Rachel Hendrix capped off a successful four-year run with the Fallon Rodeo Club Saturday on the final night of the 65th annual National High School Finals Rodeo in Rock Springs, Wyo.
Hendrix, a recent Churchill County High School graduate, earned third-place in breakaway roping and fifth in the All-Around Cowgirl at the Sweetwater Events Complex. She emerged as the highest finisher of any Nevada competitor during the week-long rodeo in which 48 states, Canadian provinces and Australia were represented.
This marked progress for Hendrix, who placed fourth in barrel racing and sixth in the All-Around at the 2012 national finals in Rock Springs.
“It was a really good week to end my high school career,” she said. “It’s been a long four years, but they were all good. Every year I made nationals and I did better each time. I am just happy I could represent my state, meet new kids and have fun.”
Even though she only stood 19th at the end of the first round and 27th at the end of the second round, Hendrix was a picture of consistency throughout the week, including back-to-back 3.19-second clockings in the first two rounds and 3.24 in the short go. She clocked the sixth fastest time of the short go.
When the times were all put together, Cadi Wood of Stanton, Texas, stood on top with a combined 8.8 seconds, Codie Brown of Plainwell, Mich., was second with a time of 9.5 and Hendrix was just a fraction behind at 9.62. To show how close the competition was, less than one second separated the top four finishers.
“If my loop would have worked, it could have been better,” Hendrix said of her short go performance. “But I’m happy with what I did.”
Hendrix also finished 14th in the final girls cutting standings to score points that contributed to her fifth-place finish in All-Around. She closed strong by placing ninth in the short go with a 142 score.
Her younger brother, Cord Hendrix, also turned in a strong first-round showing (140 points) in boys cutting which helped him finish sixth in the Rookie All-Around Cowboy standings.
Meanwhile, Rachel Hendrix will take her sport to the next level this coming fall at Southern Utah University.
“I am excited to be going to a new place and start a new level of rodeo in school,” she said. “They have a really good girls rodeo team so I’m excited to be a part of that.”
She is headed to Southern Utah with academic and rodeo scholarships. In addition to her accomplishments in the arena, which included the All-Around Cowgirl title at the 2012 Nevada State Finals Rodeo in Fallon, she also compiled a 4.09 cumulative grade point average at CCHS.
“It is hard to balance both,” she said about mixing academics and rodeo. “But education is more important. My parents always said they believed education is way more important than rodeo.”