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Amidon's Miller to give up Queen title this weekend

Press Photo by Dustin Monke Codi Miller, a recent Bowman County High School graduate from Amidon, rides to her state title in the pole bending at the 2010 North Dakota state high school finals rodeo. Miller is the state's rodeo queen and two-time defending champion in the pole bending. She gives up her crown this weekend.

Codi Miller's senior year of high school was busy from the outset and has been a whirlwind ever since.

Last June, she was named the North Dakota High School Rodeo Association's Queen on the morning of the state finals championship round. Later that afternoon, she took home her second consecutive state title in the pole bending.

After more than 100 public appearances through her duties as queen, Miller will hand over the title this weekend at the state high school finals rodeo.

While the recent Bowman County High School graduate laughed Tuesday night and said she was "running on empty," Miller admitted she will miss everything the title allowed her to do.

"To me, it's not only an opportunity, it's a job," Miller said. "Winning that was my main goal last year. When I did win it, to me it was my duty to go to as many places as I could -- even though I was still in high school."

On Sunday, Miller will hand over the title to one of four queen finalists: Cassandra Bauske of Ray, Aahley Bateman of New Salem, Saige Feilmeier of Watford City and Layne Larson of Marion.

With any luck, later that afternoon she'll hop on her horse, Fancy, and try for a third consecutive trip to the National High School Finals Rodeo in the pole bending -- even though she's a longshot this time around.

Miller tied with her younger sister, Kit Miller, with the No. 14 ranking in the event.

While the two are well out of the championship race, they can still make a run at the one of the top four spots, which would earn them a trip to the NHSFR in Gillette, Wyo.

"Making it to nationals is going to be tough," Codi Miller said. "I know a lot of people think that it's the horse, but it takes a lot of work from the cowgirl, too, in the pole bending. If the pole comes down, it's usually our fault."

Miller said other factors than her queen duties led to her not being as competitive in the pole bending this season.

She said that Fancy, a horse than has been in her family for several years and is close to 30 years old, no longer has the speed she once had.

"I can't go in there and want to get a 20-second run because I don't know if that's possible anymore," Miller said.

That isn't going to stop Miller from trying though.

"My plan is just to go in there with nothing to lose and go out with a bang," she said.

Dustin Monke

Monke came to The Dickinson Press in July 2006 as the newspaper's sports editor and was hired as its managing editor in March 2013. During his tenure at The Press, Monke has won multiple awards for sports reporting, feature reporting, column writing, page design and photography. He was a key part of The Press winning the North Dakota Newspaper Association's General Excellence and Sweepstakes awards in 2009 and 2012, and oversaw The Press' Sweepstakes and General Excellence wins in 2014, as well as its national first-place honors for Community Leadership in the Inland Daily Press Association and contributed to the first-place Inland award for Investigative Reporting. As the newspaper's editor, he writes an occasional Sunday column, is a member of The Press' Editorial Board, contributes feature stories and breaking news, designs pages, and oversees the day-to-day operations of the newsroom and editorial staff. In his free time, he enjoys watching sports and action movies, exercises whenever his schedule allows, and spends every minute he can with his wife and son.

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