**For Immediate Release**
The Wind Blows in More Success for OPSU!
- released by OPSU Campus Communications 04-23-2007
by Whitney Harding
Hays, Kans. — Another windy weekend in Kansas blew in more rodeo success for the Oklahoma Panhandle State University team this Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Fort Hays State College Rodeo. Once again the Men’s and Women’s teams turned in great performances in the arena and showed the other schools who was boss in the Central Plains region.
As a team, the OPSU men came out on top once again, leading the scoreboard with a whopping 845 points, leaving second place Northwestern in the dust with a meager 555 points. The boys were on fire this weekend, even with the absence of some regular team members such as Taos Muncy, Mike Murphy, Ty Olson, and Leander Thomas. Logan Hodson stepped up his game this windy weekend, blowing in first in the bull riding competition and second in the average in the saddle bronc. Logan turned in scores of 81 and 78 in the bull riding, and 81 and 67 in the saddle bronc, winning himself the all around title at Fort Hays. Fellow team members Trell Etbauer and Will Payne also made it back in the saddle bronc riding; Trell winning the average with a 79 and 76, and Will, placing fifth in the average with scores of 63 and 74 respectively. As for the bareback riding, Brian Leddy rolled back into the short-go with a 70 point ride in the long go and a 63 score in the final competition.
Back at the other end of the arena, the timed event chutes were bustling with eager cowboys wanting to prove their abilities. Freshman Kacey Graham headed back to the short go in the calf roping, splitting fourth and fifth spot in the long go with a time of 12.6 seconds, but a break-out in the long go would lead to a seventh place finish in the average. In the team roping, Ryan Bestol surprised us all when he rode around the corner and scooped up two feet for Fort Scott’s Coy Sheets, which placed them back in the short go with a time of 8.9 seconds. In the steer wrestling, Etbauer once again showed his all around prowess, coming back to the short go with a time of 5.4 seconds. Another highlight of the weekend was the annual Ft. Hays “Wild Ride,” in which Etbauer mounted a bronc sporting a “Joe Dirt” costume complete with a green, mullet wig. Students on campus should feel free to now refer to Trell as Joe, as the likeness was uncanny.
As for the women’s team, Brandi Guttormson was back in fine form, winning second in the average for the breakaway roping with times of 3.3 and 3.7 seconds. Guttormson also made it back in the goat tying event along with fellow team members Chancy Harrington and Kelly Koeppen. Harrington came out on top for this event, winning the average and placing first in the short, and second in the long go. In the long go, times were as follows: Harrington, 7.8, Koeppen, 8.7 and Guttormson, 8.8. A good time in the short go also placed Kelly 3rd in the average and split first place in the short go with Chancy. Harrington also made it back in the team roping, along with header Brandi Mueller of Panhandle. The pair made it back to the short go after a textbook run on Friday, clocking a 10.9 second run on the stop-watch. As a team, the Panhandle women came in second once again to Southeastern Oklahoma State University. Although the women still sit in second spot in the region, they know that they’ll have to take their “A-game,” to Durant next weekend.
As the rodeo season winds down and we get closer and closer to finals time, the pressure is building. Can OPSU continue their winning tradition? The obvious answer is “Oh, Yes!” A good weekend at Durant, Oklahoma this coming Thursday, Friday and Saturday should ensure both the men’s and women’s teams a shot at the NIRA Finals in Casper this summer. With the last rodeo of the spring season, stay tuned for the coming moment of truth in Durant this weekend when we find out who qualifies for the College National Finals.