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Shoemaker records personal best at Winner Elks Rodeo

WINNER -- Scott Shoemaker set a personal best Friday at the 44th annual Winner Elks Rodeo.

The 18-year-old, who will be entering his senior year at Gregory High School, scored a 77 to take first place in bull riding.

His previous best was a 76, which he recorded at a 4-H rodeo in Burke earlier this year.

"The ride was fun," Shoemaker said. "I try not to think about what can happen and then after the whistle blows I was just worried about trying to unwrap my hand and get off. ... It is always fun hearing the roar of the crowd. It sends goosebumps up your back."

Shoemaker finished fifth at the South Dakota High School Rodeo Finals this year in Belle Fourche. He said he didn't know if his score would hold up, but he was just happy with his best score to date.

Lane Gambill, of Johnstown, Neb., was the only other ride to record a qualifying ride with a 70.

A couple other area cowboys and cowgirls also took top spots at the Winner Elks Rodeo.

Fairfax native Lacey Tech won the goat tying event with a time of 7.1 seconds, beating out Mardee Sierks, of Brewster, Neb., Karlee Peterson, of Sturgis, and Shandel Yordy, of Martin. Sierks had a time of 7.6, while Peterson and Yordy finished with 7.7-second performances.

Kennebec native Cedar Jandreau took first in the ladies' breakaway roping competition with a winning time of 2.2 seconds. Jandreau beat Rayel Livermont, of Martin, and Tawny Barry, of Carter.

Wesley Cole, of Atkinson, Neb., took first in bareback with a score of 77, beating Mark Kenyon, of Hayti, with a 76. Derek Kenner, of Wood Lake, Neb., won the saddle bronc competition with a score of 83. Kenner beat out Ty Kennedy, of Philip, and Eric Gewecke, of Red Owl. Kennedy recorded an 80, while Gewecke had a 79.

Troy Wilcox, of Red Owl, finished first in tie-down roping with a time of 8.9. Jay Hollenbeck, of Valentine, Neb., came in second with a time of 9.1.

A tenth of a second was all that separated J.J. Hunt, of Ridgeview, and Clay Kaiser, of Milboro. from first and second place in steer wrestling. Hunt won the event with a time of 4.8, while Kaiser had a 4.9.

Bob Burke, of Sundance, Wyo., claimed the senior men's breakaway title with after recording a time of 2.7.

Shelby Vinson, of Worthing, beat out Katie Lensegrav, of Interior, and Melodi Christensen, of Kennebec, to win ladies barrel racing. Vinson finished with a time of 15.97, while Lensegrav had a 16.43 and Christensen finished with 16.58.

Elizabeth Baker, of Box Elder, and Levi Lord, of Sturgis, finished first in mixed team roping with a time of 6.6. Tyrell Moody, of Letcher, and Rory Brown, of Edgemont, took first in team roping a time of 5.2. While Dana Nelson and Michelle Johnson, both of Vermillion, and Harold Fischer recorded a 31.6 to win team pinning.

"The rodeo went very well," said Maureen Hollenbeck, who is the secretary of the South Dakota Rodeo Association. "We had a very good crowd all three nights and the weather was perfect. It was just a perfect weekend for rodeo."

There were 380 contestants in the three-day rodeo.