5 area competitors post top finishes at state high school finals rodeo, qualify for nationals

The South Dakota High School Rodeo Finals wrapped up over the weekend in Fort Pierre.

Mitchell rodeo general art .jpg
(Mitchell Republic file photo)

FORT PIERRE, S.D. — A quintet of area rodeo talents posted top-four finishes in their respective events at the South Dakota High School Rodeo Finals, held June 14-18 at the Stanley County Fairgrounds.

By way of placing in the top four, those competitors advance to the 2022 National High School Finals Rodeo, set to take place July 17-23, in Gilette, Wyoming.

As he was at the East Region rodeo, Letcher’s Mason Moody was the top bull rider. Moody scored 71 and 51 points on his first and second go rides, respectively, before posting a 73 in the short go, which pushed him to 78.5 total points and the top spot in the standings.

Just behind Moody in second place was Colome’s Riley Shippy, who reached 74.5 total points on the strength of 72 and 68 marks in his first and second go rides.

Salem’s Michaela McCormick took second place in goat tying, finishing with 76 points, two behind first, after owning the best times in the second go (7.000) and short go (6.640).


Presho’s Teagan Gourneau did not receive points in his short go in steer wrestling, but still finished in fourth place behind a 13-point first go and five-point second go.

In team roping, Chamberlain’s Ty Graesser and Pierre’s Tristan Spencer earned 14 points in the second go and nine points in the short go to took third place.

Mitchell’s Samantha Ford finished just outside the national qualifying places in two events, taking fifth place in barrel racing (two points behind fourth) and sixth in reined cow horse. Ford’s best time in barrel racing came during her second go (17.486), which earned 12 points. She also had two runs that scored 136 in reined cow horse, the first of which earned nine points in the second go.

Winner’s Garret Phillips was the fifth-place finisher in reined cow horse, marked by a first go 139 that earned 10 points and a short go 140 that earned six.

Burke’s Mason Hood and Lake Andes’ Christopher Nelson were the fifth and sixth-place finishers, respectively, in saddle bronc. Hood’s 61 first go score was a top-four mark and earned 12 points, but neither Hood nor Nelson scored in their second go.

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