After the first day of competition in the U.S. National Hot Air Balloon Championship, John Petrehn leads with 1,000 points.
1 of 18
1. John Petrehn lifts off from a field northeast of the Scottsbluff soccer fields Monday afternoon for the first task of the U.S. National competition. He finished in first place on the task.
1. John Petrehn of Texas had the closest baggie throw to the target Monday, finishing in first place on the task.
2. The Re/Max balloon, piloted by Matt Fenster goes up in altitude over a field of other balloons as he made his way toward the first target.
2. Matt Fenster of Nebraska threw his baggie at the first target Monday afternoon, finishing in second on the task.
2. Matt Fenster tipped over his basket in the soccer field after completing the first task at the U.S. National Hot Air Balloon Championship.
3. Brad Craig pulls the candlestick as he and his crew get his competition balloon in the air.
3. Brad Craig lets air out of his balloon as he approaches the target Monday evening. Craig finished in third place on task one where pilots through a baggie as close as possible to the X.
3. Brad Craig finished in third place after throwing a baggie at a target in Scottsbluff Monday.
4. Rhett Heartsill competed in the first day of the U.S. National Hot Air Balloon Championship. He finished in fourth place.
4. Rhett Heartsill lifts off from a field as he makes his way toward the Scottsbluff soccer fields. Heartsill finished task one in fourth place.
5. Nick Donner of Kentucky finished in fifth place after the first task of the U.S. National Hot Air Balloon Championships.
6. Cameron Wall sits in sixth place after the first task in the U.S. National Hot Air Balloon Championship Monday.
6. Cameron Wall throws his baggie as he soars over the target. Wall finished in sixth on task one and is one of the rookie competitors.
7. Ken Draughn finished in seventh place after the first task Monday afternoon.
9. Gary Cass finished in ninth place after the first day of national competition.
8. Scott Armstrong finished in eighth place after throwing a baggie at a target Monday evening.
9. Gary Cass pushes his candlestick to send warm air into his balloon envelope. Cass finished in ninth on the first task of national competition.
10. Chase Donner soars over the Scottsbluff soccer field Monday evening as he approaches the first target in the U.S. National Hot Air Balloon Championship. He finished in tenth place on task one.
Balloonists who threw their baggie close to the target to finish in the top ten include:
1. John Petrehn of Texas with 1,000 points
2. Matt Fenster of Nebraska with 999 points
3. Brad Craig of Iowa with 997 points
4. Rhett Heartsill of Texas with 994 points
5. Nick Donner of Kentucky with 991 points
6. Cameron Wall of New Mexico with 989 points
7. Ken Draughn of North Carolina with 982 points
8. Scott Armstrong of Iowa with 950 points
9. Gary Cass of Arizona with 920 points
10. Chase Donner of Georgia with 866 points
Stay with the Star-Herald for more coverage of the U.S. Hot Air Balloon Championships and Old West Balloon Fest.