| Taos Muncy takes a victory lap around the arena and tips his hat to the crowd following his 88 point ride. – Pete Dahl photo
**For Immediate Release**
Muncy Nabs National Title
"Good Times" Pays Off
- released by OPSU Campus Communications 06-17-2007
by Laura Hays
Casper, Wyo. - As the lights came up following the salute to the flag in the Casper Events Center Saturday night, the excited crowd was primed to see the best college rodeo athletes on the North American continent. Oklahoma Panhandle State University's Taos Muncy didn't disappoint them. Headed into the championship round in the Casper Events Center on Saturday night, Muncy sat first in the saddle bronc riding average, but had yet to win a round.
During the saddle bronc, tension mounted as the lead changed hands following each ride. Cort Scheer of Garden City Community College posted an 81 point ride, followed by two 80 point rides, then West Texas A&M's Marty Eakin scored an 82. The crowd went wild as two more back-to-back 81 point rides were completed. Enter Muncy, a sophomore who currently enjoys the #2 spot in the world professional ranks. He displayed classic bronc riding style as he and the horse he drew, Good Times, put on a show rodeo fans will not soon forget. As the 8 second buzzer sounded, Muncy waited for horse to kick out his hind feet one last time, and then he leaped to the ground and tipped his hat while the boisterous crowd cheered. He scored an amazing 88 points, winning the round and the national championship. In addition, the ride clobbered the previous CNFR arena record of 84.5. He won the CNFR saddle bronc title with a total of 320 points on 4 head.
Muncy said, "I've been looking at him (Good Times), and have wanted a chance to ride him." He turned that chance into a national title plus he met his personal goal of winning the collegiate saddle bronc riding. But, there's always another challenge, and instead of taking time to enjoy his success, Taos is driving to Flagstaff to perform in the professional rodeo on Sunday. He said he will rodeo hard all summer before beginning school again in the fall.
Trell Etbauer had another hard-working night as he was up in the saddle bronc and less than 15 minutes later performed in the steer wrestling. Etbauer had a great ride going on Boogerhead, but hit the ground just a tick ahead of the buzzer. Disappointed, he again sprinted to the other end of the arena to get on his well-trained bulldogging horse. He fared better in that event, posting a 5.6 second time, good enough for a 2-way tie for 4th in the round and 5th place in the aggregate scoring. Etbauer continued to work the event as he hazed for four other steer wrestlers.
Logan Hodson suffered another tough night as he bucked off his bareback horse after only three seconds. He injured his elbow during Friday night's performance, and was simply unable to perform as well as he normally does. Hodson, a native of British Columbia, Canada, graduated this past May, and plans to return to the Texas County area to work and rodeo professionally.
In the breakaway roping, Brandi Guttormson was up against some fast times, and was second in the average going into the short round. The seasoned competitor missed her calf, and ended the 2007 CNFR 9th in the combined scoring in that event.
Kelly Koeppen hit the ground running in the goat tying, but fumbled with her pigging string and finally got the tie, but the goat got up, giving her a no-time. She placed 12th in the average.
After a week of nearly constant activity, the saddles have been awarded and the lights have gone off in the Casper Events Center as the 2007 CNFR concluded. As contestants, their families, friends, and coaches lingered to visit about the highlights of the year, a common thread binds them all - anticipation of the next rodeo.