story by Ruth Nicolaus Shylene Drumm is a five-time Colorado Junior High School Rodeo champion. This year, she won the pole bending, breakaway roping, goat […]
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Meet the Member Myka Grajeda
story by Ruth Nicolaus
Myka Grajeda has some unique talents that make her family smile.
For instance, she can jump on a pogo stick while throwing her rope backwards and catching the family dog. She can also, while jumping on the stick, swing her rope and catch the cat as it’s running past her, down the hallway.
She’s also good at calling in elk with her dad, when they go outside. That requires patience and stillness, she says. “You have to be very still and very quiet.”
The fourteen-year-old, a resident of Craig, Colo., is a Colorado Junior High School Rodeo Association member who competes in the breakaway roping, team roping (heading for Riley Mahon) pole bending, and barrel racing.
For all her events except barrels, she relies on a sorrel gelding named Toby. Toby is a “big kid,” she said. “He follows you around when you have grain, and he likes black licorice.”
For the barrels, Myka rides Junior, a brown gelding. Barrels is his event “because that’s what he likes, and he’s fast at it.” Junior is the opposite of Toby; he’s not so sweet-hearted. “If you tell him to be quiet, he curls his lip at you. He’s kind of naughty but we love him.”
An eighth-grade student at Craig Middle School, Myka loves all things related to school. She enjoys science and math classes. In math, she’s studying algebra which was hard when she started. “It was difficult at first, but I figured it out and I can see it in my head and do it,” she said.
The one thing about school that isn’t so good are the lunches: Myka pronounces them as “horrible.” The tolerable lunches are when the lunch ladies bring in Pizza Hut pizza, and when they have peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
Myka’s other love, besides rodeo, is basketball. She’s played since third grade and has made the A team every year she’s tried out. She plans on playing high school ball next year. She is also involved in FFA.
She loves to hunt and last year, her first year of hunting, got an elk, a deer and an antelope. She’s been to Illinois to hunt white tail deer; the trip was a “blast.” She also enjoys snow machining and in her spare time, she likes to shoot hoops and play with the family’s pet hound dog puppies.
The most fun Myka has had on a trip was going to Maui, Hawaii two years ago. She, along with her family, cousins, and grandparents, enjoyed the island. She loved snorkeling and seeing the varieties of fish, and she won’t forget when her cousin stepped on a sea urchin and the spines had to be pulled out of her foot.
The trip was her first time on an airplane, and she was apprehensive. “In a lot of movies you watch, the planes crash into the ocean,” she said. But the flight went OK. To pass the time, they watched movies, “looked at the ocean for hours, and it wasn’t terrible.”
The best meal Myka’s mom makes is Million Dollar Spaghetti. Her favorite fruits are strawberries and kiwi, and her favorite vegetable is sugar snap peas. Her favorite dessert is cheesecake, and anything with cream cheese in it has her approval.
When she grows up, she’d like to be a veterinarian. She’s helped her grandma, who fosters dogs and cats, and she observes the veterinarian when her animals visit the clinic. “That interests me a lot.”
Her parents, Kristin and Tony, appreciate their daughter and her talents.
“She is very determined,” her mom said. “She has a lot of grit. She’s very smart and thinks things through well before responding. She definitely doesn’t give up. She sticks with a project and is always trying to better herself and do better than she did the last time.”
Myka has a younger brother, Jesse, who is eleven years old.