SULPHUR — Sulphur cowgirl Kaylee Kinney finished her high school career with a pair of state titles and the all-around cowgirl award on Saturday at the Louisiana High School Finals Rodeo.
“It feels amazing,” Kinney said. “I am so excited.
“It was definitely nerve-racking going into the finals. It has definitely been a whirlwind, but it is bittersweet. I am looking forward to nationals.”
Kinney finished with 221.5 points in the all-around standings while Millie Frey of Eunice was second with 147.05 points.
Kinney won the girls’cutting title by 2.15 points over DeRidder’s Laney Walker on Tuesday then added the barrel racing title on Saturday with 93.7 points while Welsh’s Kylie Conner was second with 70.6 points. Kinney had the second-best average time in barrel at 49.337 seconds on three runs.
Kinney was the runner-up in pole bending with runs of 21.147, 20.552, and 20.688 seconds.
The top four in each event qualified for the National High School Finals Rodeo on July 18-25 in Lincoln, Nebraska.
Two Southwest Louisiana cowboys — Sulphur’s Kolby Stelly and Welsh’s Coy Hebert — regained their thrones.
Stelly, the reigning national champion bull rider, secured his title in the short-go round Saturday. He led defending state champion Trevor Hebert (St. Amant) by 2.8 points going into the final round.
Hebert was bucked off before the 8-second window, and Stelly posted his best ride of the week, 81 points, to beat Hebert 73.7-63.9 for his third state bull riding championship in four seasons.
Hebert won his third saddle bronc state title in four seasons with a dominant string of three 8-second rides of 74, 74, and 73 points. St. Louis Catholic’s Jace Nixon was the runner-up.
Camryn Richard (Sam Houston HS) qualified for nationals in two events after placing third in barrel racing and breakaway roping.
Sulphur’s Gatlin Martin was the runner-up in steer wrestling and Alyssa Gary (Iowa HS) took second in goat tying.
Martin finished second in the All-around cowboy standings to Kase Busby (Hicks).