by: LON AUSTIN/CENTRAL OREGONIAN - The Oregon High School Rodeo Association State Finals did not officially get underway until Thursday night. However, the first champions of the competition were crowned Wednesday afternoon with the completion of the cutting events. Crook County's Kimmer Severance, who was in fourth place going into Wednesday's three go rounds won the short go round and finished second in the first two go rounds at state to vault all the way to first place. 
Fellow Crook County Cowgirl Talia Radabaugh, who was third going into the finals won the second go round, and was positioned to make a run at the state championship. However, a sixth place finish in the short go round dropped her back to third place in the final standings. Kaci Rae Kamm of Hermiston finished in second place and Makayla Johnson wound up in fourth. 
A.J. McCauley of Redmond won the boys cutting championship. McCauley, who was fourth going into the finals won the first go round which was enough to vault him to the championship. Tucker Hill, Preston Pederson and Jack Graham also qualified for nationals in the event. 
The rodeo kicked into high gear Thursday morning with the first go round of all timed events. Thursday evening was the first go round of the rough stock and the second go round for  11th through 20th place performers in the timed events. Friday evening's second go round, which starts at 6 p.m., features all of the rough stock qualifiers plus the top 10 in the standings in the timed events. The rodeo concludes with the short go round beginning at noon Saturday.

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