By Dave Wagner, Freedom New Mexico
CLOVIS — Aspyn Reames was hoping for a big finish in Saturday’s final day of the High Plains Junior Rodeo Association Finals at Mounted Patrol Arena, and she got it.
The 14-year-old from Clovis took first-place finishes in age 13-15 pole bending and barrel racing, and was second in goat tying.
“I just wanted to make all my runs clean,” said Reames, who will be a freshman at Texico High School in the fall. “I had good times today.”
Reames posted times of 23.425 seconds in poles, 18.932 in barrels and 15.51 in goat tying.
She said she plays a little basketball, but other than that her main activity is rodeoing. It’s something she’s done since she was eight.
“My stepdad and brother both team-rope,” she said.
With the HPJRA season now over, Reames said she will participate in regional roping events the rest of the year until the local season starts again in April.
“It’s pretty much my main priority when school’s not here,” she said. “I just want to keep doing this and, hopefully, I can (eventually) get a rodeo scholarship.”
The day didn’t go quite as well for another area competitor, 17-year-old Lucas Screws of St. Vrain.
Teaming with different performers in team roping as the “header,” meaning he tries to rope the calf’s head, the “heelers” were unable to get their ropes around the animals’ heels in Saturday’s finals.
Screws, who will be a junior at Melrose High School this year, took it with a grain of salt.
“It’s harder on them than me,” he said.
He said his week at the event wasn’t all that bad.
“I did pretty good,” he said. “Of course, I could’ve done better.”
He said he was planning to attend a U.S. calf-roping event today in Lubbock, and will be competing somewhere almost every weekend now that the HPRJA campaign is over.
Screws has been involved in rodeo for about 10 years. He said his family owns a ranch where he is able to practice.
Like Reames, he’s hoping to perhaps land a college rodeo scholarship in time, and perhaps even work his way onto the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association circuit eventually.
“I’ll try to work my way up there,” he said.