Genny McGeary will represent Routt County at this week's Colorado High School Rodeo Finals in Greeley, but she will not be a Sailor, Ram or Tiger.
Last year, McGeary attended Burke Mountain Academy, a private high school in Vermont, but got back to Colorado in time to qualify for the state High School Rodeo Championships as an independent.
"It's kind of strange," the sophomore said. "At first I didn't know anyone, but once I got to know people it was a lot of fun."
McGeary said she was a little surprised, however, by how well she and her horse, J.P., have shown this season.
"I didn't ride at all in Vermont, so it was great to come back and do this well without a lot of practice," McGeary said.
In six rodeos this season, McGeary has posted several top-15 finishes. Her best showing came in Lamar two weeks ago.
"I was 11th in the barrels," McGeary said. "That was our best finish."
McGeary has qualified to ride at the state finals in both barrels and poles. She will compete in barrels Wednesday, poles on Thursday and then back to the barrels on Friday.
"I'm hoping to qualify for the go round," McGeary said. "I don't think I can qualify for nationals because you have to compete in all the rodeos. But I would be happy to get to the final round at state."
The finals will be Saturday and will feature the top high school riders in the state.
"I'm excited to get the chance to ride," McGeary said.
McGeary couldn't ride for the Steamboat Springs High School rodeo team since she did not attend the school last semester. But the Colorado High School Rodeo Association does recognize independents in its rodeos and end-of-season championships.
McGeary said she trains her horse seven days a week and plans on being very competitive this week in Greeley. She also rides in the local gymkhana series and other junior rodeos across the state.
Steamboat Springs High School rodeo team just finished its regular season.
To reach John F. Russell call 871-4209 or e-mail email@example.com