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Russell FFA judges strong in nationals

By DIANE GASPER-O'BRIEN

dobrien@dailynews.net

Four seniors from Russell High School made school history at the national FFA livestock judging contest in Indianapolis in late October.

In the process, they also did a fine job of representing their state.

Twin siblings Clayton and Jordan Moubry combined with classmates Lane Mai and Payton Stoppel to place fourth in the final standings, finishing just half a point from being invited to a trip to Scotland.

"It would have been cool to have been invited (to the Scotland trip)," Russell FFA Adviser Jed Strnad said, "but I don't think we could have gone anyway."

Competing as the Kansas state team, Russell scored 3,071.25 points to finish a half point behind third-place Wyoming.

Russell earned the right to represent Kansas at the annual event by winning the state championship in competition in May in Manhattan. It was Russell's first competition in national livestock judging in the 50-plus year history of the school's FFA program.

Claiming the national title was the Oklahoma team with 3,179.25 points, with runner-up California finishing with a 3,103.75 total.

Strnad said his team had high expectations and "didn't have the day we hoped we would have."

"On a good day," he added, "we would have been right close to Oklahoma."

Nonetheless, it was the best national finish for Kansas in five years, and Russell brought home other honors in addition to its top-five team placing.

Jordan Moubry placed seventh overall individually and received a $400 scholarship, and Mai finished first in the "keep-cull" competition of the contest. RHS also finished third at the Indianapolis Stockman the weekend before the national contest.

"Overall," Strnad said, "a very good showing."