After a week of competition, twelve performances and two go rounds of competition, the field at the National Junior High Finals Rodeo (NJHFR) was narrowed to 20 competitors in each of the eleven events offered. The 2012 NJHFR held at Red Rock Park in Gallup, New Mexico began June 24 and concluded on June 30 with a Championship performance.
A trio of Nevada student-athletes survived the opening rounds to advance to the Championships on the final night of competition. Dally Goemmer of Battle Mountain competed twice on Saturday night, in the breakaway roping and the ribbon roping. Her partner in the latter, Cord Hendrix of Fallon, also competed twice; he qualified in the boys’ goat tying. Bull rider Cam Benbough of Elko rounded out the Nevada representatives in the finals.
Over 900 students in grades 6-8 competed during the 2012 NJHFR. The student-athletes travel from across the United States, Canada and Australia. The event was webcast live on iHigh.com and the Championships will air on RFD-TV’s Cinchtown Tour.
Following the final round action, National Champions were crowned based on the three head averages. Winners received college scholarships and Gist champions’ buckles along with a host of prizes from NJHFR sponsors.
Goemmer was raised in a rodeo family and qualified to compete in Gallup after finishing as the Reserve All Around Cowgirl for the state. She was also the Rookie of the Year. Competing with Hendrix, she captured the state championship in the ribbon roping after winning the state finals in Fallon and was third in the breakaway roping for the season. Hendrix finished second in the boys’ goat tying for the year end while Benbough just made the cut for Nationals, ending the season fourth in the bull riding.
During the Championship round at Nationals, Goemmer failed to earn a qualified time in the breakaway but finished eighth in the round in the ribbon roping with a run of 10.885 seconds. She and Hendrix were 11th overall, pushing Goemmer to third in the Rookie All Around Cowgirl category.
After finishing ninth in the opening round, Hendrix tied his final goat in 19.123 seconds to finish 16th in both the round and the average of the boys’ goat tying.
Benbough had the highest round finish of the Nevada team contingent when he scored 73 points in round two to earn fifth in that go. Though he bucked off in the Championship, Benbough finished in a tie for 14th in the bull riding.
Overall, Nevada finished 29th in the team standings. Forty-one states, five Canadian provinces, and Australia were represented at the 8th Annual NJHFR.