It shouldn’t be hard picking Marana High sophomore Alli McKibbin out at today’s Tucson Rodeo Parade.
She’ll be the one with the “Miss Arizona High School Rodeo Queen” sash, presumably riding on the wagon designated for parade royalty.
She’ll also be at this week’s rodeo, riding a horse around the arena to help kick things off in what is the latest in a string of rodeo appearances that have taken her across the state.
“I’ve done 20 rodeos and parades and I’ve completed five community service things,” the 15-year-old said. “I have a couple more before I give up my position in mid-June.”
She also volunteered in the Tucson 9-11 Memorial stair climb honoring fallen firefighters, served the needy on Thanksgiving Day and participated in the 19-riderless-horse memorial at the Payson rodeo leading the horse honoring fallen firefighter Anthony Micheal Rose, the youngest of the 19 killed in the devasting 2013 Yarnell Hill Fire.
Alli has been rodeoing since she was 7 and competes in barrel racing and poling events with the Arizona High School Rodeo Association. Many of the junior rodeos and teen barrel-racing events are held at Marana Western Heritage Arena.
She is hoping her stint as teen rodeo queen will open doors to the association’s scholarships.
“When I get into New Mexico State, I plan on being on the rodeo team there and then hopefully, eventually, go pro with it,” Alli said. “That’s my plan.”
Her backup plan is to work in sports medicine with rodeos. She already is studying sports medicine at Marana High and plans to major in the field in college.