Maui Sports

Maui Rodeo Stars Advance to National Competition in Wyoming

June 26, 2014, 5:25 PM HST
* Updated June 27, 8:06 AM
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Back-to-back All Around Cowboy Kanoa Awai-Dickson chases down a steer in the Double Mugging event with partner Kaena Poouahi who won the Hawaii's Own All Around title for the second year in a row as well. Courtesy photo.

Back-to-back All Around Cowboy Kanoa Awai-Dickson chases down a steer in the Double Mugging event with partner Kaena Poouahi who won the Hawaii’s Own All Around title for the second year in a row as well. Courtesy photo.

By Maui Now Staff

Five of Maui’s cowboys and cowgirls earned a spot on the National Rodeo Team, after securing six championship buckles at the Hawaiʻi High School Rodeo Association State Finals held at the Parker Ranch Arena in Waimea on Hawaiʻi Island earlier this month.

Maui’s Kanoa Awai-Dickson earned the coveted State All-Around Cowboy title for being the top high school cowboy in the state.

He also defended the title for Tie Down Roping and teamed up with Maui’s Kaena Poouahi to take the Team Roping title at the state event.

Other state titles went to Poouahi who was selected for her solo efforts as Hawaiʻi’s Own All‐ Around, and teammate Liloa Aoki of Maui earned the state title in Goat Tying at the state championship event.

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The traveling team will include: Kanoa Awai-Dickson, Kaena Poouahi, Kaulana Funes, and Kristen Egger.

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“We work hard all year long and it all comes down to these three days,” said two-time State All‐Around Cowboy Champion Kanoa Awai‐Dickson in a team announcement.

“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,” he said.

The Maui team members were among 40 contestants from across the state that competed in the state event held over three days from June 12 to 14.

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The Maui qualifiers earned a spot at the National High School Finals Rodeo where they will compete against more than 1,500 contestants from across the nation, Canada and Australia.  Contestants will have the chance to compete for more than $200,000 in prices, and more than $350,000 in college scholarships when they travel to Rock Springs, Wyoming for the national event to be held July 13‐19, 2014.

“Now that state finals is behind us, we’re back in the practice pen working even harder. It’s time for Hawaiʻi to bring back a national title,” said Kanoa Awai-Dickson.

“This is more than just rodeo,” said HHSRA Maui District President Kauʻi Awai‐Dickson in a statement. “Its about building character both in and out of the arena. Its about scholarship opportunities and strong, bright futures for these young athletes. We have some amazing rodeo talent here in the islands and we’re looking forward to taking them to the next level,” she said.

2014 Hawaii High School Rodeo Association State Finals Top Finishers

State All‐Around Cowboy Kanoa Awai‐Dickson (Maui)
State All Around Cowgirl Hailey Onaka (Hawaiʻi Island)
Tie Down Roping Kanoa Awai‐Dickson (Maui)
Barrel Racing Mia Nakachi (Hawaiʻi Island)
Pole Bending Devon Richmond (Hawaiʻi Island)
Goat Tying Liloa Akoi (Maui)
Breakaway Roping Patricia Rincon (Hawaiʻi Island)
Team Roping Kanoa Awai‐Dickson & Kaena Poouahi (Maui)
Steer Wrestling Ryan Sanborn (Hawaiʻi Island)
Bull Riding Ty Shintaku (Oʻahu)
Boy’s Cutting Julian Mautz (Hawaiʻi Island)
Girl’s Cutting Hailey Onaka (Hawaiʻi Island)
Saddle Broncs Ryan Sanborn (Hawaiʻi Island)
Hawaiʻi’s Own All‐ Around Kaena Poouahi (Maui)
Hawaiʻi’s Own Poo Wai U Lexis Andrade (Hawaiʻi Island)
Hawaiʻi’s Own Double Mugging Kahiau Onaka & Ethan Awa (Hawaiʻi Island)

Anyone wishing to offer support to Maui’s rodeo team can contact Kauʻi at 757‐0292.

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