Winchell edged at rodeo finals
     2016-07-29      By Frank Marquez    editor@geringcitizen.com
Courtesy photo Libby Winchell dismounts Blaze during one of three runs on Sunday. 
Edged by .05 in the Sunday’s finals of the Goat Tying event at the National High School Rodeo Finals in Gillette, Wyoming, Scottsbluff’s Libby Winchell ended up as Reserve Champion for the second year in a row, this time against long-time friend and competitor Kaytlyn Miller from Utah.

Winchell said, the competitions “was good; I put together three pretty good runs, and I ended up second which isn’t bad at all.” Among 178 goat tying competitors, she recorded runs of 7.36, 7.56, and 7.87. “The last two goats I drew weren’t the best, but I handled them the best I could.”

Winchell advanced to the Nationals as the Nebraska State champion in Goat Tying during competition in Hastings, Nebraska, on June 18, when she had earned her second title in high school competition. Last year, Libby finished as a Reserve Champion in Goat Tying at Nationals, and won the state title her freshman year. Meanwhile, her older sister Shelby won the title in Goat Tying at the College National Championship in the Casper Wyoming Event Center on the same day last month.

Riding her quarter horse Blaze, the same mount all season, Winchell reached the finals after she averaged 14.92, topping the Top-20 short-go field on Saturday night. Breathing down her neck were Tommi Sue Swannack of Washington (15.24) and Kamryn Duncan of Louisiana (15.71). She explained the short-go as “the fastest on two head (runs).”

Her older sister Shelby, who is on the road teaching rodeo techniques, reported on her Facebook page, that it was “a great week in Gillette, Wyoming, at the National High School Rodeo Finals. We are so proud of Libby. … She gave it her all this week. She stayed consistent, focused and handled her draw the best she could. She had a great high school rodeo year.”

Her mother Shawna Winchell commented, “This was the 16th nationals that we have been fortunate to have our girls compete in. Overall, Libby’s rodeo titles include two at the Junior High Nationals, three at the high school, and two at little britches. Shelby’s include two in Junior High, three in high school, and two at little britches with her sister Libby, plus four now in college national’s competition.

Winchell earned a buckle, scholarship money and sponsor products.

Continuing in competition, Winchell will continue on the rodeo circuit. On Friday, July 29, she travels to Bowman, North Dakota, and the next day, to Timberlake, South Dakota. “School doesn’t stop us,” she said, about how she’ll continue to ride throughout the year.

As for what she’ll do when she graduates? Winchell said, “I’ll probably stay in Wyoming, and I’m not sure what I want to study. But that’s a ways off.”

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