HASTINGS — Morrill cowboy Tanner Whetham and his partner Cameron Jensen of Bingham are headed back to the national finals after winning the team roping championship at the Nebraska High School State Finals Rodeo on Saturday in Hastings.
The pair, who finished as the reserve state champions last year, overcame some penalties to get the job done in the final round.
“We knew what we had to be to win state,” Whetham said. “We went out and made a good solid run and ended up on top.”
Whetham, who will be a senior at Morrill this fall, also competed at the state finals in tie-down roping, steer wrestling and saddle bronc riding.
Another Panhandle cowboy won a state title in bull riding. Gordon’s Conner Halverson repeated as state champion in the event. He won the first and second rounds with scores of 78 and 83 at the finals, and also captured the average.
Both Whetham and Halverson qualified to compete at the national finals, which will be held July 14-20 in Rock Springs, Wyoming.
A pair of Mitchell cowboys also will be in action at the national finals. Justin Chasek earned a fourth-place finish in tie-down roping. Lane Chasek, along with his partner Colten Storer of Sutherland, placed second in team roping.
In saddle bronc riding, Marsland’s Jack Skavdahl finished fourth.
Mitchell cowgirl Adeline Hobbs earned a trip to nationals as an alternate in pole bending. She finished just out of the top four in the event at the state finals.
Nebraska High School National Finals Qualifiers
Bareback riding — 1. Gauge McBride, Kearney. 2. Spencer Denaeyer, Seneca. 3. Brody Benson, Valentine. 4. Edward Daly, Paxton.
Boys cutting — 1. Sage Konicek, Ord. 2. Cody Miller, Broken Bow. 3. Kaine Stokey, Sutherland. 4. Frazier Kaelin, Ansley. Alternate — Colton Storer, Arthur.
Girls cutting — 1. Concey Bader, Palmer. 2. Faith Storer, Arthur. 3. Maddie Stump, Elsmere. 4. Ashton Troyer, West Point. Alternate — Kesha DeGroff.
Bull riding — 1. Conner Halverson, Gordon. 2. Mason Ward, North Platte. 3. Gauge McBride, Kearney. 4. Teran Sharman, Palmer. Alternate – Dodge Daniels, Scotia.
Goat tying — 1. Riata Day, Fleming, Colo. 2. Bailey Witt, Valentine. 3. Wacey Day, Fleming, Colo. Alternate – Mataya Eklund, Valentine.
Tie-down roping — 1. Grant Turek, St. Paul. 2. Cameron Jensen, Bingham. 3. Rhett Witt, Valentine. 4. Justin Chasek, Mitchell. Alternate – Grant Lindsley, Osceola.
Saddle bronc riding — 1. Sage Miller, Springview. 2. Brody McAbee, Ansley. 3. Nathan Burnett, Shelton. 4. Jack Skavdahl, Marsland. Alternate – Gus Franzen, Kearney.
Barrel racing — 1. Jenae Whitaker, Chambers. 2. Elle Ravenscroft, Nenzel. 3. Summer Richardson, Kearney. 4. Madison Mills, Eddyville. Alternate – Ashley Odenbach, Taylor.
Breakaway roping — 1, Mataya Eklund, Valentine. 2. Emma Ohm, Hyannis. 3. Brooke McCully, Mullen. 4. Wacey Day, Fleming, Colo. Alternate – Shayda Vaughn.
Pole bending — 1. Madison Mills, Eddyville. 2. Halli Haskell, Ainsworth. 3. Riata Day, Fleming, Colo. 4. Mataya Eklund, Valentine. Alternate – Adeline Hobbs, Mitchell.
Steer wrestling — 1. Gus Franzen, Kearney. 2. Cauy Porkorny, Stapleton. 3. Sage Miller, Springview. 4. Quade Potter, Cambridge. Alternate – Evan Hewett, Dunning.
Team roping — 1. Cameron Jensen, Bingham, and Tanner Whetham, Henry. 2. Colten Storer, Sutherland, and Lane Chasek, Mitchell. 3. Cauy Porkorny, Stapleton, and Clay Holz, Niobrara. 4. Cooper Bass, Brewster, and Zack Bradley, Brewster. Alternates — Ashley Odenbach, Taylor, and Cole Dwyer, Burwell.