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The Stinger

The Stinger

A Look Towards the Tuffest Race to Nationals

Submitted by Marissa Lydic

Marissa Lydic, an accomplished horseback barrel racer and a sophomore at Marion Center Area High School has qualified to compete in Las Vegas, Nevada for the 2023 Vegas Tuffest Jr. World Championship. The Vegas Tuffest Jr. World Championship is a national competition for barrel racing, breakaway roping, tie-down roping, and goat tying. Vegas Tuffest is located in Las Vegas, Nevada, and allows qualified contestants from the United States and Canada to compete and show their skills. Marissa will travel with her horse, Miss Jones to Las Vegas from December 6th to December 13th to compete as one of over 900 qualifiers across the United States and Canada. This competition has riders vying for over 1 million dollars in prizes and payout, as well as the Vegas Tuffest Jr. World Championship title.

Marissa has been riding horses for about five years and has become quite successful in her endeavors. Marissa has had several horses and has now been working and competing with Miss Jones for about 3 years. Miss Jones is a 9-year-old quarter horse with whom Marissa has a close connection. Marissa barrel rides her horses and competes in barrel racing competitions all over the state and now country.

Submitted by Marissa Lydic

Barrel racing is a fast-paced rodeo event in which, “The barrels are placed in a triangle shape with the base closest to the alleyway (where the horses and riders enter). Barrel racers enter the arena at a full run, speeding towards the first barrel, choosing to go either right or left. After making a tight and complete circle around the first barrel, the rider must then race onto the second and third barrel to complete the cloverleaf pattern. Finally, the crowd cheers as the rider and horse bolt towards the finish line in hopes of stopping the clock with the fastest time! It’s not as easy as it sounds. In fact, there are many things that factor into a great barrel run. Long hours are put into practice to fine-tune both the horse and the rider’s skills. The duo must be entirely in sync because one wrong move can cause a barrel to fall, resulting in an additional five seconds tacked on to their total time.” (Silver Spurs Rodeo)

Marissa is an animal lover who has 2 other horses, cows, sheep, cats, and dogs. While Marissa has not left Marion Center to make the cross-country trek for the competition, Miss Jones has already embarked on her long trailer ride for Las Vegas, as she left on November 30th. Miss Jones will make multiple stops along the way to stretch her legs, and to have a drink and snack.  Marissa is one of only two contestants from Pennsylvania to qualify to go to Las Vegas, she is one of 110 contestants in the girls’ age bracket 19 and under. “I have always dreamed of being able to run in Vegas. I just never thought the opportunity would come so quick. I am so grateful for everything.” Marissa said, “I’m kind of nervous but also excited!” Marissa will be leaving Pennsylvania the morning of December 6th for Vegas, and we wish her all the luck!



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About the Contributors
Cora Goddard, Writer and Photographer
"There are no shortcuts to any place worth going." -Beverly Sills   Hello! My name is Coraline Goddard. I am in 7th grade and go to Marion Center Area High School. I am involved in concert band and color guard.
Ryanna Mumau, Writer
"We never realize how frozen we are until someone starts to melt our ice"-Bridgett Devoue
My name is Ryanna Mumau and I enjoy marching band and cheerleading. I am in 8th grade and this is my 2nd year with the newspaper. I love to hang out with my friends in and out of band and cheer. I like the Newspaper because it is fun and I get to write about things and have fun while doing it.
Molly Spence, Assistant Editor
"Remember there is good in this world, and bad, and ugly." -Unknown Welcome to The Stinger! My name is Molly Spence, I am a class of 2026 sophomore student and the assistant editor here, for The Stinger. I am involved in the Newspaper, Marion Center Marching Band as part of the color guard, Athena Club, and Plumville Belles as a majorette. When I'm not here at school, I am with my ducks. I have two ducks that mean the world to me. I love ducks, they're an important part of my life. This is my second year in Newspaper, and second year as assistant editor. I have been in ATHENA for two years and am currently one of the secretaries for the club. By being a part of The Stinger, I want to make everyone's voice heard and leave no one behind, because after all, we, Marion Center high school students, are all in this together.
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