Improving markedly over his 2017 National High School Finals Rodeo showing in Light Rifle, Ignacio's Dustin Sanchez found the .22-caliber competition gathered in Rock Springs, Wyo., for 2018 just as difficult and was unable to reach the 20-shooter short go, or championship round, this past Wednesday, July 18.
Firing a prone-position 58, and scoring 59 standing and 60 kneeling, his long-go total of 177 on the 17th blew away last summer's 130, but again ranked well behind the leaders.
New Mexico's Roberto Galaz paced all with his 335, with Wyoming's Garrett Nunn following at 328 and Utah's Emily Vigoren tied for third with Wyoming's Colter Nunn at 326 (but ahead on tie-breaking bulls-eyes, 7-4).
In pole bending, Bayfield's Madison Story made her NHSFR debut placing 57th (out of 178) in the average, clocking 43.664 seconds on two out-and-back trips through the Sweetwater Events Complex sticks. Clocking 21.803 seconds during the first go, she stood 84th, but placed 76th in the second despite slowing just a hair to 21.861.
Tops in the first go with a 20.142 pass, and second in the second with a faster 19.952, Louisiana's Brooklyn Gunter ultimately finished first overall with a total time of 60.102 seconds on three successful rides. Indiana's Maci Zimmerman came in second with 60.540/3 figures and Wisconsin's Morgan Rudd took third with 60.666/3.
Finally, Hesperus cutter Lexie Crawford operated within the Complex's indoor arena and placed a respectable 31st (out of 94) in the average with a two-round score of 279.5. After tying five others for 44th in the first go with a 137, she finished in a four-way tie for 28th in the second with an improved 142.5.
Utah's McKenna Coronado (150-148-148) and Texas' Sheridan Clark (147-149-150) ultimately tied for first in the average with 446 points apiece on three tries, having made their short-go attempts this past Saturday, July 21. Oklahoma's LaRae Luis followed in third place with 436.