Locals fare well at Arizona high school state finals

Navajo Times | Donovan Quintero
Monument Valley freshman Brad Moreno attempts to make his ride count during the Arizona High School Rodeo Association state finals in Payson, Arizona. Moreno finished as the year-end champion in the bull riding event.

PAYSON, Ariz.

The state finals for the Arizona High School Rodeo Association proved to be fruitful for some of the area cowboys and cowgirls.

All told, there were nine individuals that qualified for the National High School Finals Rodeo, which will be held in at the Sweetwater Events Complex in Rock Springs, Wyoming. The weeklong event is scheduled July 15 to 21.

Monument Valley freshman Brad Moreno was the area’s top finisher as he was year-end champion in the bull-riding event.

At the three-day state finals, Moreno covered one bull with an 81-point ride in the opening round. With the highest point scored among the six bull riders, he won the average title and earned a buckle.

“I am just happy that I got something rode here at the state finals,” said Moreno, who also finished as the reserve champion in the team-roping event with heeling partner Stade Riggs.

Unofficially, Moreno finished the year-end standings with 74 points while Austin Wyatt was a close second with 70.5 points.

“It’s pretty cool,” Moreno said of earning the state crown in his rookie season.

With nationals a few weeks away, Moreno said he’s anticipating some good stock at the finals.

“I know there are going to be a lot of good bulls there,” he said. “I just have to stay in tip-top shape and I can’t be lazy.”

In the team-roping event, Moreno and Riggs finished second in the average race, which included a first-place finish in the second round with a 8.48 second run.

“I was glad that I gave my partner a good handle,” Moreno said of their triumph. “He came around and roped two feet.”

“It was a good steer, real solid and we made a good run,” Riggs added.


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Categories: Rodeo

About Author

Quentin Jodie

Quentin Jodie is the Sports Editor for the Navajo Times. He started working for the Navajo Times in February 2010 and was promoted to the Sports Editor position at the end of summer in 2012. Previously, he wrote for the Gallup Independent. Reach him at qjodie@navajotimes.com