CHADRON – Chadron State College senior Laramie Schlichtemeier has had a summer she won’t soon forget. Schlichtemeier was crowned the Lady in Waiting Miss Rodeo Nebraska 2017 at the June pageant in North Platte. She becomes the fourth CSC student to win the title, joining Becky Grimm in 2011, Amy Amack in 2009 and Lisa (Poese) Jamison in 1990.
The pageant began in 1955 in Burwell and has continued annually. In 1991, the pageant was moved to North Platte and scheduled in conjunction with NEBRASKAland Days.
For Schlichtemeier, her crowning achievement is a dream come true.
“I’ve wanted this since I was 5. I’m literally living my dream. This will be an awesome experience. This is a great opportunity to represent the state of Nebraska. I’ve worked hard and this title means a lot,” Schlichtemeier said.
Schlichtemeier said residents of her hometown of Ogallala and Chadron have been equally supportive.
“People I don’t even know are coming up to me congratulating me. It’s exciting. It’s been a ride,” she said.
Schlictemeier won several contests within the pageant and the judges praised her speech, horsemanship, personality and photogenics, which involved setting up an impromptu photo scene in the grandstands. She was also voted Miss Congeniality by the other two contestants.
Being named Miss Rodeo Nebraska 2017 is her third rodeo title. She was named Old West Trail rodeo queen in 2012 and the Ogallala Roundup queen in 2014.
Local rodeo fans will have the opportunity to see Schlictemeier and Miss Rodeo Nebraska 2016, Emily Taylor, when the two perform together at the Old West Trail Rodeo in Crawford July 3-4.
Although the title was a defining moment for Schlichtemeier, is was also a bittersweet one. She said she thought often during the pageant about her only sibling, Garrett, who was killed in an accident in March 2010.
“He was my role model. I hope I can have the impact on people that he did. Garrett always pushed me because he knew I could be great. He was always there when I needed someone to listen and always the first one to offer help when I had failed. I know he is with me during all my adventures and I know he is smiling down on me. He had a saying he liked to use, ‘Finish Strong,’ which is exactly what I am doing with pursuing my dream,” Schlictemeier said.
Her parents, Jeff and Shari, also loom large in her success.
“They have always pushed me to be my best. They instilled a strong work ethic since I was young. Without them being by my side this dream of being Miss Rodeo Nebraska 2017 would not be possible.”
In December, she will graduate from CSC with her bachelor’s degree in business administration with an option in agri-business.
At the end of her reign in December 2017, Schlichtemeier will compete to become Miss Rodeo America, a title currently owned by Katherine Merck.
—Tena L. Cook, Marketing Coordinator