Six Defending Champions Return to National High School Finals Rodeo, July 15-21
State qualifiers to compete in âWorld's largest rodeoâ at Sweetwater Events Complex in Rock Springs, Wyo.
Rock Springs, Wyo. â The National High School Finals Rodeo (NHSFR) at The Sweetwater Events Complex in Rock Springs, Wyo., is just a week away.
More than 1,500 rodeo athletes from 41 U.S. states, five Canadian provinces and Australia will compete in the largest rodeo in the world. Six of the competitors have tasted victory before and are gunning to take home the championship buckles and scholarship prize winnings again in 2012.
Here are the championship competitors to keep an eye on as they defend their 2011 titles at this year's NHSFR. For the complete list of contestants, visit http://www.nhsra.com/2012-NHSFR-Draw.
· McKenna Wagner, All-Around Cowgirl: This cowgirl from Oklahoma won the 2011 All-Around Cowgirl title by competing in the barrel racing, where she earned 10th place and the pole bending, where she took 4th. In 2012, she'll once again compete in barrel racing and pole bending.
· Garrett Smith, All-Around Cowboy: This Rexburg, Idaho, native won the 2011 All-Around title as a first-time qualifier. Smith, the 2012 Idaho All-Around Cowboy, competed in five events at the 2011 NHSFR: bull riding, bareback riding, saddle bronc riding, tie-down roping and steer wrestling. This year, he's back to compete in team roping, bull riding, saddle bronc and boy's cutting.
· Hunter Hightower, Boys Cutting: The reigning Texas High School Rodeo Association cutting champion has his eye set on a repeat performance at this year's NHSFR, where he wants to become a âfour-time champion.â His secret to success? A belief in himself and a positive attitude.
· Brandi Hollenbeck, Breakaway Roper: No stranger to winning at rodeos, Hollenbeck was also the Junior High Division champion breakaway roper in 2010 before she won the event at the high school level in 2011. Look for her to put up a good fight for her title at the 2012 National High School Finals Rodeo.
· Shade Etbauer, Saddle Bronc: This Oklahoma cowboy â the son of two-time world champion bronc rider Robert Etbauer and nephew of two professional cowboys â has rodeo in his blood. Etbauer qualified again for saddle bronc in a tough Oklahoma field of competitors and is looking forward to riding for the championship buckle at the NHSFR.
· Noah Lassa, Steer Wrestling: This senior from Wisconsin has qualified for the NHSFR each year of his high school career. He has his eyes set on professional rodeo after high school â a path his older brothers have already paved.
Tickets for the rodeo are $8 for adults/ $5 for children for the morning performances; $10 for adults/$8 for children at the evening performances; and $15 for adults/$10 for children for the final performance. Season passes are also available and start at $80 for adults and $45 for kids. For a complete schedule of rodeo events, visit http://www.sweetwaterevents.com/Upload/File/2012NHSFR%20ScheduleMay2012Tentative.pdf.
About Sweetwater Events ComplexThe Sweetwater Events Complex boasts a 20,000 square foot exhibition building, a 42,480 square foot agricultural complex and parking for more than 1,000 vehicles. Located just five miles from downtown Rock Springs, Wyo., Sweetwater Events Complex hosts Wyoming's Big Show; horse events and rodeos; moto-cross, BMX and stock car racing; demolition derby; concerts and more.
About National High School Rodeo Association (NHSRA)
The National High School Rodeo Association, Inc. (NHSRA) is headquartered in Denver, Colo. One of the largest youth organizations in the nation, the NHSRA has an annual membership of around 13,000 students grades 6-12 from 41 states, five Canadian provinces and Australia. The teams, on average, consist of the top four in each event. Students qualify for the National High School Finals Rodeo (NHSFR) at their respective state and provincial finals. Many of the NHSFR qualifiers compete in more than one event. The National High School Rodeo Association is governed by National Directors (one representative from each state/provincial association). These volunteer board members are dedicated to the success of the NHSRA and the youth of North America. This group also plans the National High School Finals Rodeo each year.
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Gaylene Ore, Ore Communications, 970-531-2336 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Chad M. Banks, Sweetwater County Events Complex, 307-352-6789 ext. 213 | email@example.com