Anderson, Klinglesmith compete in national rodeo finals

Lori Ann Klinglesmith (left), a 2017 Wyoming High School Rodeo breakaway roping state champion and graduate of Meeker High School, along with Ellie Anderson (right), who will be a junior at Meeker High School this fall, qualified for the National High School Finals Rodeo in the breakaway roping event. Both caught once, including Anderson winning her first performance with a catch in 2.55 seconds, but both missed in their second round. Klinglesmith will continue rodeoing at the college level, while Anderson has two more years of high school competition. Both cowgirls are competing in the 2017 Meeker Summer Rodeo Series. Bobby Gutierrez photos

MEEKER | Ellie Anderson and Lori Ann Klinglesmith have been riding horses and rodeoing since they were young and both qualified, for the first time, to compete in the National High School Finals Rodeo, held last week in Gillette, Wyo. Anderson and Klinglesmith rodeoed as part of the Wyoming High School Rodeo Association and both qualified in the Breakaway Roping event. The top four in each event from each state qualify for the NHSFR and Klinglesmith qualified as a Wyoming State High School champion in the Breakaway roping event.
“Even though I didn’t do as well as I wanted to do, it was so much fun,” Klinglesmith said of her national rodeo experience.
Anderson, who will be a junior this fall at Meeker High School, and Klinglesmith, who was graduated from Meeker High School last spring, were in a field of more than 200 ropers in the event, which needed four days and two performances each day to complete the first round.
Klinglesmith broke out in the first performance and recorded a 12.3 but did not catch her calf in the second round. Anderson won the third performance with the fifth best time in the first round when she caught her calf in 2.55 seconds but she too, missed in the second round, ending her season.
“It was my first year to qualify and I knew it was the biggest rodeo I had ever performed in so I just wanted to stay calm but it was super overwhelming,” Anderson said of the NHSFR experience. “Lenny (Klinglesmith) teased me about being “cool, calm and collected” in the first round, which felt like a practice run. In the second round Friday, I tried to use the same mind set but it didn’t work out and I missed.”
Both enjoyed the experience and made new friends and both will continue to rodeo. Anderson will have two more years in high school and Klinglesmith will take her skills to rodeo on scholarship at the University of Wyoming in Laramie.