**For Immediate Release**
Athletes Continue Quest for Crown
- released by OPSU Campus Communications 06-11-2007
by Laura Hays
Casper, Wyo. - Oklahoma Panhandle State University's men's and women's rodeo teams continue their hunt for the gold at the College National Finals Rodeo.
First round action wrapped up Monday in five events including goat tying, barrel racing, tie down roping, team roping, and steer wrestling.
Kelly Koeppen rounded the barrels in 15.02 seconds and only .87 seconds separate her from the first place run. She also appeared in the goat tying and scored an 8.4 second time. Brandi Guttormson tied her goat in 6.9 seconds and placed 9th in that event. She had a 2.8 second run in the breakaway roping Sunday night. If Guttormson can tie that run or come in faster in her second round, she should challenge for the current first place aggregate scoring spot. The third women's team member, Chancy Harrington, had a good run going into the goat tying, but her goat struggled to its feet and she ended up with no score.
On the men's side, Trell Etbauer scored a 7.1 second score in the first round of the steer wresting. He missed his calf in the tie down roping, but plans to stay tough, hoping for the national All-Around title. Another contender for the All-Around, Logan Hodson, bucked off his bull in the slack Monday, but said, "I haven't given up. There were few qualified rides today, and I just look forward to the next round." He scored a 73 point ride Sunday night along with a 75 point bareback ride. In the team roping, OPSU heeler Matt Cramblet and header Justin Keith of Garden City Community College no scored when Keith was unable to get a loop on the steer.
Coach Craig Latham and the team members remain optimistic about their chances. As he said, "No matter how well any one of them does in a performance, none of them waste much time regretting a poor round or boasting about success. Instead, they look forward to the next round and the chance to compete."
All of the second round action will be completed during slack on Tuesday. The third round action at the CNFR will take place during performances Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday nights with the championship round Saturday at 7 p.m.