WINNEMUCCA – Cowboy poet Waddie Mitchell has written, rehearsed, recited and released a seemingly-endless list of poems.
His granddaughter is a hand in the rodeo arena.
Wylee Mitchell, the daughter of former bareback rider and current custom-hat maker Chaz Mitchell, finished the Nevada Junior High School Rodeo season with a reserve All-Around Cowgirl award – often displaying poetry in motion.
While she did not take the top spot in the All-Around standings – finishing second to Tayler Felton’s 1,258 points while mounting 1,172 of her own – Mitchell slammed the door on three individual state championships and tallied a national qualification in another event, missing out on a fifth berth to nationals by one spot.
Competing out of Lincoln County, Mitchell won state titles in the barrel racing, breakaway roping and ribbon roping.
In the barrels, Mitchell won two of the three rounds of the state finals Friday and Saturday in Winnemucca – earning the Ws on her first and third runs – posting a time of 18.201 in round one and claiming the victory in the short-go with the fastest time of the rodeo in a blazing 17.596 seconds.
She finished fourth in the second round in 18.367 seconds, winning the average with a three-run total of 54.164 seconds.
For the season, she topped the year-end standings with 245.5 points, finishing 19 points ahead of Douglas-Carson cowgirl McKenzie Raper’s total of 226.5 points.
Girls breakaway roping
Mitchell got off to another fast start in the breakaway, winning the first round with a time of 3.39 seconds.
She roped her second calf in 3.19 seconds – her fastest run of the rodeo – placing second in the go-round.
In the final round, she stopped the clock in 8.82 seconds, placing seventh in the round and second in the average with a three-head time of 15.4 seconds.
Mitchell racked up 237.25 points in the event for the year, closing 19.75 points ahead of runner-up Felton.
Competing with Reno McGill in the ribbon roping, Mitchell went from riding fast animals to running quickly on her own legs.
With McGill doing the roping, Mitchell took the ribbon from the calves’ tails and ran across line three times.
The team placed second in the final round in 8.76 seconds, second in the average with a total of 36.76 seconds on three runs, third in the first go with a 12.94-second run and fifth in round two with a time of 15.06 seconds.
Closing the year with 238 points apiece, Mitchell and McGill opened a 19-point advantage over Tayler Felton and Zane Felton.
Mitchell, heading for partner Desi Coombs of Battle Mountain, took two no-times to start the state finals.
In crunch time, the girls came up money.
In the final round, Mitchell spun a steer quickly and Coombs wheeled the back legs, clocking the fastest time of the rodeo and facing up in 8.15 seconds for the win.
They finished fifth in the average on one qualified run but ranked third in the year-end standings with 200 points apiece.
Partners turned competitors; Coombs gained the upper hand in fending Mitchell off from her fifth trip to the national finals.
Coombs finished in the fourth and final position to qualify for nationals, posting a total of 203.5 points to Mitchell’s mark of 195.75.
In the second round, Coombs posted a time of 9.5 seconds for second place – Mitchell winning third in the first round with a time of 9.45.
A 9.47 by Coombs on her first run placed fifth, and Mitchell took fifth in the short-go in 10.55 seconds.
Splitting hairs, Coombs finished 10th in the final round with a time of 11.910 – Mitchell going 11.99 on her second run for eighth place.
In the average, Coombs ranked fourth with a three-head time of 30.88 seconds, Mitchell finishing fifth in 31.99 seconds.
Each entering the state finals with the maximum of 120 points and part of a nine-way tie for first place, Coombs edged Mitchell by 7.75 points at state.
Several contestants with local ties locked up state titles and numerous qualifications to the national finals.
Entering the state finals, the boys could either compete in the breakaway roping or the tie-down roping, not both.
Jiggs cowboy Riley Roderick elected to tie calves rather than simply rope them, winning a state championship.
His only competitor was Josh Dobbins of Las Vegas.
Dobbins won the first round with a time of 26.11 seconds, but he took no-times on his final two runs of the state finals.
Roderick stopped the clock in all three rounds, winning the final two.
His fastest run of the rodeo came in the first round with a time of 36.43 seconds, finishing the state finals with efforts of 41.84 and 37.74 seconds.
