PHOTOS: U.S. National Hot Air Balloon Championship Top Ten task one

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.

After the first day of competition in the U.S. National Hot Air Balloon Championship, John Petrehn leads with 1,000 points.

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. 

We're always interested in hearing about news in our community. Let us know what's going on!

Lauren Brant is a reporter with the Star-Herald and the Gering Courier. Contact her at 308-632-9043 or by email at

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