Imperial FFA members traveled to Ogallala last week for the State Range Judging Contest and competed in junior and senior divisions. Here, they take a breather in front of the Longhorn activity bus. (Courtesy photo)

Kamrie Dillan reviews her contest materials as she rates various plants at last week’s State Range Judging Contest in Ogallala. (Courtesy photo)

FFA teams finish second, third at state range judging

    Imperial’s FFA teams had good showings at the 63rd annual State Range Judging Contest held last week in Ogallala.    
    After one of their best finishes at the area contest a couple weeks earlier, Imperial’s teams were second in the senior division and third in the junior category at state.
    FFA Advisor Jeremy Vlasin coaches the range judging teams in the Imperial FFA, and was happy with their finishes.
    Not counting the adult competitors, there were 505 students in the two classes, 243 in the senior division (55 teams) and 262 (59 teams) in the junior division.
    The Old West Regional Range Judging Contest will be held in Valentine Oct. 12. Vlasin said his teams do not plan to attend.
    Here are all of the top placings by Imperial teams.
State contest
    State runner-up senior team—Brady Gittlein, Ryelee Christensen, Jose Medrano, Katelyn Leibhart.
    Eighth place senior team—Joel DaMoude, Emma Ferguson, Sydney Vetter, Cole Wiest
    Top 10 in senior division—sixth Brady Gittlein; eighth Ryelee Christensen.
    Seniors ribboning in top 25 percent—Jose Medrano, Katelyn Leibhart, Joel DaMoude, Emma Ferguson, Sydney Vetter, Cole Wiest.
    Third place junior team—Austin Bernhardt, Taylor Jablonski, Brooklyn Christensen, Kambree Meeske.
    Top 10 in junior division—Austin Bernhardt, sixth.
    Juniors ribboning in top 25 percent—Taylor Jablonski, Brooklyn Christensen, Kambree Meeske, Jozie Schilke, Lindsey Mendenhall.
    The first place junior team was from Hayes Center, and is coached by Randy Vlasin.
    On the senior level, the state championship team hailed from West Holt.
    According to the Society for Range Management, which sponsored the contest, the 536 students and teachers from 46 schools marked the largest attendance at a state contest. It surpassed the previous record of 450 students in 2013.

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