Fallon honors Ali Norcutt for rodeo championship
LVN Editor Emeritus
Fallon’s Ali Norcutt joined elite company last week at the National High School Finals Rodeo in Rock Springs, Wyo.
Not only did she keep her family’s name alive in Nevada rodeo circles, but she also joined the select few of former Churchill County High School students who have won national titles.
Mayor Ken Tedford, the city of Fallon and the City Council honored Norcutt and recognized her family behind the City Hall’s courtyard Monday morning. Norcutt, who placed first at the state high school rodeo in both reining cow horse and girls cutting, edged her nearest competitor by a minute margin to win the 2019 championship belt.
“It’s super cool. I’m excited,” she said after a city of Fallon ceremony that honored her. “I’m the third Norcutt to win a national championship. I was able to bring out the Norcutt name in high school rodeo.”
In 2018 at the NHSFR, she came in fifth in reining cow horse out of 120 contestants. That finish, though, told Norcutt she had the ability to do better this year.
“I wanted to win it this year, and it ended up working out,” she said.
Although she didn’t place in girls cutting at nationals, Norcutt said she still had fun and will learn from the experience she had at the high-caliber event.
Her great uncle Kenny Norcutt, who now lives in Lovelock, snared the national title in bull riding in 1963, and her cousin Frank claimed the title in saddle bronc in 1985. Annie Joanette took the breakaway roping title in 2003, and Marisa Julian finished at the top in girls cutting in 2009.
The national Rookie All-Around Cowgirl award went to Bailey Corkill in 2006. Two other Fallon contestants also garnered titles as the top rodeo queens, Jody Howard in 1988-89 and Loni Johnston-Faught in 1995-96.
Tedford praised Norcutt in his remarks for her come-from-behind win.
“It’s an awesome thing,” he said.
The mayor also heaped praise on her champion horse and noted its name is also Kenny.
Norcutt listened to Tedford as he summarized her national finals. After the first go, Norcutt had 290.5 points, and then faltered a little in the second go with 286 points, leaving her in seventh place.
“She need 289 to tie and 289.5 to win,” Tedford pointed out.
In the final short go, Norcutt pulled in 289.5 points to claim this year’s championship.
“Going into the short go, I was 20 points behind first,” Norcutt recalled. “My dad said it was nearly impossible for me to end up winning it.”
As Norcutt and her family watched the leader, his horse began to trot during the rundown. Once the points were tallied, Norcutt moved up the ladder, and she began eyeing a second-place finish until the final go. She and another competitor tied for the lead and at the time, were considered co-champions. Once judges sorted out the points, Norcutt had narrowly won the coveted title.
It’s been a whirlwind 10 days for the Fallon student. From winning a national title to her family receiving a police escort into Fallon to the city’s special ceremony, Norcutt is savoring the moment; however, Norcutt said she has little time to sit back and enjoy it. She’ll compete in a horse show in August and then the fall season of high school rodeo begins.
But Tedford shared the gratitude from everyone by presenting her with a bouquet of flowers, a plaque and encouraging words.
“It’s a special occasion in the city of Fallon when we have a champion,” he said. “Today, we have Ali Norcutt.”