In the three-head average, he finished with a total time of 116.01 seconds and claimed the state title in the year-end standings with 248.5 points, Dobbins closing in second with a tally of 211.5 points.
Roderick ranked third in the season standings in the chute dogging, finishing with 221 points.
At state, he placed third on two runs and fifth in the final round.
He opened the rodeo with a time of 12.85 seconds, following with his fastest run of 7.7 in round two.
In the short-go, Roderick showed determination and stayed tough with a time of 48.62 seconds.
His time of 69.17 seconds ranked third in the average, just three of seven competitors throwing all three steers.
Roderick knocked down another qualification to the national finals in the ribbon roping, lacing loops around calves for Raper.
The team took no-times in the first and second rounds, but put together a fifth-place run of 13.32 seconds in the short-go, earning the fourth and final berth to nationals with a season total of 182.5 points – edging out Dobbins’ and Spring Creek’s Syerra Silva’s season tally of 171.5 points by 11 points.
Roderick finished two spots away from a trip to nationals in the team roping, heading for partner Gracie Lou Holman of Battle Mountain.
Roderick and Holman entered the state finals in a six-way tie for the lead, but the team took no-times on all three runs at state.
They closed the season with a total of 155 points.
Boys goat tying
In the boys goat tying, Roderick once again found himself two spots away from a qualification to nationals, placing sixth with a total of 166 points for the season.
He went for a time of 17-seconds flat in the first round (10th), getting slower but moving up in the standings in 21.37 seconds in round two (seventh place) and closing with a 15.71-second run for his fastest time in the short-go for eighth place.
He ranked seventh in the average with a three-run time of 54.08 seconds.
One of Elko County’s state titles did not come from the back of a horse, a bull, through the process of throwing a rope or throwing a steer – Logan Jones locking down a state championship with a dead-eye aim and a smooth trigger finger.
Jones earned the top honor in the rifle shoot, scoring 192 points for third place in the state finals – paired with his 49 points during the year for a season total of 61 points.
McGill won the competition at state with a score of 207 points but finished as the reserve champion with a total of 50 points.
Boys breakaway roping
Despite taking a no-time in the final round, Jones also earned a trip to nationals in the boys breakaway in fourth place in the season standings with 193 points, the fifth and sixth-place finishers also missing their final calves in the short-go.
Jones placed fifth in the first round with a time of 29.41 seconds and ranked sixth in the second round on his fastest time of 5.79 seconds.
He placed sixth in the average on two head.
Like Roderick and Holman, Jones – heeling for Rilee Christensen of Moapa Valley – went into the state finals in a logjam atop the leaderboard.
Christensen and Jones stopped the clock once in three runs at state, posting a time of 44.49 seconds in the first round for sixth place.
They finished just outside the top-four in fifth place with 172.5 points for the season, 191.5 points from Fallon’s Tylie Norcutt and Fernley’s Kaden Florez serving as the necessary total for a trip to the national finals.
Boys goat tying
Jones solidified another qualification to the Silver State International Rodeo in the boys goat tying, finishing the season in 10th place with 134.5 points.
His time of 19.28 seconds finished 12th in the first round, moving up to ninth in the second round with a time of 23.3 seconds, closing out the rodeo with his best run of 17.71 seconds in the short-go.
He placed ninth in the average with a total time of 60.29 seconds on three runs.
Christensen and Jones teamed up for another SSIR qualification in the ribbon roping, doing a little role reversal, girl-power roping the calves and Jones running the ribbon.
With 103 points, the team took 11th in the season standings.
Their only time during the state finals came on a 20.81-second run in the final round.
Elko County’s muscle, Ethan Rockwell, did not need to bother with riding a horse to book his state championship either.
Rockwell did his damage by getting a hold of steers on the ground, wrecking them when he did.
In the chute dogging, Rockwell won two of the three rounds at state and the average title – opening a 13-point margin with 248.5 in the year-end standings.
He drilled down the fastest run of the rodeo in the top-15 round, slamming his steer in 3.15 seconds.
Rockwell won round two with a time of 5.14 seconds and placed second in round one in 11.66 seconds.
His time of 20.13 on three runs set the pace by more than two seconds over the next-closest competitor.
