Photo by Mariah Utter
Bassett cowboy Tanner Stec is the 2013 Steer Wrestling champion.
Photo by Mariah Utter
O'Neill cowboys Brady Wakefield and Riley Wakefield, brothers, are the team roping champions.
Photo by Mariah Utter
Madison Clark of Wellfleet is the 2013-14 Miss Nebraska High School Rodeo Queen.
The books are closed on the 2013 Nebraska State High School Finals Rodeo, held June 20-22 in Hastings at the Adams County Fairgrounds. Champions were crowned, and the top four qualifiers in each event are headed to the National High School Finals Rodeo in Rock Springs, Wyo. July 14-20.
“It’s all your head, and your horses. It’s all mental.” – 2013 Breakaway Roping Champion Brandy Schaack, Hyannis
Brandy Schaack demands much of herself, and it paid off.
The Hyannis cowgirl is the 2013 Breakaway Roping Champion.
She ropes the dummy twice a day: once in the morning, and once in the evening, making and catching with 10 good loops before she quits.
“I’m very particular,” she confessed. The loops “have to be perfect, and I always make my mom or dad come out and watch, and make sure my loops are good. And my last two have to be perfect.”
Her perfection paid off. After a slow fall rodeo season, she was on fire this spring, winning first or second place at ten high school rodeos and entering finals in first place.
And the mental game is a big part of it, too.
“You can’t get down on yourself. You want to stay up. It’s all your head, and your horses,” she said.
She didn’t know where she was ranked before coming to Hastings. “I didn’t even look at the standings. I had a pretty good idea, but I just told myself today, if I’m supposed to win it, I’m supposed to win it.”
She will be a junior at Hyannis High School this fall. She plays volleyball, basketball, runs track, and will be reporter for her FFA chapter this fall. She is the daughter of Chad and K.C. Schaack.
Her older sister Bailey competed at state finals in the pole bending, breakaway, and finished second in the barrel racing, so she will go to Nationals also. Brandy competed in the pole bending in addition to breakaway roping at state finals.
“Keep going after it, keep going.” – 2013 Saddle Bronc Riding Champion Triston Eklund, Valentine
When Valentine cowboy Triston Eklund is in a slump, he has a simple remedy: “keep going after it, keep going, keep your head up.”
The cowboy, a senior this fall at Valentine High School, used his own advice during the 2012-2013 rodeo season. “I had a good year. I had a couple ups and downs, but other than, that it was good. Sometimes I’d get in a slump, and get bucked off a couple horses, but then come back.”
Eklund was the only cowboy among the six bronc riders to ride two of three horses, and the only cowboy to ride his short-go horse.
In addition to rodeo, he plays football and wrestles. A typical Friday night during football season will find him leaving town after the game, heading to the weekend’s high school rodeo.
He is the son of Misti Brown, Valentine, and Jarred Eklund, Lincoln.
“That all-around (title) is pretty coveted in my book.” – 2013 All-Around, Team Roping, and Tie-down Roping Champion Brady Wakefield, O’Neill
Brady Wakefield had a great weekend in Hastings at state finals. The O’Neill cowboy won three titles: the all-around, tie-down roping, and team roping with his younger brother, Riley.
He’s qualified for state finals in all three events three of his four years of high school rodeo, finishing the 2012 rodeo season with Riley as Reserve Champion Team Ropers at the National High School Finals Rodeo, and now the brothers get to return to Rock Springs to try to win the buckle this year.
For Brady, he has a second goal at Nationals: win the National All-Around title. “There’s a kid from Idaho who’s won the all-around the last two years, and this is his senior year, so there’s a target on his back,” Brady said. “I’d really like to win that all-around. The individual titles don’t mean near as much to me as that all-around. That all-around is pretty coveted in my book.”
Competing in more than one event requires a lot of dedication, but that doesn’t bother Brady. “It takes a lot to win one event, let alone two or three. It kinda shows all the hard work you put in. It would be a really cool honor” to win the all-around at Nationals.
