County rodeo standouts qualify for NHSFR

Nationals event is July 14-20 in Wyoming


Laney Hoier, Hailey O'Daniel and Erika Cruikshank are Rock Springs, Wyo., bound.
The rodeo standouts all recently qualified for the July 14-20 National High School Finals Rodeo (NHSFR) at the Sweetwater Events Complex. Hoier is from Herman, while both O'Daniel and Cruikshank attend Arlington High School.
An Arlington cowboy, Haydn Hegemann, is also listed as a bull riding alternate for Nebraska's national team.
Hoier, though, is her home state's goat-tying champion for the second-straight year. The Tekamah-Herman student topped the standings with 195.5 points, while also winning the Nebraska High School Rodeo Association (NHSRA) State Finals average June 13 in Burwell. She posted a combined time of 22.86 seconds.
Hoier earned the state rodeo's top average result in the breakaway roping as well, topping the second-place competitor by more than 10 seconds. She will compete in the event during the NHSFR, too, after claiming third overall in the state this season.
Notably, Hoier's sister, Charley Hoier, starts National Junior High Finals Rodeo competition Tuesday in Des Moines, Iowa, at the Iowa State Fairgrounds. The cowgirl will compete in the goat-tying Tuesday and Thursday, and with partner Kelstyn Lindner in the ribbon roping on Wednesday.
O'Daniel was a junior high nationals qualifier in the past and is again attending the NHSFR this summer after a standout high school season on the Iowa circuit. The NSAA track and field state champion earned second in the Iowa High School Rodeo Association All-Around Cowgirl standings behind only Carli Stuva of Fontanelle, Iowa.
O'Daniel finished second overall in barrel racing, qualifying for nationals while also taking third in pole bending for a second qualification. She finished fourth in the pole bending during the Iowa state state finals on June 7 in Bloomfield.
The AHS student-athlete added a fourth-place result in goat-tying at state, earning sixth overall in the season standings — just two spots out of another nationals berth. She took seventh overall in the breakaway roping, too, and was 29th in team roping.
Her schoolmate, Cruikshank, was third in Iowa's All-Around cowgirl standings as well. She finished second overall in the pole bending — ahead of O'Daniel — and earned fourth in the state's barrel racing standings for two NHSFR qualifications.
The Valley cowgirl also earned seventh and ninth in the goat tying and breakaway roping, respectively. This high school nationals trip will be her first.
Not to be outdone, Alexa and Trevor Cruikshank qualified for the junior high finals as well. Alexa was first in Iowa's breakaway roping, pole bending and goat tying standings, third in barrel racing and fourth in ribbon roping. Trevor, meanwhile, was first in boys goat tying.
One more Washington County cowgirl earned a top-10 finish during this past high school rodeo season. Libby Hegemann of Arlington was 10th in Nebraska's goat-tying standings despite missing half of the season as she recovers from an injury, which happened during the AHS basketball season.
Last summer, Hegemann, O'Daniel and Hoier represented Washington County at the 2023 NHSFR in Gillette, Wyo. O'Daniel secured the trio's top finish, earning 36th out of 154 competitors from across the United States and Canada.

Shaner to compete in NHSFR trapshooting
Morgan Shaner of Fort Calhoun will compete in Rock Springs, Wyo., during the NHSFR, too.
The marksman will contend for a top finish in trapshooting, while representing Iowa. He competed all spring with the Blair Youth Shooting Sports this spring, finishing out the season as one of two Fort Calhoun shooters at the Cornhusker Trap Shoot in Doniphan.
In April, Shaner — an FCHS grad — was awarded a Cattlemen's Association scholarship.