Jason Romans Photo White Pine Rodeo Club’s Paul Sonerholm will advance to the national high school rodeo finals after placing fourth in saddle bronc.

Jason Romans Photo
White Pine Rodeo Club’s Paul Sonerholm will advance to the national high school rodeo finals after placing fourth in saddle bronc.

After hosting the High School State Rodeo Finals at the county fairgrounds during the weekend, the White Pine High School Rodeo Club will send two of their own to compete for national titles. Sadie Leyba placed first in the the .22 rifle shoot event and Paul Sonerholm placed fourth in the saddle bronc event to both qualify for the National High School Rodeo Finals to be held in Rock Springs, Wyoming on July 13-19.

“They both competed really well,” White Pine Rodeo Club Director Shawn Bellander said.

Delaynie Ward will also be advancing to the Silver State International Rodeo on June 29-July 5 in Winnemucca for her 14th place finish in the goat tying event.

The state rodeo final, which was hosted by the local club, drew more than 140 contestants from around the state and filled the stands at the county fairgrounds from Friday through Sunday.

“It was a great turnout, every stand was near full of people,” Bellander said.

Other White Pine’s Rodeo Club members put up strong showings in other events as well, including team roping from Austin Zeman, Mason Broughton, Ryan Benson and Ryan McKnight. In addition to team roping, Jamie Wines also competed in breakaway roping and goat tying. Sierra Hyde competed in goat tying, pole bending and barrel racing.

“I’m proud of the whole group of kids for how they competed and for helping to put this whole thing together. It is quite a project,” Bellander said, noting that it took the club six months to organize the event.

Austin Zeman’s mother, Billie Sue Heckethorn, commended the entire club’s performance, especially in the face of tough competition from the other counties.

“To place in the top is very hard, so to have two White Pine kids do that is really something,” she said.

Heckethorn’s daughter, Shay Zeman, was also one of five Junior High members of the rodeo club that competed in the Junior High State Rodeo Finals over Memorial Day weekend in Winnemucca. Of those five, Jessie Leyba will advance to compete in the Junior High School National Rodeo Finals in Des Moines, Iowa, this weekend.

Bellander said he wanted to thank all the members of his club as well as all the sponsors that helped put together the state final rodeo.

“It would not have been possible without all their help,” he said.