By Shannon Johnson
This week, Baker is beginning the month of June with the High School Rodeo Finals. The excitement began June 4 with five cowgirls from across the state of Montana competing for the title of 2019 High School Rodeo Queen. This year’s contestants are Laney Rae Johnson from Havre, MT, Cassie Turner from Victor, MT, Maggie King from Choteau, MT, Teanna Layne from Valier, MT, and McKenzy Kate Hazen from Sidney, MT.
Laney, daughter of Brian Johnson and Nicole Legere, is a sixteen-year-old sophomore who attends Havre High School. She has been in high school rodeo for two years and competes in barrel racing, pole bending, and breakaway roping with her horse, Atlas. Laney keeps busy maintaining her 3.5 GPA and honor roll status, as well as being on the Academic Challenge Team, Leadership Highschool, and SkillsUSA. When she is not busy with her studies or rodeo, she works part-time for 40 North Outfitters in the Track and Animal Health Department. After school, Laney would like to go to study animal science and earn a degree in veterinary medicine.
Cassie, a junior at Corvallis High School, is the daughter of Robyn and Art Turner. She has been in high school rodeo for one year, and she competes in barrel racing and pole bending with her horse TT Easy Flicka. At the age of seventeen she keeps rather busy with academics and extra-curricular activities. She is a three-year varsity letter winner for manager with the boys’ varsity basketball and football team. Along with that, she was also the first Darby Rodeo Association’s Princess in 2017 and is the current 2018 Darby Rodeo Association’s Queen. As part of Classroom Without Walls, she has also worked with Fish, Wildlife, and Parks to conduct a study on Wolverines in the Bitterroot Mountains. After school she plans to apply for the University of Nevada in Las Vegas where she would like to study film and participate in rodeo.
The Choteau High School Junior Maggie is the seventeen-year-old daughter of Jessie and Louie King. She has been participating in high school rodeo all three years of her high school career. Maggie and her horse Junior compete in barrel racing, pole bending, goat tying, and breakaway roping. Maggie received the Academic All-Star award as a freshman and sophomore. She is on the honor roll as well as a member and treasurer for National Honor Society. Along with that, Maggie enjoys music and has qualified for All-State Choir as a sophomore and has received multiple state level music awards. She keeps busy with Student Council, FFA, React Rodeo, and her Church Praise Team. After high school she would like to pursue a career in the medical field and continue to rodeo throughout college.
Seventeen-year-old Teanna, daughter of Teresa Layne, is a junior attending Valier High School. She has participated in high school rodeo for three years. She competes in pole bending and barrel racing with her horse Lightening. Teanna keeps busy keeping up with her schoolwork to maintain her Honor Roll status and staying active in extra-curricular activities. Over the last three years of her high school career, Teanna has participated in volleyball, MHSRA where she is the District 3 Vice President, and FCCLA for all three years. She was also in basketball for two years. Along with that she has also been an active member in her Student Council, Catholic Youth Group. Teanna is a REACT advocate and is the current president of 4H, as well as a member for nine years. After high school she would like to attend college and obtain a degree in nursing.
McKenzy, daughter of Stephanie Averett, is a seventeen-year-old sophomore attending Sidney High School. She is in her second year of high school rodeo. She and her horse Gunner compete in barrel racing, pole bending, breakaway, and team roping. When McKenzy isn’t busy nourishing her bond with Gunner she stays busy maintaining her Honor Roll GPA. She is also an active member of FFA and 4H and enjoys spending time outside with her goats and dogs, as well as her horses. After high school McKenzy would like to attend college in Dillon, MT where she plans to study equine horse-training and equine therapy.
The finale to this competition will be the Queen Coronation, which will be held at the Fallon County Fairgrounds arena this Saturday at 11:30 am, where one of these five hard working young women will take the title of 2019 Miss Montana High School Rodeo Queen.