The way Sheridan Clark sees it, if she couldn't win the championship, at least it went to a good friend.
Clark finished second in the average standings of Girls Cutting at the recent National High School Finals Rodeo in Gillette, Wyoming. She had a three-round total score of 448, one point behind her friend Jaime Lynn Lucas of Crockett.
"It came down to the very last day. It was really exciting," Clark said. "Of course I would have liked to have won, but it's cool, though. I have one more year (of high school) and Jaime is a senior, so I'm glad she won it since I didn't.
"And we kept it in Texas. That was great."
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Clark is one of two Weatherford competitors to finish in the top five in their respective events at the nation's elite high school rodeo. Lane Cooper placed fifth in average in Boys Cutting with a total score of 437.
Clark did bring home a first-place award. She won the short go-round (finals) with a 152 score. She had previously posted consecutive scores of 148 to stand fourth and second following the first two rounds.
This was the first time for both Clark and Cooper to compete in the national finals.
"I just wanted to make it to the short round, and to do that well once I got there was great," Clark said.
Cooper, meanwhile, had an extra challenge he wasn't counting on. He came down sick before the competition.
"I was very sick for five or sick days," he said. "I'd had lots of medicine, and that first round I was not myself."
Cooper was tied for 33rd after the first round with a score of 139, almost falling off his horse. He rebounded to win the second round with a 150 and tied for third in short-go with a 148.
"If he could have done that in the first round, he might have won the whole thing," said Clark, who is a friend of Cooper.
"That second round I felt so much better," Cooper said. "It was a really neat experience. I wish I wasn't sick, but it was a fantastic experience."
The duo qualified for the NHSRA Finals by winning their respective events at the Texas High School Rodeo Association Finals in Abilene earlier this summer. Leighton Berry, also of Weatherford, won the bareback competition at the THSRA, but did not compete in Wyoming.
Clark, a home-school student, will compete in the Texas High School Rodeo Association another year. Cooper, also a home-school graduate, will compete in team roping for Weatherford College this coming season.