Maxwell is home-schooled, but she competes with the Ute Mountain High School Rodeo Team, which is made up of student athletes from Montezuma County. In a month, she’ll travel to Gillette, Wyoming, to compete in pole-bending with dozens of other champions. She said she’s excited to realize a goal she’s been working toward for four years, even though she’ll have to do it with a broken jaw.
She was injured in early June after getting bucked off a colt, she said. But she said the most challenging part of the finals will be to stay calm and not get nervous around the other athletes.
“It’s pretty competitive, so it’ll be interesting to see how I do against all these other riders,” she said.
But meeting rodeo enthusiasts from other states is also what she’s most excited about, she said. Her family will also travel to Wyoming to cheer her on, including her sister, Cammie Maxwell, who also competes in rodeo. She’ll be riding her horse, Smokey, who has been with her throughout her high school career.
Maxwell doesn’t shy away from difficulties in her sport. While she also regularly competes in barrel racing, she said pole-bending is her favorite rodeo event because “it’s more of a challenge.”
Competing at Nationals has been her goal throughout high school, she said. After graduating this year, she hoped to go into professional rodeo, but she had to delay that plan, partly because of her injury. She also has a few other things on her mind lately.
“I’m getting married this summer,” Maxwell said. “So we’ll see what happens with rodeo after that.”
She and fellow Dolores resident Dillon Daves have planned a wedding in August.
The 69th annual National High School Finals will take place on July 16-22. Another Dolores senior, Bri Suckla, has also qualified to compete in breakaway roping.