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Moe starts strong at national rodeo

Alishia Moe will be spending the weekend in Gillette, Wyo. and it appears that she will be competing in the finals of the barrel racing at the National High School Rodeo.

Moe, a freshman at Bemidji High School, also could qualify for the finals in the pole bending event but the field will not be officially determined until Saturday morning.

The final in both events will be Saturday evening and the top-20 finishers after two rounds of preliminaries will qualify.

The original fields in the barrel racing and the pole bending included between 150 and 200 competitors who were grouped into six heats. Each heat held two preliminary rodeos and the combined scores after those two rodeos will be used to select the 20 cowgirls who will advance to the finals.

Moe's barrel racing heat held its two rodeos Wednesday and the Bemidji cowgirl, assisted by her horse Cheetah, topped her competitors each time. In the morning heat Moe earned a 17.371 score and her nearest challenger, Emily Faber of Rozet, Wyo., posted a 17.452 score.

In the evening session Moe won again, this time with a 17.695 effort. Carol Lee Holt of Enterprise, Utah, was second in the evening heat at 17.813.

"Alyshia is doing extremely well," said her mother Diane. "She's at the top of her game and so is Cheetah."

In the pole bending event Moe did very well in Tuesday night's first rodeo and placed fourth in her heat at 20.42. Rain hit the Gillette area Wednesday night and Thursday morning Moe and Cheetah struggled with the mud. The team was assessed a 5-second penalty for hitting a pole but still placed 15th out of 29 competitors in her heat with a time of 25.852.

Had she not been assessed the penalty Moe would have placed second in her rodeo.

"It looks like Alyshia has done well enough in the barrel racing to make it to the short go (final)," Diane Moe said. "But we won't know for sure until the final rodeo on Saturday morning.

"She also might have a chance of finishing in the top-20 in the pole bending," Diane Moe continued. "We'll just have to wait and see."

Pat Miller

Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.

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