At the beginning of the year, The Dalles senior Jaeden Biehn set big goals for herself.
It wasn’t going to be an easy feat, however—it was going to take hours and hours of preparation.
Biehn posted two gold medals and qualified for state in three events, is an alternate in four others and earned a $250 college scholarship after picking up High Point Athlete for Timed Events at the three-day Oregon High School Equestrian Teams event, held April 5-7 at the Rim Rock Riders Event Center in Powell Butte.
“Jaeden met her four-year goal of working hard and earning the high point honors for the timed events,” said TD head coach Lissa Biehn. “She was excited to be part of such a supportive and close-knit team and wishes her teammates great success in their future OHSET years.”
In the keyhole event, Jaeden Biehn scorched the field with a base time of 7.503 seconds, besting her next opponent, Ani Husaby, of Summit, by .369 ticks (7.872.)
While facing 42 other riders, Biehn finished ahead of the pack in 22.766 for top honors, beating Sisters’ Madilyn Larrabee (23.398).
The veteran capped her state-qualifying weekend in barrel racing, where she timed out in a sixth-place 15.776, just .857 seconds behind overall winner Grace Flitner of Crook County (14.919).
Her final output in that event vaulted Biehn to the top 10 percent on events for the third showcase, where organizers look at the aggregate of all three meets when discussing state qualification.
Biehn is first alternate in steer daubing after taking fourth place, with a total time of 9.386 and two steers caught. Her first run went for 4.962 and the second was in 4.424.
The Riverhawk senior is also second alternate in individual flags, so she could earn a state berth if two qualifiers drop out.
On the team side, TD is second alternate in the in-hand obstacle relay, where Jaeden Biehn, Erika Burdine and Haja Anis posted a final mark of 4:42 and scored 123 points to place sixth.
That trio is second in line as first alternates in team penning, as they rang up a total time of 94.34 with two pens and two cows to end up in 10th place.
Anis claimed 18th place in keyhole (13.481), 32nd in pole bending (38.886), 38th in figure 8 (18.183), 41st in barrels (24.727) and 15th in the individual flags event (24.177).
Burdine had her best finish in the individual flags event following a base time of 18.13 for eighth place, and she hit for a 29.335 to secure 17th place in pole bending, placed 33rd in the figure 8 (15.059), and was 38th in the barrel racing (21.883).
Anis, Burdine and Jaeden Biehn timed out in 55.482 for sixth place in the Canadian Flag Race, notched 22nd place in the two-man birangle (34.012.) put up a final score of 22 and an overall time of 114.453 to take eighth place in team versatility.
“Haja was thrilled to reach several personal records in her timed events. She and her horse, Pumpkin, are really becoming a team,” coach Biehn said. “Team penning remains Erika’s favorite event. Even with all the excitement, cheering and teamwork, Erika loves the thrill of getting the cow out of the herd and into the pen.”
After events of the third meet were completed, Crook County paced the group with 303 points to take first place.
Hermiston (297), The Dalles (165), Dufur (136) and Lakeview (124) made up the rest of the order of finish.
For the year, The Dalles ended up with 248 individual points and 250 team points to total 498 points for third place in the five-team small school division standings, behind Crook County (846) and Hermiston (772).
Lakeview (378) and Dufur (280) rounded out the field.
“Overall, it was a wonderful season and The Dalles team made amazing progress,” coach Biehn said. “The future for the remaining team members not graduating this year is very bright.”
Back on Feb. 22-24 at the Deschutes County Fairgrounds in Redmond, some of the first meet results were postponed.
Jaeden Biehn secured third place in keyhole (7.906) and Anis was 17th (15.212), and in steer daubing, Jaeden Biehn was second-best with her total time of 12.807 with two caught.
Biehn, Burdine and Anis had a final score of 13 points, with a time of 180.84, to lock down 12th place.
State begins at 8 a.m. May 9 and runs through May 12, at the Deschutes County Fairgrounds in Redmond. All of Jaeden Biehn’s gaming events are slated for Thursday. If TD gets a state meet invitation for team penning, then they hit the arena that Sunday.