**For Immediate Release**
OPSU Rodeo Ends Season with a Bang
Men's and Women's Teams Both Qualify for CNFR
- Released by OPSU Campus Communications 04-28-2008
By Jordan Muncy
Durant, Okla. -- The 2007-2008 regular season college rodeos finished up last weekend in Durant, Oklahoma. Oklahoma Panhandle State University rodeo teams made the long drive to Southeastern Oklahoma and made sure to leave their mark. The men’s team won their tenth straight team title, giving them a perfect 10-0 season, and the women finished second in team standings. Both all-around titles also were claimed by proud Aggies.
All season in the bareback riding, senior Karlon Knudson has proven himself over and over again. Once again Knudson qualified for Saturday night’s short round. With two wild rides in the books, he managed to land a top ten finish for the rodeo, helping the men win their title.
In the saddle bronc riding, a rough weekend left just five competitors in the short round, four of whom call Goodwell home. Ryan Bestol won the first round with a score of 76 and after an exciting short round ride finished second in the average. It was Tyrel Larsen who ended up on top with a combined total of 146 points. Larsen, a freshman from Canada, consistently helps add points to the men’s team standings. Other OPSU saddle bronc riders included Rob McGilvray and Jesse Jolly.
Trell Etbauer, a senior who faced his last college rodeo, went out with his head held high as he qualified for the short round in two events. In the steer wrestling, Etbauer came back in eighth position, but after Saturday night’s breath-taking run of 3.8 seconds, he landed a third place finish, along with the fastest time of the rodeo in that event. Etbauer also qualified in the calf roping where he once again amazed the crowd with his speedy 9.5 second run in the long go.
The other Aggie steer wrestler to qualify for the short go was Jesse Jolly. Coming into the short go in second place, Jolly managed to throw his second steer with great consistency and secure his second place finish. Also qualifying in the saddle bronc riding, Jolly walked away as the SEOSU all-around cowboy. He received a hand-tooled saddle for the win and made Coach Craig Latham proud.
Goat tying proved a success for the OPSU women’s team as it saw the most Aggies back to the short round. Krista Johnson, the Colorado native, tied two goats down to lock in a top ten finish. Karalyn Bridgeman, whose name is regularly found on the short go list, tied both of her goats consistently in the eight-second range. Also, Kendel Fawcett put together two blazing runs in the eight second range to finish in the top four. In the end, Jordan Muncy walked away with the goat tying title, and as the only cowgirl to break the seven-second mark.
Muncy also qualified for the short go in the barrel racing. With a second place finish in the long go, she managed to finish the weekend in third place. However, along with the win in the goat tying, she was named all-around cowgirl, and also received a saddle.
Hilary Van Gerpin proved the only other OPSU cowgirl to make the short go in barrel racing, she recorded two solid times, and finished in the top ten. In the bull riding, Chris Wagner came into the short round in third place. Wagner was one of three riders who managed to stay on the rank set of bulls for eight seconds in order to ride on Saturday night.
As the season came to an end, the OPSU rodeo team must remain hard at work and stay tuned up for the College National Finals in June. Both the men’s and women’s teams qualified and hope to take home the titles there as well. It proved quite a season for Coach Craig Latham, and quite a season for the Oklahoma Panhandle State University Aggies. Just as they hoped, the teams fought until the end and went out with a bang.