Dec 10, 2019 2:53 PM

Oelrichs' Lisa Lockhart competing in National Finals Rodeo Friday

Posted Dec 10, 2019 2:53 PM

By: Con Marshall

CSC Sports Information

There’s a Friday the 13th in December this year. And, this is the 13th consecutive year that Lisa Lockhart of Oelrichs will be competing in the barrel race at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas. The 10 rounds of competition begin on Thursday and will run through Saturday the 14th at the Thomas and Mack Center.  

        We’ll have to wait until the fabled rodeo is almost over before we’ll know what kind of luck Lisa has when she and the three horses she took to run the cloverleaf pattern have in Vegas this year. However, she’s already left an indelible mark in the highly competitive barrel racing world, and she adds to it nearly every year.

        While Lisa did not do as well as usual at the NFR last year, finishing 11th, her lowest placing since she was 12th in 2008, she’s more than made up for that downturn this year. She’s third in this year’s standings with earnings of $146,352 going to Las Vegas. That’s the second highest total of her career during the “regular season” and only about $8,450 behind the leader, Nellie Miller of Cottonwood, Calif., whose earnings total $154,810. Sandwiched between them is last year’s winner, Hailey Kinsel of Cotulla, Texas, with $148,867.

        Kinsel had already won $192,834 to lead the 15 participates entering last year’s NFR, won another $157,965 there and finished with a grand total of $350,800.

        Much of Lisa’s earnings this year came at two special events. In March, while riding what she called her “third string” horse, Cutter, a black gelding, for the first time in big time competition, she pocketed more than $26,000 while winning first place at the Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo in Kissimmee, Fla. Then in July, she edged Kinsel by three-thousands of a second for top honors at the Calgary Stampede.

        Calgary’s first place payoff totals $100,000 but only half of that amount can be counted toward NFR qualification. Still, $76,000 goes a long ways toward punching a ticket to Las Vegas. This year’s 15th barrel racing qualifier has earnings of $88,936, and she had to enter 73 rodeos to do it. 

        Lisa entered 47 rodeos this year.

        Cutter is among the three horses Lisa and her husband, Grady, loaded onto the trailer Sunday morning after the weekend blizzard had subsided and the highways were reopened. Also making the trip was Rosa, the nine-year-old mare that began earning her spurs in the barrel racing world in early 2018 when she and Lisa won first and something like $33,000 at two Texas rodeos.

        Rosa also was the horse Lisa was riding when she won the Calgary Stampede last summer.

Then there’s the “old faithful” of the Lockhart string. He’s Louie, now 16. He couldn’t be left behind. He’s familiar with the Thomas and Mack Center after being the mount Lisa rode in every go-round at the finals eight straight years. Besides having uncommon speed, he seldom knocked over a barrel, which is disastrous because it adds five seconds to the time. Three times over a four-year stretch through 2017, Lisa and Louie left all 30 barrels standing, helping them either win or place high in the averages.  

        When asked which horse she expected to ride in the opening go-round Thursday night, Lisa said she was leaning toward Cutter. She said he performed well during several rodeos they attended in September and seems to keep improving.  

While she’s never won the world championship, Lisa was the runner-up in both 2014 and 2015, was third in both 2013 and 2016 and fourth in both 2010 and 2011. She’s also finished fifth in both 2007, her first year in Las Vegas, and 2012.

        Her largest total payoffs were in 2014 and ’15, when she was the runner-up and tallied $265,000 and $285,000, respectively.

        Lisa isn’t the only South Dakota cowgirl in the NFR barrels. Jessica Routier of Buffalo has qualified again after finishing second in the world standings last year with earnings of about $241,000. She’s eighth among this year’s top 15 with paychecks totaling $96,582. 

        Two Nebraska cowboys also will be competing in Las Vegas. Steven Dent of Mullen is 10th in bareback riding with earnings of $93,798 and Riley Pruitt of Gering is eighth in tie down roping after winning $99,535 this year.

        Dent finished second in the 2018 bareback standings with $254,734 after scoring the most points in the 10 go-rounds. This is Dent’s 10th trip to the NFR.

        This is Pruitt’s second NFR. He finished 7th in the final tie down standings in 2016. His father, Troy, was the world champion tie down roper in 1990 and his mother, the former Martee Meter, was a top barrel racer while attending Chadron State College in the late 1970s and early ’80. 

        Don Meter of Minatare, Riley’s maternal grandfather, was Chadron State’s first national champion athlete in any sport when he won what was then called “calf roping” in 1954 at the college finals rodeo. 

Continue Reading Panhandle Post
Dec 10, 2019 2:53 PM
Broncos topple Texans behind rookie QB's big day

HOUSTON (AP) - Rookie Drew Lock threw for 309 yards and three touchdowns and Kareem Jackson had an interception and returned a fumble 70 yards for a touchdown against his former team . The Denver Broncos built a huge first-half lead and coasted to a 38-24 win over the Houston Texans. Lock made his NFL debut in a win over the Chargers last week. He threw for 235 yards with three TDs in the first half for the most yards passing in a first half by the Broncos since Peyton Manning had 282 in Week 5 of 2014.

