Wood River High School senior Kade Smith, 16, of Bellevue, moved up six notches from last year and finished third in boys' cow cutting at the 59th annual National High School Rodeo Finals that ended Sunday in Springfield, Ill.
Smith, the two-time defending Idaho State high school rodeo champion in boys' cutting, scored 664 points to finish behind only the winner Adam Banuelos of Texas (677) and last year's winner Cody Hedlund of Acampo, Ca. (668.5). Smith had placed ninth overall in 2005.
After the first go-round at Springfield, Kade Smith stood in fifth place with 221.5 points. He moved up to third place with 222 points in the second go-round and finished again in third place with 220.5 in the final cutting performance.
The only other Idaho cowboy who finished higher at nationals was Rexburg's Wyatt Smith, the steer wrestling king who also placed fourth in saddle bronc and won the boys' all-around cowboy title. The two Smiths helped Idaho's boys place second behind Utah in the final team rankings. Including girls, Idaho was fifth of 40 teams in the final standings.