Three area rodeo stars headed to national finals in Gillette, Wyoming

Mary-Glenn Smith
Tyler Waguespack, one of three Ascension Parish students to qualify for the National High School Rodeo Association Finals, finished 4th in the tie-down roping and won the steer wrestling for the year.

After a week of competition, the Louisiana High School Rodeo Association Finals wrapped up Saturday night at Lamar-Dixon Expo Center with three Ascension Parish students qualifying for the National High School Rodeo Association Finals.

The championship round Saturday night featured the top 15 contestants in bareback riding, saddle bronc riding, bull riding, tie-down roping, steer wrestling, team roping, breakaway roping, barrel racing, pole bending, goat tying and boys and girls cutting.

The top four finishers in each event earned the right to advance to the NHSRA Finals in Gillette, Wyoming on July 18-24. The NHSRA finals is held annually each July with more than 1,500 contestants from 41 states, 5 Canadian provinces, and Australia competing for national titles, awards, and scholarships.

All-around cowgirl winner, Randi Robert of East Ascension High School will compete in two events in Wyoming, pole bending and barrel racing.

Robert finished first in poles, with a total of 178 points for the year. She won the first round of the LHSRA finals with a time 19.637, the fastest of the entire week.

Robert also had the fastest time in the barrel racing, 15.959, to win the 2nd round. She finished 2nd in the championship round with a time of 16.131 and ended up ranked 2nd in the barrel racing for the year with 144 points.

Last year at the NHSRA finals, Robert finished 2nd in the average out of more that 150 cowgirls in pole bending and 10th in the barrel racing.

Another East Ascension student, Tyler Waguespack, will also compete in two events at the NHSRA finals.

Waguespack won the steer wrestling with 193 points for the year and finished 4th in the tie-down roping with 114 points.  

Waguespack took home a buckle Friday night for winning the 2nd go round of steer wrestling with a time of 5.47.

Grant Smith of Dutchtown High School finished at the top in the tie-down roping for the year with 165 points.

Smith won the 2nd go round of competition with a time of 8.70 and finished 2nd in the championship round on Saturday by tying his calf in 8.62.