National Junior High Finals Rodeo
A multitude of Nevada contestants from the local area, some already mentioned, will compete in the National Junior High Finals Rodeo from June 24-30 in Huron, South Dakota.
The pole bending nearly provided a clean sweep of surrounding-area girls, three out of the top-four positions coming from Battle Mountain or Wells.
Coombs led the way with a runner-up finish with 216 points, Holman placing third with 195.5 and Wells’ Arlee Morrison coming in fourth with 185.5 points.
Consistency was key for Coombs, placing third in the average with a three-run time of 67.842 seconds.
She kept all the poles up – finishing fifth in the first round with a time of 22.613 – dropping to ninth in round two in 22.704 and moving back to fifth with her fastest run of 22.525 in the short-go.
Holman was one place behind in the average, finishing fourth with a total time of 70.296 seconds on the three runs.
She posted a 22.885 (ninth) in the first round, went for a 22.720 in round two (10th) and closed with a time of 24.961 in the final round for eighth.
Morrison did her best work in round two with a time of 22.021 for third place, knocking down poles in the first and final rounds for times of 27.934 and 26.918 – placing ninth in the short-go.
Heading for McGill, Elko County’s Brock Feyder finished second in the state in the team roping.
The duo caught all three steers at state, finishing second in the average with a total time of 95.1 seconds on three runs.
Feyder and McGill closed just 8.5 points from a state title with 232.5 points, trailing only the 241 points posted by average and state champions Tayler Felton and Raper.
With a hind leg, Feyder and McGill placed third in the final round with a time of 15.75 seconds.
They placed second in round two with a 39.03 and clocked a 40.32 in the first round for fourth place.
Along with Mitchell’s state championship, two local cowgirls earned positions in the national finals in the girls breakaway.
Coombs placed third in the state with 206 points, her best efforts coming on her first couple runs, Elko County’s Madison Borkman starting and finishing strong – bookending her state finals with a clutch run in the final round and finishing fourth in the standings with 192.5 points – tying for the final NJHFR spot with Christensen.
With a 3.47-second run in the first round, Coombs placed third, Borkman following in fourth with a time of 3.84.
In round two, Coombs made another smooth catch in 4.04 for fifth place.
Borkman took a no-time in the second round but placed fifth in the short-go with a must-have loop in 4.63 seconds.
Coombs missed her final calf but placed fifth in the average on two runs, Borkman finishing sixth in the average on two head.
Boys breakaway roping
Feyder ranked third in the boys breakaway roping with 216.5 points, catching all three of his calves in the state finals and placing third in the average with a total time of 39.7 seconds.
His best run of 5.31 in the final round won third place, finishing fifth in the second round in 4.98 seconds and gutting out a 29.41 for sixth in round one.
Feyder will join Jones at the national finals in the rifle shoot, placing fourth in the year-end standings with 37.75 points, all but 3.75 coming before the state finals.
He finished eighth in the state shoot, scoring 80 points.
After a downed barrel in the opening round, Austin’s Amelia Lancaster rebounded well.
She overcame the hiccup with an 18.197-second run in the second round for second place, ranking fourth in the short-go in 18.29 seconds.
Lancaster gained enough points in the go-rounds to finish fourth in the year-end standings with 194.5 points for the last spot to nationals.
Elko County’s Chandler Green also did what he needed to do in order to earn the final position for a qualification to the national finals.
Despite two buck-offs, Green made a 52-point ride in the second round and finished fifth in the average.
His season total of 162 points ranked fourth in the state.
Silver State International Rodeo
For those individuals who do not rank in the top-four positions in each event, the Silver State International Rodeo, in Winnemucca, provides an outlet for fifth through 15th-place finishers in each event to extend their rodeo seasons.
Lancaster narrowly missed out on another nationals finals berth in the poles, finishing fifth in the standings with 175.5 points.
Her best run came on a fourth-place effort in the short-go of 22.462 seconds.
Silva placed ninth in the standing with 138.5 points, her best time of 22.171 in the first round earning third place.
Italy Jo Holman finished just outside the top-10 in 11th place, experiencing a great three-run stretch at state.
She placed second in the average with a total time of 67.184 seconds, finishing third in the short-go in 22.368 seconds.
In round two, she clocked her best time of 22.165 for fourth and ranked sixth in the first round with a 22.651-second effort.
