ROCK RAPIDS, Wyo. – Shane O’Connell of Rapid City and California’s Chad Biglow both posted 72-point rides in the short go of bareback riding Saturday night in the final go round of the National High School Finals Rodeo in Rock Rapids, Wyoming to retain a share of the lead, and then had to wait while third-place finisher Hunter Brasfield exercised two re-ride options before earning a share of high school rodeo’s top prize and become a natonal champion. O’Connell was the only national champion to emerge from South Dakota as the NHSFR came to an end for 2013. Ten other national titles were on the line Saturday night, and in addition to O’Connell, six other Team South Dakotans earned their way into the championship short round: Syerra Christiansen of Kennebec in breakaway roping; Jana Hunt of Dupree in pole bending; Tayte Clark of Meadow in saddle bronc; Shelby Strand of Harrisburg in girls’ cutting; Jake Frazier of White Horse in bull riding; and Taylor Engesser of Spearfish in barrel racing. Engesser was the only winner in the final performance while making the most impressive attempt of the night, winning the barrel racing short round with a 17.219-second run, though the time differential to be made up was too great. The Spearfish senior jumped from 14th to 10th in the final average standings.
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