Fri Jul 30th, 2021
Special to the Drum
Tags: 2021 National High School Rodeo, 73rd Annual NHSFR, Bodie Hine, Brayden Fillmor, Colorado Boys, Gillette Wyoming, Guthrie Oklahoma, Header, Heeler, History, Kendal Pierson, Locals, Maryn Buchanan, National High School Finals Rodeo, Rodeo, Team Texas, Teryn McWhirther, Wiley's Wyatt Wollert
Top ingredients usually make for quite a blend; and if the National High School Finals Rodeo team roping event was a cook-off, any judge would have figured Ignacio’s Bodie Hine and partner Brayden Fillmore of Penrose would definitely have been in the running for top prize.
After all, Fillmore and Wiley’s Wyatt Wollert had paired up to place fifth at last summer’s relocated – from Lincoln, Neb., and the Lancaster Event Center to Guthrie, Okla., and the famed Lazy E Arena – supreme showcase, clocking 26.86 seconds on three attempts, while Hine and Las Cruces, New Mexico’s Bladen Reno totaled 24.98 and finished fourth.
Unfortunately, National Champion status eluded the determined duo.
Initially slated to ride in both the 73rd Annual NHSFR’s first (Sunday night, July 18) and last (Saturday morning, July 24) performances at the LEC prior to the deciding short go-round the night of the 24th, Hine/Fillmore posted only a hard-luck 10.35 in their second try – which would rank 23rd overall (out of 51 pairs recording a time) in Performance No. 12, but the pair did not qualify for the deciding short go, ultimately won in 4.24 seconds by Dadeville, Ala., twins Colton and Wyatt Allen.
Centennial State representatives Colby Runner (Wellington/Severance H.S.) and Joe Autry (Branson) did make the short go and took ninth with a 12.25. Pursuing the definitive event-average title, Runner/Autry would also end up ninth with 29.57/3 figures, while Hine/Fillmore finished 51st (out of 85 pairs overall) via their one qualifying attempt. The Allens would finish fifth (26.49/3), while Missourians Clay Clayman and Cooper Freeman earned top billing with a total time of 19.20 seconds.
That effort would have also conquered in 2020, when Quincy Sullivan of Peralta, N.M., and Santa Fe’s Luis Mendiaz of Santa Fe tallied a triumphant 20.81 – with Sullivan, who headed as Mendiaz heeled, becoming the third female ever to win the event in the Finals’ long and detailed history.
Almost pulling off a repeat, something never yet achieved at Nationals by either an individual or a tandem, Mendiaz and ’21 partner Weslynn Reno – younger sister of Hine’s partner in Guthrie – of Las Cruces ended up placing second in the average, totaling 22.34 seconds on their three successful passes.
Competing in one of the NHSFR’s fastest-moving disciplines, Teryn McWhirter of Ignacio had been scheduled to make both of her guaranteed breakaway-roping attempts mid-week, appearing in both the morning and evening performances Wednesday, July 21.
Unfortunately, only the latter run resulted in a recorded time – a 4.75-second completion well off the pace set by Maryn Buchanan (2.50) of Marana, Ariz. Finishing 12th of 13 entrants logging a time during Performance No. 7, McWhirter would rank 72nd out of 89 during the second go-round, and ultimately 118th (out of 136 total placers) when all the dirt had settled.
Thanks to a winning 2.13 in the short go, Wardlow, Alberta, Canada’s Kendal Pierson would also clinch the average, totaling 7.04 seconds on three (2.60-2.31-2.13) attempts. Coming to Lincoln fresh off tying for sixth place in the event (17.00/3) at the previous week’s International Finals Youth Rodeo in Shawnee, Okla., Claire Vincent (7.30) of Sulphur, La., took second.
As in ’20, Team Texas overwhelmingly captured the co-ed combined crown. Piling up 14,538.33 points, the Lone Star State easily defeated nearest comers Idaho (6,603.33) and Utah (6,600); Colorado ended up 18th with 2,558.33 – a drop from seventh (5,301.78) overall in ’20, when the girls (2,071.78) took ninth and the boys (3,230) seventh.
In ’21, Colorado’s boys accumulated an 18th-place 1,303.33 points and the 17th-place girls 1,255 even. By comparison, Texas’ girls racked up 6,495.83 points (Wyoming was second with 3,085) and the boys 8,042.50 (Idaho followed with 4,080).
Next summer’s Nationals are set for July 17-23, 2022, in Gillette, Wyo., and are slated to revisit Lincoln in 2026 and ’27.