HEBER CITY -- She did not win a round at the Utah High School Rodeo Association State Finals, but the Spikers' Hailey Lindsey, of West Weber, swept the three-run aggregate Saturday en route to winning the girls breakaway roping title.
Lindsey, a junior-to-be at Northern Utah Academy of Math, Engineering & Science, captured the state saddle with 131 points -- she carried 66 of a maximum 70 points into the four-day state finals -- and was 21.24 seconds on three runs at the Wasatch County Event Center.
"It's starting to sink in that I won the state saddle," she said. "I'll mount it for a while."
Lindsey, a two-time state finals qualifier in breakaway roping and team roping, was riding Scooter, a 15-year-old gelding.
"We bought him as a heeling horse when he was 7 and turned him into a breakaway horse," Lindsey said. "He gets his little treats and is pampered at home."
Lindsey was leading the breakaway roping coming into the UHSRA State Finals.
"I just go rope. It doesn't matter if you're first or 10th," she said. "I just wanted to stay consistent, not break out and get my average points. Average points definitely helped me and gave me a cushion over the other girls."
Lindsey earned her first trip to the 65th annual National High School Finals Rodeo on July 14-20 at the Sweetwater Events Complex in Rock Springs, Wyo.
"I'm not quite nervous yet, but definitely excited," she said. "I have a good horse and he is a big part of what's brought me up here. Scooter gets me in the spot I need to be when I need to be there. We try to practice every day but Sunday, usually about an hour or so."
Lindsey went to 29 of the state's 30 qualifying rodeos, winning six during the 2012-13 season.
"I practiced really hard and prepared my horse. Scooter has to be as prepared as I am," she said. "It became a goal of mine to win state as I got closer to the finals. But my primary goal was to qualify for nationals.
"This was a very tough group of girls to compete against," Lindsey said. "It was tough to come out on top."
Kacee Waldron, an incoming Morgan High senior, was leading the girls cutting with 69 points coming into the state finals.
She won the second round with 142 points, but finished runner-up for the Utah High School Rodeo Association state saddle by 4 1/2 points.
"I am bummed I didn't win it," Waldron said. "I thought I did everything right. I wouldn't change anything."
Waldron, of Porterville, showed It -- a 5-year-old gelding she bought two months ago -- in Saturday's short round.
"I probably showed him seven times before the state finals," she said. "Hugh (a 10-year-old gelding) is my usual horse, and I came in leading the state finals on Hugh. But I was going to take It to nationals no matter what.
"I feel comfortable riding either horse, but It is a lot more work," Waldron said. "This is only my second year cutting. Each day is different and I felt confident coming into the short round.
"I'm excited going to nationals for the first time," she said. "I know me, and It has the talent to win nationals. I need to get to know my horse better over the next month. I didn't feel any pressure, but I had to work my butt off to keep that top ranking."