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OPSU Cowboys Claim Titles at Kansas State

—By Chaney Latham on 02/22/2012 Manhattan, Kan.—The Oklahoma Panhandle State University Rodeo Team returned from Kansas State with championship titles in saddle bronc riding and bull riding.

Senior Justin Hegwer brought home first place in the saddle bronc riding while Josh Griggs dominated the top spot in the bull riding. Hegwer scored the highest-marked ride in the championship round in the saddle bronc riding with a 79, and Griggs posted the best score of the entire weekend in the bull riding with an outstanding 86 point ride in the championship round to seal his first place finish overall.

Many OPSU vests colored the arena on short round Sunday; one Aggie, Ryan McIntyre, competed in the bareback riding after qualifying for the championship round with a 76 on his first round horse. In the saddle bronc riding, five of the top ten cowboys to qualify for Sunday's round were OPSU cowboys. Joe Harper placed second in the first go with a 79 and ended up fourth overall in the aggregate scoring. Teammate Preston Kafka finished fourth in the first round with a score of 74, and Whit Peterson and Kafka took fifth and sixth place, respectively, in the combined scoring. Daniel Kraft also made it back to the championship round.

In the bull riding, the championship performance was rough on all of the cowboys, but two OPSU cowboys made it through the fight. Eight of the ten cowboys hit the dirt in the short go, but champion Griggs and teammate Wyatt Gregg remained standing after the dust had settled. Gregg ended up second to Griggs with a score of 77 in the championship round to keep his second place position. OPSU's Dixon Winn also competed Sunday afternoon.

Dixon also qualified for the short go of the tie down roping, and he and teammate Joe Frost finished in the fifth and sixth spots overall. Dixon roped his first calf in 10.3 seconds to make it to the short round and roped and tied his short go calf in 11.9. He was closely followed by Joe Frost who had a time of 10.6 in the first round and a 14.1 in the championship round.

Weston Taylor was the sole cowboy competing for the Aggies in the short round of the steer wrestling. He tied for first place with Austin Mason of Bacone College in the first round, and had a little tough luck in the championship round, but still managed to throw his steer in 7.9 and gather some points.

OPSU cowboy Cody Larsen teamed up with Northwestern Oklahoma State cowboy Casey Warnock in the team roping. In round one, they had a clean run of 7.2, and ended up in fourth place overall. Joe Frost and Tad Bryant also qualified for the short round.

As for the women's events, Kaylee Moyer tied for third in the first round of the goat tying with a fast time of 6.4 seconds, but unfortunately in the championship round her goat got up to result in a no time; however, she still managed to earn a few points. Moyer also competed in the breakaway roping, earning a spot in the short round with a speedy catch of 2.9 seconds. OPSU's Jenna Jolly made it back to the championship round with a 3.0 and caught her short go calf to tie for fifth in the combined scoring.

The next stop on the collegiate rodeo trail is Garden City, Kansas, March 2-4. There are five more rodeos to go before the season wraps up at the OPSU rodeo, the Doc Gardner Memorial Rodeo on April 26-28. One thing is certain—every cowboy and cowgirl of representing OPSU rodeo will fight until the end. For results and more collegiate rodeo information, visit