**For Immediate Release**
One to Go for OPSU Rodeo
- Released by OPSU Campus Communications 04-21-2008
By Jordan Muncy
Weatherford, Okla. -- The strong rains on Thursday left the Doug Philip arena in Ft Hays, Kansas a muddy, sticky mess for the Central Plains rodeo last weekend. Mud boots proved a popular fashion item over the course of the three-day event. However, the OPSU men did not let the poor conditions slow their winning streak as they once again won the team title, beating the second place finishers by nearly 500 points. The win puts the team well over 3,100 points in the lead for the regional standings. With just one rodeo left, the men seem well prepared for the trip to Casper for the College National Finals.
Helping tremendously with the team win was Karlon Knudson. After winning the first round with a thrilling ride of 81 points in the bareback riding, he came into Sunday’s championship round with just the boost of confidence needed to once again make a winning ride. When the books finally closed and the scores were tallied, Knudson landed a first place finish, helping him push onward with his regional lead in the event.
Several OPSU cowboys made the short round in the calf roping and made sure to leave their mark. Jace Bolen, the Range Management major from Sharon Springs, Kansas, posted two solid times and his consistency allowed him a top ten finish overall. Seth Schafer came into the short round in third place and roped up on Sunday to ensure a fifth place finish. In the long go, Trell Etbauer was in a league of his own as the only cowboy under ten-seconds to tie his calf. Then, in the short round proved it once again when he tied his calf in an even faster, 8.8-second run. This gave Etbauer the calf roping title.
Over the years, saddle bronc riding has proved OPSU’s specialty and last weekend once again showed it. Seth Schafer managed to ride both of his bucking horses and post two solid scores well into the seventy-point range. Prior to the Ft. Hays rodeo, Schafer also was leading the Central Plains Region. With the consistent riding last weekend, he walked away as winner of the bronc riding and the win also helped him win the men’s all-around title. Coming in second over the weekend in the bronc riding was none other than Rob McGilvray, who has helped to prove OPSU’s great pride and skill in the event. With seven of the ten short-go riders being from OPSU, other qualifiers included Trell Etbauer, Garet Fordyce, Jesse Jolly, Townsend Prince, and Tyrel Larsen.
Steer wrestling saw two Aggies back on Sunday. Gabe Burrows, who has shown his winning style throughout the year, won the long-go with a speedy time of 4.6 seconds. He posted a strong time of 5-flat in the short go to tie for the win with Northwestern Oklahoma State University’s Wade Kunze. Seth Schafer also qualified coming into the short-go in fourth place, he finished fourth in the average as well.
The weekend’s conditions were not the best for the goat tying, making it much more difficult as well as dangerous, but Karalyn Bridgeman did not let it bother her. Bridgeman, the Binscarth, Manitoba, Canada native, tied both of her goats down and proved the only OPSU cowgirl to make it to Sunday’s championship round. Ft. Hays marks the third short round in a row for Bridgeman in the goat tying, after her smoking runs at both Guymon and Weatherford.
In the team roping, Kyle Letzelter and Tyler Jolly were the only Aggies to rope their steer fast enough to make Sunday’s short round. Letzelter, a cowboy from the far away state of New York, and Jolly, a Deer Trail, Colorado native, had some tough luck in the short round. However, due to their first round performance, they secured a top ten finish.
Destiny Burrows, whose brother Gabe won the steer wrestling, raced her way into a fifth place finish in the barrel racing. Burrows came into Sunday’s short round in fourth place and posted both of her times in the 16-second-range. Burrows proves a critical asset to OPSU as she often posts some of the fastest times at the rodeo.
In the bull riding, just one Aggie was able to make the 8-second qualified ride. He was also just one of the six cowboys to ride both bulls. The cowboy was none other than Miles Hirsch, the Ag Business major from South Dakota. With an average score of 139 points, Hirsch finished in third place.
One can find all the OPSU rodeo team members this week somewhere cleaning off all the Ft. Hays mud and preparing for the final rodeo of the regular season. The rodeo scheduled for Thursday, Friday and Saturday is in Durant, Oklahoma. As the season winds down, one can bet the Aggies are anxious and ready to secure their positions in the regional standings and make their way to the College National Finals in June.