siebert, and Wade Endicott.

Curtis will compete in both the tie down and team roping events while both Cassie and Corynn will see action in the breakaway roping.

Tatro will be slated in the reigning cow horse and shooting events, Slater in the saddle bronc riding, Endicott in the breakaway roping, and Siebert in team roping.


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