Three local cowgirls are eligible to chase cans at SSIR, Coombs tying Tayler Felton for fifth in the event with 176.5 points – followed by Silva in seventh and Elko County’s Emma Borg in 15th.
Coombs placed sixth in the second and third rounds with times of 18.678 and 18.376 seconds.
Silva set the arena ablaze in round two, clocking the fastest run of the round in 18.099 seconds.
Borg’s best finish came in round one with a time of 19.191 seconds for eighth place.
Boys goat tying
Another near miss.
Feyder finished fifth in the boys goat tying with 192 points for the season, a tie for first place occurring between Florez and Austin Frehner of Las Vegas.
The only instance when an event will take more than four contestants to nationals is when the tie is for fourth place.
Feyder went 6-6-6, placing sixth in each round at state with times of 15.49, 20.8 and 14.73.
His three-run total of 51.02 seconds also ranked sixth in the average.
Quade and Quinn Filippini placed ninth and 12th, respectively, scoring 150.5 and 66.5 points.
A 14.37-second run for Quade in the first round placed fourth, and Quinn’s only time in the event of 18.19 seconds finished 11th.
Unfortunately, Quinn Filippini’s availability for SSIR is very much in question – suffering a broken leg during a breakaway run.
Silva and Dobbins finished one spot from a trip to nationals in the ribbon roping, but it was not because of a poor state finals.
The team dominated the event, winning two rounds, placing second in another and cruising to the average title.
They turned in the fastest run of the rodeo in 8.17 seconds in the final round, winning round two in 9.22 seconds and placing second in the first round with a time of 10.58 seconds.
In the average, their total of 27.97 seconds bested the field by 8.79 seconds.
Feyder and Hannah Fullmer ranked sixth in the year-end standings with 159.5 points, their only time at state of 22.92 seconds coming in the second round.
Coombs and Florez finished eighth with 135 points, and Quade Filippini and Lancaster took 13th with 68 points.
Elko County’s Timothy Toops made some noise at the state finals, covering two of three bulls and closing in sixth place in the year-end standings with 90.5 points.
He placed second with a 71-point ride in round two, finishing third in the short-go with a score of 56 and ranking third in the average with a total of 127 points on two rides.
Elko’s Gage Schweer finished seventh in the standings with 48 points.
Girls breakaway roping
Morrison closed the season with 177.5 points for sixth place in the standings of the breakaway roping.
After missing her first calf, she came back strong and roped her second in 5.29 (seventh) and placed third in the short-round with a 3.92 for her fastest run at state.
Gracie Lou Holman roped her first calf in 5.11 seconds and finished 14th in the state standings with 58.5 points, Italy Jo Holman rounding out the top-15 with 53 points.
Borg took sixth place in the year-end standings of the rifle shoot with 31 points, finishing seventh in the state finals with a score of 93 points.
In the team roping, Morrison and Fallon’s Reese Waggoner placed ninth with 113 points, their lone time of 39.83 seconds at state coming in the final round.
Borkman and Quade Filippini took 10th with 101 points, finishing third in the second round with a time of 44.54 seconds.
Despite Quinn Filippini’s absence toward the end of the state finals, he and Lancaster ranked 12th in the standings with 90.5 points.
Girls goat tying
Morrison placed ninth in the goat tying with 138 points for the year, finishing seventh in the second round in 10.98 seconds and eighth in the top-15 round in 11.27 seconds.
Silva’s lone time at the state finals came in 15.94 seconds in the first round, closing the season in 14th place with 59.5 points.
Battle Mountain’s Jolena Ayers finished 15th with 21 points, going for a 12.89 in round one and placing ninth in the short-go in 11.76 seconds.
Boys breakaway roping
Quade Filippini took 11th place in the state standings with 61 points, and Quinn Filippini – in an event he, his leg and his horse would like to forget – ranked 12th in the state with 56 points.
Congratulations to reserve All-Around Cowgirl Wylee Mitchell, state champions Riley Roderick, Logan Jones and Ethan Rockwell, all national qualifiers and the athletes who gained positions to SSIR.
The National Junior High Finals Rodeo will take place from June 24-30 in Huron, South Dakota, while the Silver State International Rodeo will run from July 2-7 in Winnemucca.