Klinglesmith, Anderson qualify for National High School Rodeo Finals

Klinglesmith wins Wyoming state title

Meeker’s Ellie Anderson and Lori Ann Klinglesmith pictured (left) with the belt buckles they won at the Wyoming State High School Rodeo Finals last weekend in Rock Springs. Both qualified for the 2017 National High School Rodeo Finals to be held in Gillette, Wyo., starting July 15. Both had to come from behind to qualify in the breakaway roping event, where Klinglesmith became a state champion and Anderson won the qualifying round with the best time in the state finals rodeo. Pictured above are the girls’ dads/coaches, Lenny Klinglesmith (left) and Travis Anderson (far right), along with their coach Dee Norell (middle). courtesy photos

MEEKER | Lori Ann Klinglesmith and Ellie Anderson did what they had to do to qualify for the 2017 National High School Rodeo Finals (NHSRF), which included becoming a Wyoming state champion and winning a “short go” to come from behind to qualify. The NHSRF will be held July 15-23 in Gillette, Wyo., and both Meeker girls qualified in the breakaway roping event at the Wyoming High School Rodeo State finals last week in Rock Springs, Wyo., where Klinglesmith won the breakaway roping state title and Anderson won the short round in the same event to finish in the fourth and final qualifying position. Anderson’s younger brother Lane, also a Wyoming junior high rodeo state champion, qualified for a third time for the National Junior High School Rodeo Finals, which start today in Lebanon, Tenn.
Klinglesmith chose to forego her senior prom and graduation ceremony to rodeo, trying to gather all the points she could in her final attempt to qualify for the NHSRF, and she would not be denied. Klinglesmith entered the finals tied for the 10th position in breakaway roping, 29 points behind the leader and knowing only the top four qualified for the NHSRF.
Klinglesmith had the best time (2.55 seconds) in the first round in a field of 49 ropers in the state finals, then finished with the fourth best time (3.08) in the second round but won the average and earned her a spot rope in the qualifying round, which includes the top 15 in the event.
Going into the qualifying round, Klinglesmith moved up to sixth in the standings, then recorded a 2.47 in the qualifying round, which placed her second but she still had the best average (8.10) on three calves, which put her in the top qualifying spot and earned her a 2017 Wyoming state championship, along with her first berth into the NHSRF.
“Qualifying was sort of a reassurance to me that my hard work finally paid off, however my mindset going into state finals was that my season had already been a success in terms of things I had learned and the progress my horse had made,” Klinglesmith said. “I knew going into state I had to do well, win go rounds, as well as get some average points and I also knew it was going to be a challenge just because of the competition, especially in the breakaway. I was nervous going into the short go, leading the average but my dad told me to ‘stick to my routine,’ and Travis (Anderson) told me ‘not to think about it too much and just go rope like I had been.’”
Klinglesmith said she was happy qualifying for the NHSRF and a state championship never crossed her mind until later in the rodeo.
“When they finally posted the official results, I really couldn’t believe I was actually a state champion, but I had surpassed my goals and felt like everything had paid off.”
Anderson also had to come from behind to earn her first berth into the NHSRF, as she entered the Wyoming state rodeo in seventh place, 19 points behind the leader. Anderson had some tough luck and did not rope her calf in the first round but placed fifth in the second round and using the points she accumulated during the season, she advanced to the qualifying go round.
In the qualifying round, Anderson roped her calf in 2.34 seconds, which was the fastest time of the entire Wyoming state rodeo, won the round and moved her into the fourth and final qualifying spot.
“It’s pretty exciting and rewarding for working all season,” Anderson said of qualifying.
The girls are coached by their dads Lenny Klinglesmith and Travis Anderson, along with Dee and Vicky Norell.
“We rope at the Norell’s every night,” Anderson said. “Dee coaches us and Vicky runs the chute. They came to watch us in the short go, which was pretty cool.”
Both Meeker girls also team roped at the state rodeo but did not qualify for the national finals. However, Lane Anderson was a Wyoming junior high state team roping champion and also qualified for the National Junior High State Rodeo Finals (NJHSRF) in the goat tying event.
Lane Anderson credits his 21-year-old paint horse ‘Pache for his success.
“He’s sharp and gives me a good throw,” Anderson said of his horse. “He’s got it all in him.”
Anderson, who has qualified for the NJHSRF the past three years, is confident in his horse, his abilities and his strategy, which is to “rope the steer they put in the chute and ty the goat they stake to the ground.”