Molokai Cousins Victorious at State Rodeo
By Jack Kiyonaga, reporter
Two Molokai youth were named state champions at the Hawaii High School State Rodeo. Cousins Kahiwa Augustiro, age 18, and Bailey Sproat, age 16, put on impressive displays of horsemanship and athleticism at the June 9 and 10 rodeo at the New Town and Country stables in Waimanalo, Oahu.
Along with individual victories, the Molokai duo took home first place together in the team roping event.
“It was like nothing else,” said Augustiro reflecting on the weekend’s accomplishments. In addition to the team roping title, Augustiro came away with victories in bareback bronco riding, steer wrestling, and bull riding. He achieved the All-Around Cowboy award for the second straight year.
The weight of expectation didn’t weigh too heavily on Augustiro, who is the Maui District Champion as well.
“I went in with the right mindset,” he explained. In these high-pressure rodeos, the key for Augustiro is to “believe in yourself” and “doing what you know already.”
Sproat, also a Maui District Champion, came away with an individual title as well, winning the aggregate breakaway competition.
“The most fun part about competing in rodeo is the competition and adrenaline it gives me. I also enjoy competing against my friends and the lifestyle in general,” she said.
While this wasn’t Sproat’s first state championship win, it was, however, a special one.
“[The team roping] is my favorite win because it was won with my cousin Kahiwa in his last high school rodeo state finals,” said Sproat.
Their victory came after a rough start.
“Never would I have thought we would have been lucky enough with this win being that we failed to catch our steer in the short go. We were fortunate to enough to rope pretty good all year which gave us a good amount of points coming into states, giving us a realistic chance of winning the state title,” Sproat explained.
“[Sproat] stepped up her game,” said Augustiro about his cousin. “I’m just happy for her.”
Sproat plans on continuing with rodeo after high school as well, determined to compete for a college rodeo team in team roping and breakaway. This coming fall, Augustiro will attend Mid-Plains Community College in Nebraska on a full scholarship for rodeo.
With the state rodeo finished, the cousins have set their aims on the National High School Rodeo, taking place July 16-22 in Gillette, Wyoming. Of the 29 competitors from Hawaii, Sproat and Augustiro will be the only ones representing Molokai.