Versatility shown on first day of Carson High Rodeo |

Versatility shown on first day of Carson High Rodeo

Dave Price

Just last month, Ronnie Burton capped off a pretty fair wrestling season for Fernley High School when he placed fourth in the 152-pound weight class at the 3A state tournament. These days, wrestling against other high school kids must seem like a piece of cake to Burton, who has exchanged his head gear and singlet for a cowboy hat and horse to compete as a rodeo cowboy.

He’s having quite a season so far as a steer wrestler, too, including a victory during the Carson High School Rodeo on Saturday at Fuji Park.

Burton was just one of a number of talented and versatile performers who were showcased on the first day of the Carson Rodeo, which concludes today starting at 8 a.m. at Fuji Park.

Sarah Kugler, a Carson High freshman, sang the Star Spangled Banner during the opening ceremonies and then finished her day with a fourth-place performance in barrel racing. Sadie Myers of the Lowry High Rodeo Club in Winnemucca, the all-around champion cowgirl at last year’s National High School Finals Rodeo in Illinois, won with a time of 18.207 seconds. Kugler was fourth with a time of 18.339 during a closely-contested competition in which less than three-tenths of a second separated the top 10.

Aaron Herberger also had a good day for the host Carson High Rodeo Club when he placed third in calf roping, while teammate Jordan Allyn finished fifth. Teo Maestrejuan, a 6-foot-4 senior who helped Lowry High win the 3A boys state basketball championship last month, posted a time of 10.37 seconds to capture first-place. Heberger, who came into the day 13th in the state calf roping season points, was third with a time of 12.58. Allyn was timed at 16.85.

When it comes to steer wrestling and high school wrestling, Burton says there is some correlation between the two.

“Both are pretty much all technique,” Burton said. “I guess you can compare the two as far as balance. You’ve got to have good balance to catch the steer, and then you’ve got to be able to stay on your feet once you catch them.”

Burton, a senior at Fernley, turned a time of 9.38 seconds to earn a narrow victory over Battle Mountain’s Max Filippini (9.73) on Saturday. It was an adequate performance, according to Burton.

“That was a fast steer, so my time was a little slower,” said Burton, who has now won five events during the spring season. “I was happy (about winning). I think I’m leading (the steer wrestling season points) after today. This is a big accomplishment for me after last year.”

Burton has improved considerably since last year, when he finished sixth in the state steer wrestling points. He did pick up some good pointers over the summer while working with older brother, Scott Burton, who qualified for nationals last year, and former Fernley rodeo/football standout Snuff Kolvet.

“Snuff was up here for his summer break and helped my brother and me,” Burton said. “It helped me out. I didn’t catch a lot of them last year, but I’m getting more consistent all the time now.”

There were other quality performances on Saturday.

Jenna Curtis of Fallon, who qualified for nationals last year, won the goat tying with a time of 8.51 seconds. Raelene Steele of Alamo clocked a 3.60 to pick up a narrow win in breakaway roping, just ahead of Amy Peraldo of Winnemucca (3.63). Peraldo won the pole bending with a time of 21.437, followed closely by Britney Adams of Moapa Valley (21.522).

Nick Sandru, a state champion wrestler and two-way starter for Battle Mountain’s 2A state runner-up football team, won the bull riding with a score of 60 points from the judges. Jered Cornejo of Elko maintained his season lead in bareback riding by earning first-place with a score of 63. Jason Adams and Cody Hintz won the team roping with a time of 8.42.