Ava Meinhardt | staff writer
Senior Kent Berkenmeier competed in the 2022 Junior National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas in December.
The Junior National Finals Rodeo was founded in 2015, and it hosts more than 800 contestants over the time it takes place. The participants compete at the Las Vegas Convention center for about $1 million in combined cash, and a championship buckle.
The entire Junior NFR lasted ten days, from December 1-10. Berkenmeier only participated in steer wrestling, so he was only at the event from December 4-8..
In order to compete in the Junior NFR, Berkenmeier had to qualify. “We went to a whole bunch of rodeos throughout the summer and last winter to get qualified for this rodeo,” he said.
There were 45 other competitors in Berkenmeier’s event. “I ended up making the short round, in which they took the top 20 out of everyone in the steer wrestling event,” he said.
This was Berkenmeier’s first time ever competing in this rodeo. When asked what he learned, he said, “Six days is way too many days in Vegas.”
Berkenmeier ended up taking 17th place out of the 45 competitors for steer wrestling.
Ag teacher Danny Davis interrupted his class to watch Berkenmeier compete.
Davis said it was great for the students to watch a fellow classmate and FFA member at a national competition.
“By the time we watched him and saw him succeed, they were cheering and saying good job Kent. We are very supportive of him,” Davis said.