**For Immediate Release** Watson and Bertus Claim Kansas Championships Submitted by OPSU Rodeo on 03/04/2013 Garden City, Kan.—Improvement is the constant, underlying goal of the Oklahoma Panhandle State University Rodeo Team and improvement is exactly what is being shown week after week and the Garden City Community College Rodeo was no exception.

The red and blue vests of OPSU claimed two championships in Kansas March 1-3. Jeff Bertus continued his winning streak in the bull riding event, being the only contestant to cover both bulls for the weekend. His teammate Jake Watson is also on a roll. After claiming the All-Around title at the Kansas State University Rodeo, Watson secured the saddle bronc championship this week as well. The men's team finished in second place overall and the women ended up in a three-way tie for third.

After a rocky fall season, the OPSU women have gained much momentum at the start of the spring semester. They are currently being led by Samantha Foos in the goat tying. She blazed her way into the top spot of the long round with a rapid 6.5-second time. After pushing through in the short round, Foos ended in third place for the weekend. She was followed closely by teammate Kashly Schweer. The junior athlete posted a 6.9-second run in the first round of competition and consistency paid off as she placed third in the short round and fourth in the average.

Also competing in the championship round on Sunday was Alex Micek in the breakaway roping. Micek gained points in the long round of competition, but suffered a no time on her second calf.

On the men's side, excitement rose from the bucking chutes as Panhandle cowboys spurred their way to the top of the competition. Watson got into time with a strong horse Sunday afternoon to land him 81 points, securing himself not only the short round championship, but the average title as well. He was followed by freshman standout Shade Etbauer. Etbauer was consistent atop his broncs, posting two 73-point rides for the weekend. Joe Harper earned fourth and Allen Boore secured the sixth place position.

The bull riding was all about Bertus. His high mark of 83 points in round one of competition gave him the first place points, but his ability to stay atop the bucking bovine in the short go secured him the weekend championship by a landslide. Brothers Cody and Tyler Hessman also qualified for the championship round.

In the bareback riding, Wesley Cole made one of the best rides of his collegiate career Sunday afternoon, earning third place in the short go and sixth place in the average standings.

Etbauer had a busy afternoon as he qualified for the short round in the steer wrestling and team roping as well. However, the timed event end of the arena proved troublesome for the all-around cowboy as he and partner Caleb Bullock suffered a no time.

The rodeo team has little time in Goodwell before making the long haul to Fort Scott, Kansas March 8-10 as they work to continue the winning tradition.