The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

By Jaryd Cline
Sports editor 

Five high school rodeo members head to nationals in Wyoming


JJ Furlong

Cassie Kayser is making her second straight trip to the NHSFR and will compete in the breakaway roping.

Three members of the Goldendale High School Rodeo Club are making return trips to the National High School Finals Rodeo (NHSFR) and will be joined by two more local competitors next week in Rock Springs, Wyoming.

Cassie and Curtis Kayser, along with Justin Slater, return to the NHSFR while rodeo club teammates Courtney Tatro and Lane Siebert will make their debut at the world's largest rodeo.

Kicking off Sunday and running until July 21, the five Goldendale/Centerville participants will have their hands full all week while not only preparing and competing for their events, but with many of the other activities scheduled throughout the week.

Each participant will have a first and second go in each of their events, and after their two turns, the top 20 times/scores in each event will advance to the final round. All finals events will take place on July 21.

Cassie Kayser

Kayser is making her second straight trip to the NHSFR after competing last year in the cutting event, but will compete in a different event, the breakaway roping, this year.

She ended her last year in high school as the No. 9 finisher among all Washington state girls in the all-around after competing season wide in the breakaway roping, goat tying, and barrel racing with the breakaway being her best event.

She finished third at the state championships in the breakaway and also finished third season wide combining the scores from each rodeo and the state finals. Kayser added top finishes in the event at rodeos in Longview and Othello in the regular season and added a third place mark with 86 total points in the event at the state finals.

She will be among five breakaway ropers from Washington at the NHSFR and will compete in her first go on Monday morning, with her second go set for Friday the 20 in the afternoon.

Kayser also will be busy outside the arena and has spent the last year as the NHSRA Vice President.

Curtis Kayser

Last year, Curtis Kayser debuted at the NHSFR competing in the tie down roping, finishing in the top 40 among close to 200 competitors in the event.

He will be back to participate again in the tie down roping, while also joining Lance Mills to compete together in the team roping after the two captured the state title in the event.

Back in late May, Kayser and Mills finished first among the 13 teams competing at the state finals in the team roping, and the cousins will get another chance to compete together among the best competition in the world.

Kayser and Mills are up with their first go in the team roping the morning of July 18 (Wed.), with their second go that same afternoon.

In the tie down roping, Kayser will get his first go in on Monday morning, with his second go set for Friday, July 20 in the afternoon.

Throughout the season in the tie down, Kayser finished in a tie for third (with Mills) among more than 20 competitors in the event with two first place marks and four more second place finishes.

After finishing as last year's all-around rookie cowboy among Washington state riders, Kayser finished in a tie for fourth (with Mills) in this year's all-around with a pair of Goldendale cowboys finishing just a few spots back.

Courtney Tatro

Tatro has qualified for the NHSFR for the past couple of years and this will be the first time making the trip to nationals.

After a season that saw her finish 28th out of 72 cowgirls in the all-around, although her rifle scores weren't counted, Tatro will advance to nationals in a pair of events, the reined cow horse and light rifle events.

Over the season, Tatro finished second in the reined cow horse by just five points, compiling 64 points from two rodeos in Eugene and Ellensburg. At the state finals in Ellensburg on March 17 and 18, she was runner-up in both runs in the reined cow horse, finishing only behind Brandi Chambers.

Reined cow horse is an event where horses are asked to work a single live cow in an arena, performing specific maneuvers that include circling the cow, turning it in a specified manner, and performing a reining pattern.

Tatro, Chambers, and two other Washington cowgirls will compete in the event among the rest of the country in Wyoming. Tatro is first up Sunday afternoon for her first go and is back in the arena July 20 (Fri.) for her second go.

Tatro had a lot of success over the season in her other event she will be competing in at nationals, the light rifle. She finished ahead of the field in all three rodeos in which she competed this season (Coulee City, Omak, and Goldendale) and her 869 total points was nearly 30 points more than the runner-up shooter.

She will be competing in the event on Tuesday.

Lane Siebert

Siebert, who just finished up his junior year at GHS, will make the trek to nationals for the first time after he and partner Grady Adams finished third among all groups in the team roping.

Along with the team roping, Siebert also will be competing in the light rifle after finishing third out of 10 shooters throughout the season.

Siebert and Adams had a strong and consistent run in the team roping over the season, capped with top marks at rodeos in Coulee City, Ritzville, and in the first go at the state finals in Kennewick.

The pair went on to finish fourth at state and third overall with the regular season and state scores combined. They will be up for their first go on Sunday night with their second go set for July 21 (Sat.) in the morning.

Siebert also will be one of two attending from Klickitat County, along with Courtney Tatro, that will be competing in a shooting event. Siebert will be up on Tuesday at 10 a.m. in the light rifle.

Justin Slater

Goldendale High School junior Justin Slater will be making his second straight trip to the NHSFR and will compete in the saddle bronc riding after finishing the rodeo season as the reserve champion in the event. Slater also ended the regular season rodeos as the reserve cutting champ and finished fifth place out of over 20 teams in the team roping along with partner Chantz Poplier.

He ended up finishing as the No. 8 cowboy in the Washington state all-around standings.

This season in the saddle bronc, Slater recorded scores during three rodeos including a top mark in Kennewick while also sharing top honors in Ritzville with Brennan Maletzke.

He is up for his first go at the NHSFR in the saddle bronc in the morning on the 18th, with his second go taking place that afternoon.

Slater competed in the cutting event at last year's NHSFR.

More national info

JJ Furlong

Curtis Kayser is making a repeat appearance at the NHSFR and will run in both the tie down and team roping events.

Featuring more than 1,650 contestants from 43 states, five Canadian Provinces, Australia, and Mexico, the NHSFR is the world's largest rodeo. In addition to competing for more than $200,000 in prizes, NHSFR contestants will also be competing for more than $350,000 in college scholarships and the chance to be named an NHSFR World Champion. To earn this title, contestants must finish in the top 20 – based on their combined times/scores in the first two rounds – to advance to Saturday evening's final round. World champions will then be determined based on their three-round combined times/scores.

Again, this year, the Saturday championship performance will be televised nationally as a part of the Cinch Highschool Rodeo Tour telecast series on RFD-TV. Live broadcasts of each NHSFR performance will air online at Performance times are 7 p.m. on July 15, and 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. each day thereafter.


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