Rodeo set for weekend

The Carson-Douglas Rodeo Club have been traveling all over the state competing in high school events throughout the year.

But now the club will be on its home turf. The club will host teams from across the state this weekend in a high school rodeo at the Pine Nut Arena at the Douglas County Fairgrounds. The competition will begin at 9 a.m. Saturday and 8 a.m. Sunday.

In addition, boys and girls cutting will be held at the Corley Ranch on Friday. If last weekend's rodeo at Battle Mountain is any indication, the Carson-Douglas club is peaking at the right time of the year.

At least two of the club's members - Douglas High students Alyce Kugler and Keston Denny figure to have an excellent chance to advance to the National High School Rodeo Finals in July in Gillette, Wyo.

Denny competed in last year's national finals in steer wrestling and hopes to make back again this year in steer wrestling and bull riding. Denny also competes in team roping with Virginia City's Amy Beaupre.

The top four finishers in the Nevada State Championships to be held June 17-20 in Yerington will advance to the nationals.

Kugler had a strong performance at Battle Mountain, taking fourth in Saturday's go-round with a score of 72.5 in cutting and also placed fourth on Sunday with a score of 72.

Denny also had a big weekend, winning the overall average in steer wrestling. He took second on Saturday in 7.93 seconds and then won on Sunday with an outstanding time of 5.13 seconds.

In addition, he placed seventh with Beaupre in team roping on Sunday in 15.78 seconds.

Denny was heavily recruited in rodeo before accepting a scholarship to Cochise Community College in Douglas, Ariz., the nation's No. 1 program. Denny will continue to compete in bull riding, steer wrestling and team roping at Cochise for two years. He said he could transfer to UNLV where he may compete as well.

Denny is coming off an outstanding season with the Douglas High ski team, where he was the team's top skier in slalom and giant slalom. He was named to the all-Tahoe Basin League team and helped Douglas to a third place finish in the league, its highest finish in more than 15 years.

"I used to ski and everything, but I got more into rodeo," said Denny about how he spent all of his time in rodeo until this year.

Denny said overall he's pleased with his season so far. "Bulldoging started out slow," said Denny, referring to steer wrestling. "It's started to pick up."

Denny said his goal is to place in the top 10 in nationals in either steer wrestling or bull riding, something he was unable to do last year.

Beaupre is also doing well in cutting. The fifth through 10th place finishers in the state will advance to the Silver State Rodeo this summer in Fallon. If Beaupre qualifies for the Silver State Rodeo in cutting, she could also elect to compete in team roping with Denny and Denny said he would definitely like to compete in the Silver State Rodeo in that event.

Kugler, who also competes in poles and barrel racing, said competing at the Douglas County Fairgrounds arena should serve as an advantage. "I have a lot of experience in it," she said.

Anothe club member who had an outstanding weekend at Battle Mountain was Carson High's Pia Wendell. Wendell took 10th in barrel racing on Saturday in 18.771 and seventh on Sunday in 18.085. She also took fifth in poles in 21.762. Tara Sallee of Washoe Valley also placed seventh in Saturday's barrell racing in 16.642.

Another local athlete who figures to have an excellent chance to advance to nationals is Yerington's Dylan Johnson. Last weekend, Johnson teamed with Kassi Venturacci to take second in team roping on saturday in 8.17 and second on Sunday in 8.65.

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