The brothers, who are two years apart, get along well while team roping. Brady heads, while Riley heels. “In other events, we’re pretty competitive,” Riley said. “But we always get along in the team roping, because there’s no way we can do good without getting along.” Brady competed at state finals in the steer wrestling but getting a no-time on his steer in the short go-round kept him from Nationals in that event. Riley also competed in the tie-down roping, finishing twelfth, and in the steer wrestling, finishing fifteenth for the season.
Nationals will be the last time the brothers rope competitively in high school rodeo. “It’ll be pretty emotional,” Riley said. Brady will attend Gillette (Wyo.) College this fall, competing at the collegiate level. The boys are the sons of Jim and Susan Wakefield.
Other year end champions crowned include Wyatt Gewinner, Weeping Water, bareback riding; Torie Opela, Stapleton, goat tying; Jayde Atkins, Broken Bow, pole bending; Tanner Stec, Bassett, steer wrestling; Laree Painter, Long Pine, barrel racing; Morgan Hall, Neligh, girls cutting; Seth Cumpton, Lewellen, boys cutting, and Dalton Cunningham, Bloomfield, bull riding.
The Girls All-around winner is Jordan Hagedorn, West Point.
The 2013-2014 Nebraska State High School Rodeo Queen is Madison Clark, Wellfleet.
The complete list of qualifiers for Nationals follows.
(Final results from the 2013 Nebraska State High School Finals Rodeo can be found at www.hsrodeo-nebraska.com.)
1 Seth Cumpton, Lewellen; 2 Chase Rieken, Fullerton; 3 Regan Bader, Palmer, 4 Clay Chittick, Maywood. Alternate Wyatt Bader, Pa
1 Morgan Hall, Neligh; 2 Jayde Atkins, Broken Bow; 3 Charmane Macomber, Whitman; 4 Sydney Bushhousen, St. Libory. Alternate Jordyn Doetker, Wauneta
1 Wyatt Gewinner, Weeping Water; 2 Jaden Clark, Wellfleet; 3 Rowdy Moon, Sargent; 4 Cord Hesseltin, Thedford. Alternate Gage Kraeger, Avoca
1 Torie Opela, Stapleton; 2 Murphy Haun, Mitchell; 3 Sydney O’Daniel, Bennington; 4 Kayellyn Hall, Minatare. Alternate Jordan Hagedorn, West P
1 Brady Wakefield, O’Neill; 2 Cody Nye, Alliance; 3 Ty Spickelmier, Imperial; 4 Tanner Stec, Bassett. Alternate Blayne Bradley, Milburn.
1 Brandy Schaack, Hyannis; 2 Bailey Brown, North Platte; 3 Torie Opela, Stapleton; 4 Madison Haun, Mitchell. Alternate Bailey Dexter, Valentine
Saddle Bronc Riding
1 Triston Eklund, Valentine; 2 Jaden Clark, Wellfleet; 3 Seth Cumpton, Lewellen, 4 Nicholas Stull, Kimball. Alternate Shane Weber, Burwell
1 Jayde Atkins, Broken Bow; 2 Kaylie Haun, Mitchell; 3 Jordan Hagedorn, West Point; 4 Charmayne Strong, Rushville. Alternate Jamie Thomas, Unadilla
1 Tanner Stec, Bassett; 2 A.J. Freeman, Dunning; 3 Kalane Anders, Bayard; 4 Tanner Freeman, Dunning. Alternate Devin Dibbern, Riverdale.
1 Brady Wakefield, O’Neill and Riley Wakefield, O’Neill; 2 Cody Colman, O’Neill and Tom Littell, Elm Creek; 3 A.J. Freeman, Dunning, and Tanner Freeman, Dunning; 4 Blaine Finney, Ainsworth, and Doug Finney, Anselmo. Alternate Cooper White, Hershey and Peyton Holliday, Lincoln.
1 Laree Painter, Long Pine; 2 Bailey Schaack, Hyannis; 3 Jordan Hagedorn, West Point; 4 Kaylie Haun, Mitchell. Alternate Jorden Hollenbeck, Long Pine.
1 Dalton Cunningham, Bloomfield; 2 Tyler Viers, Comstock; 3 Ethan Lesiak, Clarks; 4 Colter Glendy, Oconto. Alternate Ty Wriedt, Norfolk.
All around boy – Brady Wakefield, O’Neill
All around girl – Jordan Hagedorn, West Point