**For Immediate Release**
One Step Closer to Casper
- Released by OPSU Campus Communications 04-14-2008
By Jordan Muncy
Weatherford, Okla. -- With just two regular season college rodeos left, Oklahoma Panhandle State University cowboys and cowgirls are holding their own in the Central Plains Region standings. This past weekend in Weatherford, Oklahoma, the men once again topped the charts and took the team title. Prior to Southwestern Oklahoma State University’s rodeo, the OPSU men were nearly three thousand points ahead of the second place team. The win helps push them one step closer to the prestigious trip to Casper, Wyoming for the College National Finals. The women also made their mark and continue to gain points while trying to move from second place to the top spot in the region. Competitors endured the Oklahoma winds and did not let it affect their winning performance.
The bareback riding competition saw three OPSU cowboys back in Saturday night’s short round. Karlon Knudson once again showed his talent placing third in the long round and finishing second overall. Freshman Seth Hardwick marked a high score of 75 in the long round to put him second going into the short round landing him a top ten finish. Also, Jed Wilson qualified in tenth place.
Gabe Burrows qualified for the short go in two events. He roped and wrestled his way to a top ten finish in both the calf roping and steer wrestling. He qualified in fourth and fifth respectively. A senior from Hugoton, Kansas, Burrows regularly helps to put OPSU on the charts.
A tough pen of horses in the saddle bronc riding did not stop several Aggies from making the short round. Ending up on top in the end was Canadian rider Tyrel Larsen. Larsen won the long round and rode a horse named WoodsTown in the short go to land the first place title. Robin McGilvray won the short round with a 78-point ride, he ended up third overall. Trell Etbauer ended up fourth behind McGilvray. Other OPSU qualifiers included Seth Schafer and Jesse Jolly. Both received re-rides in the short round and definitely got their money’s worth.
In the steer wrestling, Seth Schafer qualified with a 5.8-second-run in the long go to help his team gain valuable points. Trell Etbauer came into the short round in eighth place, but the blazing short go time of 4.3 allowed him to finish third overall. Etbauer also qualified in the calf roping where he posted two solid times in the 11-second range.
In the goat tying, OPSU women held five of the ten short round positions. Whitney Knippling ended up third overall after tying both of her goats. Natalie Canelis posted two consistent times to end up fifth. Karalyn Bridgeman continued her streak after qualifying for the short round last weekend in Guymon as well. Krista Johnson and Jordan Muncy also qualified for the short go with identical times of 8.8 in the long round.
Jesse Jolly was the lone OPSU cowboy to qualify for Saturday night’s short go with his partner Brandon Seufer of Northwestern Oklahoma State University. The duo posted a consistent time of 7.5-seconds in both the long and short rounds. With the help of Jolly’s horse Dolly, he was able to finish each run clean and walk away as winners of the short round, as well as second place finishers in the average.
In the barrel racing, Jordan Muncy posted the second fastest time of the rodeo in the long round with a 16.06. After drawing a good position on the ground for the short round, she finished fourth overall. Muncy also qualified in the breakaway roping where she finished in the top ten.
Rodeo teams will be traveling this weekend to Hays, Kansas for the Fort Hays State University rodeo. The last rodeo of the season will be held April 24th to the 26th in Durant, Oklahoma. As the season’s finale is quickly approaching, one may bet that the teams, along with Coach Craig Latham, will not slow down and will strive to get one step closer to Casper.