The San Francisco 49ers have regained control of the top seed in the NFC after earning a wild shootout win over the Saints in New Orleans Robbie Gould kicked a 30-yard field goal as time expired to complete the Niners' 48-46 victory over the Saints. Jimmy Garoppolo's clutch completion to tight end George Kittle for a 39-yard gain, along with a defensive facemask penalty on fourth-and-2 from the San Francisco 33, helped set up Gould's winning kick. Garoppolo passed for 349 yards and four touchdowns as the 49ers improved to 11-2, one game ahead of the Packers, Saints and Seahawks. Niners receiver Emmanuel Sanders had a 75-yard touchdown and added his second-career scoring toss after taking a handoff on a reverse. The Saints took their last lead on Drew Brees' fifth touchdown pass of the game, an 18-yarder to Tre'Quan Smith with 53 seconds left.

Meanwhile, the Niners regained sole possession of the NFC West lead with Seattle's 28-12 loss to the Rams. Jared Goff passed for 293 yards and two touchdowns as Los Angeles improved to 8-5 and increased its playoff chances. Todd Gurley ran for 79 yards and a fourth-quarter TD to help the Rams end the Seahawks' five-game winning streak.

The 9-4 Chiefs clinched the AFC West as Patrick Mahomes completed 26 of his 40 passes for 283 yards and a touchdown in a 23-16 victory over the Patriots. Tom Brady was under pressure all game and finished 19 of 36 for 169 yards, a touchdown and interception. The game was in doubt until Bashaud Breeland knocked away Brady's fourth-down pass attempt to Julian Edelman in the end zone, ending New England's 21-game home winning streak.

Lamar Jackson threw three touchdown passes and the 11-2 Ravens secured their second consecutive playoff with a 24-17 win over the 9-4 Bills. Jackson finished 16 of 25 for 143 yards and appeared to seal the game by hitting Willie Snead for a four-yard TD to put Baltimore ahead, 24-9 with 9:49 left. Facing fourth-and-8 at Baltimore's 16, Josh Allen's pass over the middle was broken up by Marcus Peters at the goal line to secure the win.

Diontae Johnson ran for an 85-yard touchdown on a punt return and caught a pass for another score to lead the Steelers past the Cardinals, 23-17. Joe Haden had two of the Steelers' three interceptions in the second half as Pittsburgh won for the seventh time in eight games to bolster its playoff hopes. Rookie free agent quarterback Devlin Hodges completed 16 of 19 passes for 152 yards and a touchdown in his third career start for the Steelers.

Aaron Jones rushed for a season-high 134 yards and a touchdown on just 16 carries as the Packers held off the Redskins, 20-15. Jones had his third 100-yard rushing game of the season and hauled in six catches for 58 yards as Green Bay improved to 10-3 to stay one game ahead of the Vikings atop the NFC North. Washington's Adrian Peterson became just the sixth back in NFL history to reach the 14,000-yard mark, running for 76 yards and a score.

Danielle Hunter had three of Minnesota's five sacks in a 20-7 victory against the Lions. Kirk Cousins passed for 242 yards and a touchdown. Dalvin Cook had 75 yards from scrimmage and a rushing score on 20 touches over three quarters as the Vikings moved to 9-4 while handing Detroit its sixth consecutive loss.

The Texans share the AFC South lead with Tennessee after Ryan Tannehill threw for 391 yards and three touchdowns in the Titans' fourth straight win, 42-21 versus the Raiders. Derrick Henry ran for two scores and the Titans bounced back from a deflected interception on the opening drive to score TDs on five of their next seven possessions. Henry rushed for 103 yards and broke a 21-all tie with a 10-yard TD run midway through the third quarter.

Nick Chubb produced 99 of his 106 yards rushing after halftime as the Browns dumped the Bengals, 27-19 to stay in the AFC playoff hunt at 6-7. Denzel Ward returned an interception 61 yards for Cleveland's first score. Baker Mayfield and Kareem Hunt had rushing touchdowns to help the Browns overcome Joe Mixon's career-high 146 yards rushing and a touchdown.

Jameis Winston threw for 456 yards and four touchdowns in guiding the Buccaneers to a 38-35 triumph over the sputtering Colts. Winston overcame three more interceptions and having one returned for a TD for the fifth time season, wiping out a 14-point, second-half deficit. Jacoby Brissett completed 19 of 36 passes for 251 yards, two TDs and no interceptions for Indianapolis, which is 6-7 following its fifth loss in six games.

Philip Rivers threw for 314 yards and three touchdowns, including an 84-yarder to Austin Ekeler in the Chargers's 45-10 trouncing of the Jaguars. The Chargers scored on four of five possessions in the first half to take a 24-3 into the locker room. It was Jacksonville's fifth consecutive lopsided loss, all by at least 17 points.

Matt Ryan threw the longest touchdown pass of his career and became the 10th quarterback in NFL history to reach 50,000 yards passing while guiding the Falcons' 40-20 thumping of the Panthers. Ryan finished off Carolina with a 93-yard touchdown pass to little-used Olamide Zaccheaus in the third quarter. The Panthers were officially eliminated from playoff contention with their fifth straight loss and first under interim coach Perry Fewell.

Miami erased a 16-6 deficit before Sam Ficken kicked a 44-yard field goal as time expired to give the Jets a 22-21 comeback victory over the Dolphins. The winning drive was prolonged after officials overturned a non-call for pass interference. San Darnold finished 20 of 36 for 270 yards, including touchdowns to Demaryius Thomas and Robby Anderson.