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The 2013 Central Oregon rodeo season is underway.
The season started this past weekend with the opening Central Oregon Pee Wee Rodeo of the year.
Next weekend is even bigger as the Crook County Fairgrounds host the Tri-County High School rodeo, while the pee wee rodeo will compete at the Deschutes County Fairgrounds.
If you get a chance, both events are worth checking out.
For the past several years, Crook County athletes have been at the top of the standings in Oregon goat tying. This year is no exception as three local competitors sit atop the standings. Carly Hibbs holds a slim 5.5 point lead over Jessie Loper, while Courtney Hibbs is solidly in third place in the standings.
Carly Hibbs is also second in breakaway roping and second in the girls all-around standings. Meanwhile, Bailey Beall is sixth in the all-around standings while Courtney Hibbs is seventh and Loper is ninth.
Other Crook County athletes to watch for are Talia Radabaugh, who is currently second in cutting and 21st in barrel racing, as well as Austin Severance, who is high in the standings in bull riding and is also in the top 25 in team roping.
Action starts Friday evening, May 10, at 6 p.m., and continues through Sunday afternoon.
Meanwhile, the pee wee rodeo takes place all day Saturday, and much of the day Sunday in Redmond.
If you have never seen Cowgirls as young as three years of age trying to negotiate a pole bending course, or an up-and- coming bareback rider take his first fall, you donít know what youíve been missing.
It is fascinating watching young athletes attempt to conquer their fear as they learn the skills necessary to eventually compete at a higher level.
Rodeo fans will have one final opportunity to see high school rodeo in June when the Fairgrounds hosts the Oregon High School Rodeo Association Finals, June 12-15.
Meanwhile, there are several more chances to see pee wee rodeo. The Central Oregon Pee Wee Rodeo Association will host rodeos in Prineville June 1-2, July 27-28, and August 24.
In other sports news, the spring high school rodeo season is rapidly winding down.
Boys and girls district golf wraps up today with district tennis concluding on Friday.
The Crook County High School track and field team has one Central Oregon meet when they compete Thursday at the Intermountain Hybrid Championships.
The following week, the team travels to Ontario for the Greater Oregon League Championships.
With the baseball team already eliminated from post-season competition and the softball team hanging on by a thread, it is likely that both of their seasons will end this Friday.
Crook County has a number of spring athletes that the school district and the community should be proud of.
In tennis, Elsa Harris has gone through the season with just one loss.
Harris is favored to win the Greater Oregon League singles title and should be a contender for an individual championship at state. Doubles players Annie Fraser and Ali Apperson have a solid chance to join Harris at state and have an outside chance to finish on the podium.
In golf, both the CCHS boys and girls teams have a chance to make it to the state tournament, despite having no individuals that are in the top of the league standings.
The girls golf team will be competing today at Brasada Ranch, while the boys team is hosting the Greater Oregon League Championships at Meadow Lakes.
The top two teams for each district tournament will qualify for the state championships, which will be held the following week.
The track team also has a number of athletes that are expected to excel.
Grayson Munn has had a breakout season and is now ranked near the top in the state standings in the 800, 1,500, and 3,000-meter runs.
Fellow runner Alonzo Lopez is near the top of the standings in both the 200 and 400, while both the Cowboys 4x100 and 4x400 teams should also compete for berths at state.
Also expected to make it to the state tournament is Chance Sutfin, who has consistently thrown the discus beyond the 140-foot mark. Sutfin is also near the top of the league standings in both the shot put and discus.
On the girls side, Kathryn Kaonis has thrown the shot put more than 37 feet, making her the favorite to win the district title.
Laken Berlin is also a threat, competing in the sprints, 300 hurdles, and long jump.
Danielle Michael should make it to state again in the pole vault as well as helping the Cowgirl relay teams. In addition, Hannah Troutman has put herself in position to make it to state in both the javelin and shot put.
Several other Crook County track and field athletes have also shown that they have the potential to make it to the state championships, which will be held Memorial Day weekend at Hayward Field in Eugene.
One final note.
Congratulations to Rob Bonner on being named the new Crook County High School athletic director. Bonner will be replacing Scott Polen, who has served in the position the last five years.
Bonner has worked as the middle school athletic director for the past several years and is well-liked by students and faculty alike. He should be a positive addition to CCHS.