A Kailua-Kona teenager returned home from the Midwest as a medalist at the National Junior High Finals Rodeo in Des Moines, Iowa.
Kelvin Medeiros, placed third in the nation in breakaway roping which is a variation of calf roping where a calf is roped, but not thrown and tied. The title adds to his already impressive resume as Hawaii’s all round state champion.
“It was definitely a lifetime experience. Just to be able to go that far and do this good, it’s definitely life changing experience,” Medeiros told KHON2 Sports Director Rob DeMello. “It’s pretty crazy how far it take and how many people compete and how much it takes to get to that level. It definitely gives me background idea of a lot more confidence.”
Adding to how special of an experience it was for Medeiros, the 2021 Finals marked as his last at the junior high level, since next season he will enter the ninth grade and will move up to ultra competitive high school competitions.
“Next year it’s going to be a different level, I’m going to be in ninth grade, I’m going to be a freshman so it will be more competition and that’s just how much harder I have to work next year,” said Medeiros. “It was definitely a good time just because this is my last year that I’m going to be in the junior highs so that’s really why I wanted to go and it makes it super special for my last year.”
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Kelvin was not able to take part in the 2020 National event, and admits that sitting out for a year did question his love for the sport as his time that would usually be spent in competition instead took him to the ocean, but his recent successful trip to Iowa brought much more than just accolades.
“I feel like I lost a little bit of love for the sport just because there wasn’t a whole lot going on so I kind of picked up fishing and stuff, so I didn’t have a whole lot going on and then this trip kind of brought back memories of how much I actually love the sport. It makes you work a lot harder.”
Kelvin was not alone in his trip to Iowa as he was joined by his twin sister Kalia who is the reigning girls all around state champion for the state of Hawaii. Together, Kelvin and Kalia placed into the top 20 in team roping at the June 20-26 event held at the Iowa State Fairgrounds.
“It’s definitely a good time just because me and my sister have been doing it our whole life together as a team. We’re the same age, the same everything. We started the same time in rodeos and stuff so it’s kind of amazing how we can rodeo every step of our life together.”