By Tiffany Williams
Gina Flewelling traveled to the National High School Rodeo Finals in Farmington, New Mexico from July 20 to 26 to compete in breakaway and goat tying.
“It was a lot of fun to go to the biggest rodeo in the world with 1,500 competitors,” said Flewelling.
The finals hosted students from Canada, the United States and Australia.
At the Alberta High School Finals Flewelling was second in the average and first overall in breakaway. She finished first in the average and first overall in goat tying. However, she didn’t finish as she had hoped at the national finals.
In breakaway she registered a no time on both of her go-rounds. She says that on her first go her calf went hard left and the second she was trying to be fast to win the go round but that didn’t work.
In goats she had a time of 10.9 seconds on her first go, which she thought was pretty good. On her second attempt her goat got up too early or she thought she would have had a time of 8.2 seconds.
She said that they had a pen of 125 goats and that it was hard to keep it even.
“They do a good job at trying to keep it even but it’s impossible,” said Flewelling. “I learned that next year if I make it I will buy some fresh goats to practice on.”
Flewelling who had traveled to see her brothers at the national finals before was pleased to go to the finals herself.
Both of her brothers, Tyrel, 21 years old and Tel, 18 years old helped her practice everyday, are both on rodeo scholarships at Eastern New Mexico University. Her goal is to earn a scholarship as well and was able to start to make those connections.
“There were coaches and recruiters watching and I just stayed focused. I talked to a few different schools. I was really excited to talk to some of the coaches,” said Flewelling.
Home school student also competes in barrel racing and pole bending but says that she likes the roping events better because she was born into a roping family. Her favourite subject is English and is considering becoming a journalist or go into public relations.
“It was a good experience but I will go home and practice and do better next year,” she said.
As she continues to work hard her next challenge is quickly approaching. She will be competing at the Canadian High School Rodeo Finals Aug. 8 to 10 in William’s Lake, British Columbia. To follow Flewelling’s quest for number one visit www.williamslakestampede.com.