SULPHUR — Southwest Louisiana’s Kaylee Kinney and Coy Hebert increased their leads at the Louisiana High School Finals Rodeo Friday at the West Cal Arena.
Kinney, a senior from Sulphur, gained a little more breathing room but remains in a tight race in barrel racing after the first go-round.
Kinney placed third in the round with a run of 16.379 seconds to up her lead on Welsh’s Kylie Conner from six points to 11.6.
Hebert, of Welsh, increased his lead on Jace Nixon (St. Louis Catholic) to move closer to his third state saddle bronc riding title in four seasons.
Hebert scored a 73-point ride in the first go to increase his lead to 18 points. A qualifying ride in the second go will all but lock up the title.
Kinney also increased her lead in the All-around Cowgirl standings to 60.75 points over second-place Millie Frey of Eunice.
The second go started Friday evening and will conclude at 10 a.m. today. The top 15 in each event advance to the short go at 5 p.m. today.
The top-four finishers in each event qualify for the National High School Finals Rodeo in Lincoln, Nebraska, July 18-24.
Kinder’s Ross Hebert made a huge jump to fourth place from eighth in tie-down roping, putting him in contention to qualify for the NHSFR. His time of 11.28 seconds was the second best of the round and left him 0.3 points ahead of fifthplace Matthew Weeks.
Sam Houston’s Camryn Richard dropped out of first place in breakaway roping after a no-time in the first round but is not out of the running. She trails leader Grace Dubois of Church Point by 3.6 points, 0.2 behind second-place Avery Landry of Arnaudville.
Sulphur steer wrestler Gaitlin Martin won the opening round with a blazing time of 4.04 seconds, more than a half second better than the rest of the field.
Two-time state and defending champion bull rider Kolby Stelly holds a tenuous lead after getting bucked off before the 8-second buzzer in the opening round. He leads Rosepine’s Trey Carroll by two points, but defending state champion Trevor Hebert of Prairieville moved up two spots to third with the lone scoring ride of the round at 80 points.
Three-and-a-half points separate the top three bull riders.
First Go-round Winners
Bareback riding — Dylan George, St. Francisville, 71.
Saddle bronc riding — Coy Hebert, Welsh, 73.
Barrel racing — Kylie Cliburn, Prairieville, 16.08.
Tie-down roping — Calvin Colvalt, Youngsville, 10.65.
Breakaway roping — Meadow Raymond, Oak Grove, 2.38.
Steer wrestling — Gatlin Martin, Sulphur, 4.04.
Goat tying — Kallie Deveer, Geismar, 6.92.
Team roping — Damien Lavery, Leesville/Connor Harper, Hineston, 8.7.
Pole bending — Mariah Crosby, Epps, 20.473.
Bull riding — Trevor Hebert, Prairieville, 80.