Nebraska High School cowboys, cowgirls head to Gillette |

Nebraska High School cowboys, cowgirls head to Gillette

Ruth Nicolaus, for the Adams County Ag Society

The dust has settled in Hastings at the Nebraska State High School Finals Rodeo, and this year’s high school rodeo athletes representing Nebraska at the national level have been determined.

After two rounds of rodeo June 23 and 24 and the Finals round on June 25, four contestants in each of ten events will compete at the National High School Finals Rodeo in Gillette, WY, July 17-23.

For Ashley Herringer, a pole bender from Juniata, the trip to Hastings and to Gillette is old hat.

The 18-year-old cowgirl is a three-time consecutive state pole bending champion and will make her fourth trip to Nationals.

She was only one point ahead of fellow pole bender Tylee Coffman going into the State Finals, but after Tylee hit poles for all three of her runs, she finished in first place. There was “a lot of pressure at state,” she said, and sympathized for Tylee: “it was a heartbreaker.” Tylee, who is from Dunning, did not qualify in the pole bending for Nationals but will compete in the goat tying there.

Nationals will have an international flavor for Herringer this year. After advertising her pole bending horse on the Internet, she was contacted by an Australian high school pole bender who will also compete in Gillette. The Australian cowgirl will lease Herringer’s horse for competition after spending a few days practicing on the animal in Juniata. Herringer has ridden the leased horse at the last two Nationals.

Herringer also competed at the State Finals in the barrel racing but did not finish in the top ten. She is the daughter of Kim and Donetta Herringer.

For Tanner Stec, this year was his first trip to State Finals, and, as a freshman, he’ll go on to Nationals in the tie-down roping.

The Bassett cowboy came into finals only six points ahead of the number two man, Marshal Peterson, of Ashland, but with a second place finish on his first calf and a fourth place finish in the Final round, he secured his position at Nationals.

His strategy was simple: “Just don’t break out (of the barrier) and don’t miss.” He wasn’t apprehensive about his first trip to Hastings, either. “I’m a freshman. I have three more years left,” he said. “I was just going to go and have fun.”

He won’t be making the trip to Nationals alone. His twin sister Sadie qualified in the breakaway roping. He and Sadie also competed at the Junior High National Finals Rodeo in Gallup, NM, three consecutive years.

But before he gets to Nationals, there are other calves to rope. He will compete at the Roy Cooper Junior Calf Roping in Denton, TX July 7-9, then at the International Finals Youth Rodeo in Shawnee, OK, July 10-15. Then, the family will travel to Gillette, WY, for the first performance of the National High School Finals Rodeo July 17-23.

Tanner and Sadie’s parents are Roger and Sheri Stec.

Other Nationals qualifiers are listed below. Final results from the 2011 Nebraska State High School Finals Rodeo can be found at

Bareback riding: 1. Logan Glendy, Oconto; 2. Dillon Tiede, Smithfield; 3. Boyd Miller, Burwell; and 4. Nate McFadden, Dunning. Alternate: Wesley Cole, Atkinson.

Pole bending: 1. Ashley Herringer, Juniata; 2. Cati Stanko, Gordon; 3. Shelby Frasier, Benkelman; and 4. Kaylie Haun, Mitchell. Alternate: Alex Christen, Lincoln.

Tie-down roping: 1. Tanner Stec, Bassett; 2. Lane Day, Bartlett; 3. Marshal Peterson, Ashland; and 4. AJ Freeman, Dunning. Alternate: David Hinman, Hay Springs.

Breakaway roping: 1. Kelsey Knust, Verdigre; 2. Lindsay Adamson, Cody; 3. Cati Stanko, Gordon; 4. (tie) Brandy Brown, North Platte and Sadie Stec, Bassett. Alternate: Kaitlin Reece, Valentine.

Saddle bronc riding: 1. Jaden Clark, Wellfleet; 2. Riley Painter, Long Pine; 3. Wesley Albert, Arthur; 4. Hoyt Kraeger, Avoca. Alternate: Chauncy Hesseltine, Thedford.

Goat tying: 1. Mardee Sierks, Brewster; 2. Cati Stanko, Gordon; 3. Tylee Coffman, Dunning; and 4. Kaylie Haun, Mitchell. Alternate: Lindsay Adamson, Cody.

Steer wrestling: 1. Lane Day, Bartlett; 2. Dillon Simonson, Purdum; 3. AJ Freeman, Dunning; and 4. David Hinman, Hay Springs. Alternate: Goober Snider, Bartlett.

Team Roping: 1. Cody Colman, O’Neill & Ryan Schneider, O’Neill; 2. Shane Suchy, Tryon & Denum Santero, Minatare; 3. Dustin Dailey, Long Pine & Tyler Viers, Comstock; and 4. Derek Powers, Arthur & Matthew Simpson, Arthur. Alternate: AJ Freeman, Dunning, & Tanner Freeman, Arthur.

Barrel racing: 1. Shelby Frasier, Benkelman; 2. Kaylie Haun, Mitchell; 3. Kali Blevins, Stapleton; and 4. Brandy Reichmuth. Alternate: Brandy Brown, North Platte.

Bull riding: 1. Dalton Cunningham, Bloomfield; 2. Tyler Viers, Comstock; 3. Chauncy Hesseltine, Thedford; and 4. Logan Glendy, Oconto. Alternate: Riley Painter, Long Pine.

Girl’s cutting: 1. Shelby Sanford, O’Neill; 2. Hailey Storer, Whitman; 3. Lindsay Adamson, Cody; and 4. Jordan Hagedorn, West Point. Alternate: Rachel Weander, Valentine

Boy’s cutting: 1. Seth Cumpton, Lewellen; 2. Sterling Atkins, Broken Bow; 3. Shane Suchy, Tryon; and 4. Derek Powers, Arthur. Alternate: Blayne Bradley, Brewster.

All-around boy: Logan Glendy, Oconto.

All-around girl: Tylee Coffman, Dunning.

Rookie boy: Tanner Stec, Bassett.

Rookie girl: Samantha Von Heeder, Ainsworth.

Winner of the timed event trailer: AJ Freeman, Dunning.

Queen: Jimi Pinney, Johnstown.

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