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Local trio qualifies for National High School Finals Rodeo
rodeo johnson
Belmonts Cole Johnson finished fifth in bull riding at the WHSFR over the weekend to qualify for the national finals.

     RICHLAND CENTER — A trio of local cowboys qualified for next month’s National High School Finals Rodeo with a pair of impressive performances this weekend at the 55th annual Wisconsin High School Rodeo at the Richland County Fairgrounds.
      Platteville 2014 graduates Colton Vondra earned a return trip to nationals  with a fourth place finish in the boys’ cutting event with a score of 185 points, while fellow 2014 Platteville grad Dylan Vondra and Belmont junior Cole Johnson earned their first trips to nationals.
     The Wisconsin High School rodeo season consists of seven regional rodeos, three in the fall and four in the spring, as well as the Wisconsin High School State Finals Rodeo that was held last weekend.
Points from each of the seven regional rodeos are added together with the finals for a final year-end score that determines the season winners.
      The top four finishers in each event also earned the right to be on the Wisconsin team that will compete at the NHSFR at the Sweetwater Events Complex in Rock Springs, Wyom. July 13–19.
Colton Vondra also finished seventh in steer wrestling with a season-long point total of 114 points. A year ago Vondra placed 37th in streer wrestling at the national finals.
      Johnson earned his first trip to nationals with a fifth-place finish in bull riding (85). He didn’t earn an automatic berth to nationals, but joined team Wisconsin as an alternate when another competitor opted not to attend.
Dylan Vondra teammed with Jenelle Raflik of Wisconsin Rapids to finish fourth in the team roping competition with 301 points.
     Monfort’s Brea Johnson finished eighth in the barrel racing event with 98 total point.
     Will Martin of Zwingle, Iowa, and Bridgette Myers of Bagley captured All-Around honors at Saturday’s state finals.
Martin, a senior, overtook defending champion Austin Schneider of Cassville to win All-Around Cowboy honors, and Myers, a sophomore, outscored Megan Griffin of Warrens for the All-Around Cowgirl title.
     Myers won the goat tying event and placed third in pole bending, and sixth in both barrel racing and breakaway roping.
Martin won the bareback bronc riding event. He also placed second in saddle bronc riding, third in steer wrestling, third in cutting and eighth in tie down roping. He also teamed with Sam Martin for third in team roping.
     Dodgeville freshman Rylee Dressler was crowned the new Wisconsin High School Rodeo queen.
Featuring more than 1,500 contestants from 42 states, five Canadian  Provinces and Australia, the NHSFR is the world’s largest rodeo.
     Live broadcasts of each NHSFR performance will also air online at Performance times are 7 p.m. on July 13, and 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. each day thereafter.

2014 Wisconsin High School Finals Rodeo
Rodeo Queen.....Rylee Dressler.....Dodgeville
All-Around Cowboy.....Will Martin.....Zwingle, IA
All-Around Cowgirl.....Bridgett Myers.....Bagley

Event Results (Top 4, plus locals)
Barrel Racing
— 1.Allison Burgau (Black River Falls) 237.5, 2.Jessie Schreiner (Antigo) 219.5, 3.Megan Griffin (Warrens) 187, 4.Ally Bushendorf (Eau Claire) 154...6.Bridgette Myers (Bagley) 123, 7.Shelby Schram (Lancaster) 111, 8.Brea Johnson (Montfort) 98.
Goat Tying — 1.Myers (Bagley) 268, 2.Jenelle Raflik (Wisconsin Rapids) 207, 3.Shelby Schram (Lancaster) 188, 4.Kayla Raflik (Wisconsin Rapids) 167....8.Brittney Stein (Cassville) 91.
Pole Bending — 1.Sammy Steiger (Bagley) 234, 2.Allison Burgau (Black River Falls) 219, 3.Bridgette Myers (Bagley) 200, 4.Jessie Schreiner (Antigo) 160.
Breakaway Roping — 1.Ellie Moore (Dubuque, IA) 216, 2.Ally Bushendorf (Eau Claire) 186, 3.Jenelle Faflik (Wisconsin Rapigs) 157, Kayla Raflik (Wisconsin Rapids) 143...6.Bridgette Myers (Bagley) 115, 7.Brittney Stein (Cassville) 104.
Tie Down Roping — 1.Austin Schneider (Cassville) 222, 2.Zach Henry (Tomah) 198, 3.Ben Kilburg (LaMotte, IA) 166, 4.Garrett Sommer (Stetonsville) 146, 5.Matthew Keller (Boscobel) 128.
Steer Wrestling — 1.Ben Kilburg (LaMotte, IA) 213, 2.Walker Polhamus (Sparta) 198, 3.Will Martin (Zwingle, IA) 178,  4.Justin Ward (Mabel, MN) 161,....7.Colton Vondra (Platteville) 114, 8.Austin Schnieder (Cassville) 101.
Bareback Broncs — 1.Will Martin (Zwingle, IA) 261, 2.Zach Henry (Tomah) 225, 3.Ethan Soderstrom (Lancaster) 171, 4.Stetson Clary (Lone Rock) 137.5.
Saddle Broncs — 1.Evan O’Connell (Zwingle, IA) 243, 2.Will Martin (Zwingle, IA) 186, 3.Kolby Phillips (Elgin, IA) 114, 4.Jasper Dunn (Whitehall) 101.
Bull Riding — 1.Dixon Hestetune (Cashton) 196.5, 2.Phillips (Elgin, IA) 161.5, 3.O’Connell (Zwingle, IA) 126, 4.Briar Bartles (Boscobel) 103, 5.Cole Johnson (Belmont) 85, 6.Ethan Soderstrom (Lancaster) 65.
Team Roping — 1.Zach Henry (Sparta)/Schneider (Cassville) 446, 2.Atlee Miller (Maquoketa, IA)/Hestetune (Cashton) 378, 3.Will Martin (Zwingle, IA)/Sam Martin (Zwingle, IA) 333, 4.Jenelle Raflik (Wisconsin Rapids)/Dylan Vondra (Gays Mills) 301.
Girls’ Cutting — 1.Klarissa Neff (Gratiot) 263, 2.Smith (Ettrick) 206.5, 3.Jessica Lau (Richland Center) 188.5, 4.Megan Griffin (Warrens) 167.5, 5.Rylee Dressler (Dodgeville) 151, 6.Brittney Stein (Cassville) 139.5.
Boys’ Cutting — 1.Evan O’Connell (Zwingle, IA) 251.5, 2.Austin Schneider (Cassville) 238.5, 3.Will Martin (Zwingle, IA) 198.5, 4.Colton Vondra (Platteville) 185.