Hot Springs’ Wyatt Tibbitts competes last Friday morning in the steer wrestling go-round in 6.58 seconds. (Photo by Jason Gross/Black Hills Pioneer)
Tibbitts also qualifies for Nationals in Team Roping, Thane Lockhart does as well with a fourth place in Tie-Down
By Brett Nachtigall
BELLE FOURCHE – A pair of Fall River County cowboys will help represent Team South Dakota at the National High School Finals Rodeo in Rock Springs, Wyo., on July 14-20, 2019, following their top-four finishes this past week at the South Dakota High School Finals Rodeo (SDHSFR) in Belle Fourche.
Wyatt Tibbitts of Hot Springs dominated the Steer Wrestling and earned a state championship with a total of 86 points, with Wynn Schaak of Wall coming in a very distant second place with 56 points. Tibbits won the First Go with a time of 7.81 and then placed third in the Second Go with a 6.58 followed by a win in the Short Go with a 6.5. He won the average as well with a combined time of 20.98, which was nearly nine seconds better than his next closest competition.
In addition to his state title in the Steer Wrestling, he and his team roping partner Tracer Olson of White River also qualified for the National Team by placing fourth overall in that event.
Tibbits also finished just one place out of qualifying in the tie-down, as he finished in fifth place with a total of 50.
The cowboy who finished ahead of Tibbitts to take the final spot on the Tiedown National Team however was fellow Fall River competitor Thane Lockhart, who placed fourth with a total of 60 points. His state finals performance included sixth place finishes in both the First Go (12.83) and Second Go (12.19), as well as a fifth place finish in the average.
Another Fall River County cowboy, Tristan Hunter of Ardmore, also performed well in the tiedown event, as he placed eighth overall in the state with 43 points. Also competing in the tiedown was Brand Baker of Buffalo Gap, who finished in 56th place.
Lockhart and his team roping partner Chance Derner of New Underwood placed 15th in the event, while Hunter and his partner Chance Grill of Edgemont placed 28th. Bridget Romey of Hot Springs and Kylene Baker of Buffalo Gap also competed together in the Team Roping and finished 51st overall.
Romey competed in a total of four events at the SDHSFR which included a 10th place finish in barrel racing, 29th in Pole Bending, as well as 33rd in Breakaway.
Oral’s Tatum Lauing was in two events, finishing 27th in Goat Tying and 65th in Breakaway.
Edgemont’s Kaitlin Gerard also was in two events, finishing 61st in Breakaway and 62nd in Barrel Racing.