The path to get there looked a bit different due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but Krista Cook ended up in a familiar place: a national rodeo event.
Cook, who is entering her senior year at New Lisbon High School, qualified for the National High School Finals Rodeo (NHSFR) for a fourth consecutive year, where she placed seventh in the .22 light rifle shooting event. Prior to high school, she also qualified for junior high nationals all three years she was eligible. In total, she’s now competed at a national rodeo event in seven straight years.
However, qualifying for nationals this year had a different look.
The COVID-19 pandemic caused the Wisconsin High School Rodeo to cancel all spring rodeos and its state finals event. Fortunately, there were four rodeos held in the fall and the kids sitting in positions 1-4 in each event through those four competitions were chosen to as Wisconsin’s representatives at nationals.
Cook, a five-time state champion in the .22 light rifle shooting event, qualified in light rifle yet again and just narrowly missed out on also qualifying in goat tying, as she was in fifth place in the event following the four fall rodeos.
This year’s nationals were originally scheduled to take place in Lincoln, Nebraska, but ultimately had to be moved due to COVID-19. Instead, the NHSFR event was held July 17 to 23 at Lazy E Arena in Guthrie, Oklahoma.
Cook competed in the first round of the .22 light rifle shooting event, which was held at the Oklahoma City Gun Range, on July 18. She tallied a score of 315 out of a possible 360 to place ninth out of 92 competitors after the first round. The number of competitors at nationals were down this year, due in large part to international students being unable to travel to the United States to compete given the ongoing pandemic.
Thanks to her ninth-place showing in round one, Cook was among the 20 competitors who got to come back and go again, with that second-round score added to the first for a cumulative total to determine the final standings. She recorded a personal-best score of 327 in the second round and ultimately moved up to seventh in the final standings to earn herself a national buckle.
Cook serves on the Wisconsin High School Rodeo Association (WHSRA) student board as the vice president and also was the student director for goat tying. In addition to rodeo, she plays basketball for the Rockets, is a member of the school’s yearbook staff and recently completed her CNA certification.
Follow Zach Rastall on Twitter @zrastall17 or contact him at 608-697-7943.
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