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Maui competitors rack up state rodeo titles

June 23, 2014
The Maui News
Maui district entrants Kanoa Awai-Dickson (left) and Kaena Poouahi compete on the way to winning the team roping title and earning all-around cowboy honors in the Hawaii High School Rodeo Association finals that took place June 13-15 at Parker Ranch on the Big Island. Awai-Dickson also finished first in tie-down roping, was second in steer wrestling and double mugging and placed fourth in cutting. Poouahi was the Poowai‘u and double mugging runner-up. Liloa Akoi was the goat tying champion, placed fourth in barrel racing and was eighth in breakaway roping and team roping. Victoria Albiar-Kunishi was third in pole bending, Kaulana Funes was fourth in bull riding and eighth in team roping and Kristin Egger was fifth in barrel racing and sixth in goat tying.
Awai-Dickson, Poouahi, Akoi, Egger and Funes will compete in next month’s National High School Rodeo Association finals in Wyoming. “We work hard all year long and it all comes down to these three days,” Awai-Dickson said. “We spent hours and hours in the practice pen conditioning and building muscle memory. But it’s more than just physical. It’s a huge mental game and if you can’t handle the pressure, it doesn’t matter how well prepared you are physically. Now that state finals is behind us, we’re back in the practice pen working even harder. It’s time for Hawaii to bring back a national title.” The state competition also included recognition for Makawao’s Elliott Baisa, who died in March, as the association’s Horseman of the Year. photo


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