Local athletes set for National High School Finals Rodeo

The National High School Finals Rodeo is set for July 17 to July 23 in Gillette Wyoming.
Thursday, July 14th 2022, 11:52 AM MDT

SCOTTSBLUFF, Neb. (KNEP) - The National High School Finals Rodeo is set for July 17 to July 23 in Gillette Wyoming. The event is billed as the largest outdoor rodeo in the world with over 1,600 contestants.

Locally thanks to top four finishes at state six athletes from Western Nebraska will compete in national competition.

Scottsbluff’s Tate Talkington will compete in Reined Cow Horse.

Harrisburg’s Wyatt Reichenberg and Gering’s Taydon Gorsuch will both compete in Steer Wrestling. Gorsuch very familiar with the event as his father Dean is former world champion and hall of famer in steer wrestling.

Harrison’s Leif Meidell and Minatare’s Roady Marsh to compete in Saddle Bronc.

While Hyannis cowgirl Ashlyn Henderson will compete in four events Goat Tying, Breakaway, Reined Cow Horse, and Team Roping.

Leading the Wyoming list is defending national goat tying champion Haiden Thompson. The Yoder native will not only compete in Goat Tying, and also compete in Breakaway, Reined Cow Horse, and Team Roping.

Yoder’s Cord Herring will compete in both Team Roping and Tie Down Roping.

Huntley’s Baliegh Lane will compete in Girls Cutting.

Torrington’s Sid Petersen and Yoder’s Kyler Clark will compete together in Team Roping.

Johnston heads to Gillette to compete for a Steer Wrestling National Title

Stapleton Steer Wrestler, Coy Johnston, recently won the Steer Wrestling Contest at the Nebraska High School Finals Rodeo. The Newly crowned State Champion took the title over from his good friend and fellow Stapleton Steer Wrestler, Dane Pokorny.

Going into the State Finals, Johnston was in second place right behind Pokorny. Both cowboys knew that it would come down to whoever had the best rides at state to determine who would take home the state title. And after coming in second to Pokorny the season prior, Johnston was determined to make this his year.

“Last year I won second and I really wanted to win first this year. So, I was really making sure I did everything right or trying to,” says Johnston.

While the contest was being conducted, Johnston and Pokorny continued to cheer each other on as normal, but after good runs by each cowboy, it was Johnston who walked away with the State title.

“Right away it really didn’t hit me because I didn’t think I had won it, but after it finally hit me it felt pretty good,” explains Johnston.

This won’t be Johnston’s first time attending the National Finals Rodeo. He attended last year and while things didn’t exactly go as planned he’s hoping to chance that his year. During this year he’s hoping to keep his win streak going and not only have a State Title to his name but a National one as well.

Both Johnston and Pokorny will be attending the Finals in Gillette and according to Johnston he now considers them to be “on the same team.” Both cowboys are just looking to represent their state the best they can while at the National Finals.

“Because it’s everywhere from every state people. Now we’re kind of on the same team. We’re gonna help each other out and drive each other to be the best,” says Johnston.