Three athletes from Tooele County punched their tickets to the upcoming National High School Finals Rodeo over the weekend, led by Dawson Stewart’s state championship in steer wrestling.
Stewart clinched the state title Saturday at the Utah High School Rodeo Association’s state finals at the Wasatch County Fairgrounds. The top four finishers in each event qualify for the NHSFR, and Stewart came into the weekend ranked second in the state in the event, which put him in prime position to qualify for the national finals.
But he was simply dominant at state, finishing first in both the second go and the short go to win the average by 4.7 seconds.
Stewart’s Grantsville teammate, Braydin Evans, also qualified for the national finals by finishing second in tie-down roping. Evans came into the weekend ranked fifth in the state in the event, and put together three solid runs to earn himself a spot with a three-day combined time of 41.090 seconds.
Stewart and Evans both just missed qualifying for the NHSFR in multiple events, with Stewart finishing fifth in boys cutting and Evans taking fifth in team roping with his partner, Enterprise’s Kaytlyn Miller. Stewart also finished 13th in tie-down roping and 20th in team roping with teammate Burke Pallesen of Sevier.
Teri Dawn Haws is also headed to the NHSFR after tying for third in reined cow horse. She won the second go, finished second in the first go and third in the short go, earning second place in the average to leapfrog four competitors who came in ranked ahead of her. Haws also finished 24th in breakaway roping and 77th in team roping with teammate Koven Peterson of Uintah Basin.
Other competitors from Grantsville’s team at the state finals included Koby Johnson, who finished 14th in bull riding; Beau Rees, who was 27th in team roping with teammate Hadley Holmes of Enterprise and 65th in tie-down roping; Bailey Thomas, who was tied for 63rd in breakaway roping and Alyssa Hopper, who was 67th in pole bending.
The NHSFR will take place July 16-22 at the Cam-Plex in Gillette, Wyoming.