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Kaua‘i high school paniolo shine

HONOLULU — Kaua‘i High School rodeo participants Kahanu Blackstad and Kiana Mertz are both bound for the national high school rodeo following the high school state finals rodeo held on O‘ahu over the weekend.

“To say that I am proud of our Kaua‘i district cowboys and cowgirls would be a complete understatement,” said Tammy Pu‘u, president of the Kaua‘i High School Rodeo Association. “Our Kaua‘i kids did amazing on O‘ahu. Eleven kids went to compete with more than 50 from around the state at the New Town and Country Stables in Waimanalo. Nine made it to the short round, and two will be heading to nationals.”

Blackstad finished second in Po‘o Wai U, third in Boys Cutting, and fifth in Reined Cow Horse to earn a bid to the national competition. He accepted.

Mertz finished sixth in Pole Bending to earn her invitation to the national competition.

Keoni Akita finished third in the Tie Down Roping and earned the coveted Rookie Cowboy of the Year buckle. He teamed with Austin Camara to finish third in the Team Roping event, and fourth in the Mugging event to earn an invitation to the nationals for Roping. Both declined.

Chase Orsatelli and Beau Furumoto-Sequina finished third in Double Mugging, a unique Hawai‘i event, and Taylor Langtad finished sixth in Breakaway Roping, sixth in Cutting, and seventh in RCH. She also was invited to the nationals, but declined.

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Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 808-245-0453 or dfujimoto@thegardenisland.com.
Source: The Garden Island

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