Kaci Wickersham is a competitor, which makes her sixth-place finish in goat tying at last week’s Nebraska State High School Finals Rodeo tough to swallow.
Although she knows she finished very well, Wickersham simply wants more.
“The top four go to nationals,” said Wickersham, who will be a senior this fall at Summerland. “I was sitting second after the first day and was feeling pretty good about it. I knew if I did well, I could make it to nationals.”
Wickersham said she bobbled the tie on her second run and fell out of the running for nationals. But — being a competitor — Wickersham didn’t give up and moved up after a strong run in the finals.
“I wanted a good tine,” she said. “I knew I couldn’t make nationals, but I still wanted to do well.”
Wickersham, who is the daughter of Darin and Kerry Wickersham of Orchard, had plenty to be proud of during the rodeo season. She completed a full fall season but only had one regular-season spring rodeo before state due to COVID-19.
Heavily involved in extracurricular activities, Wickersham said she balances sports practices with rodeo practice. A state qualifier in cross country, Wickersham was expected to excel in track this spring as well.
As much as she enjoys the other sports, Wickersham said rodeo is by far her favorite. She’s hoping to follow in her father’s footsteps and compete collegiately as she earns a degree in animal science.
“Rodeo is my favorite sport,” she said. “I love being around horses and animals. You also get to meet a lot of people in rodeo, and it’s fun to get to know other people.”
As she heads into her senior season, Wickersham has her sights set on nationals.
“I’m hoping to do well throughout the regular season and score more points next year. Now that we can have our entire season, hopefully, I’ll have more of a chance to get to finals,” she said.