Area youth lasso top spots in junior high, high school rodeos
Karson Kolachek of West and Abby Slagle of Floresville proudly display the plaques earned while competing in the Texas Junior High Rodeo. The duo placed ninth in the state in ribbon roping in Gonzales in early June.
Summertime means one thing for youth involved in the rodeo circuit -- state finals, with Wilson County represented at both the junior high and high school levels.
This year, Abby Slagle of Floresville competed in the state finals of the Texas Junior High Rodeo in Gonzales, placing in the top 15. Joining her in the winners circle are Rylan and Raegan Tieken of Nixon, who placed second in state team roping.
Other youth have risen from the Texas Junior High Rodeo to compete in the State High School Rodeo, including Caleb Blandford of Stockdale. Other area all-around leaders include Tiffany Niemietz of Floresville and Corey Bader of McCoy.
Junior High Rodeo
The Texas Junior High Rodeo state finals were held May 29 through June 4 in Gonzales. Abby, who lived in Valley Mills (Bosque County) prior to moving to Wilson County in January, competed in Region 10.
The upcoming eighth-grader attended Clifton Middle School prior to attending Poth Junior High School. Abby qualified for state competition in junior girl pole bending (seventh place), junior girls goat tying (fifth); and junior girls breakaway (fourth). Although Abby placed 11th in junior barrels, only the top eight advance to state competition.
In the junior ribbon-roping event, Abby and her partner, Karson Kolacek of West, ranked third in the Region 10 standings. In state competition, with Karson working as the roper and Abby the runner, they scored 10.67 seconds in the first go, 17.17 seconds in the second go, and 15.68 seconds in the third go. The duo captured ninth place in the state finals, earning each a plaque and a hoodie with the Texas Junior High Rodeo Top 15 embroidered on it.
Watch for Abby as she competes in Region 8 this coming year in Texas Junior High Rodeo.
Rylan and Raegan Tieken represented Region 6 in state competition. Rylan placed 10th in the Texas Wrangler boys all-around, with Raegan placing 14th.
In state competition, Rylan and Raegan scored a time of 8.77 seconds in the second go, and 13.44 in the third go round to finish the season in second place.
Both Rylan, the header, and Raegan, the heeler, also competed in boys breakaway and ribbon roping.
The top four state finalists advance to national competition.
Other Texas Wrangler all-around leaders in Region 6 include Brooke Hester Brooke of Nixon, who placed ninth; and Cameron Crow of Floresville, 13th.
Brooke’s state appearances included girls breakaway, girls goat tying, ribbon roping, and team roping (header).
Cameron competed in boys breakaway and boys goat tying in state competition.
A former Texas Junior High Rodeo competitor, Caleb Blandford of Stockdale ranked No. 9 in the senior boys all-around for Region 8. Joining him in Region 8 all-around top 15 was Tiffany Niemietz, who placed 12th. Corey Bader placed fourth in the standings for the all-around in Region 6.
In the event standings for Region 8, Tiffany placed 19th in pole bending, 14th in goat tying, and third in breakaway roping.
Caleb placed second in calf roping, advancing to state. Corey had the second highest points in team roping and boy’s cutting. He also competed in tiedown.
Another event leader in Region 8 was Jake Wiatrek of La Vernia, who was ranked 10th in calf roping. He also competed in team roping.
Also competing in Region 6 was Cuatro Garza of Stockdale in team roping.
These young athletes continue a tradition that began in 1947, when Claude Mullins and other businessmen started the first state high school rodeo in Hallettsville. See this week’s “American Profile” for how this state rodeo blossomed into the first national high school rodeo in 1949.
More Texas Junior High competitors
Other local youth competing in the Texas Junior High State Rodeo Finals include:
•Kendra Dracoulis of Seguin -- barrel racing and girls breakaway
•Lindsei Harvey of Seguin -- barrel racing, girls breakaway, and girls goat tying
•Payton Rae Killian of La Vernia -- girls breakaway
•Zoey Wiatrek of Floresville -- barrel racing, girls breakaway, and girls goat tying
•Codi Funderburg of Seguin -- girls breakaway and girls goat tying