**For Immediate Release**
OPSU Dominates First Rodeo of the Season
-released by OPSU Campus Communications 09-18-07
By Whitney Harding
Goodwell, Okla. - Oklahoma Panhandle State University’s rodeo team started off with a bang as another season began this past weekend at Colby Community College in Colby, Kansas. In fact, OPSU dominated the field. With the likes of Seth Schafer and Jordan Muncy at the helm, OPSU could not be derailed off the winning track. The Aggies left Colby with both All-Around titles and two wins for the overall team - not a bad beginning for an incredibly promising season.
With team members coming back to compete in the championship round in every event except team roping and tie down roping, Craig Latham’s teams were poised for victory. Not only did the men’s team win the most points of any team in the region, they ran away with the title. They ended up with a whopping 640 points and the second place team, Connors State University, only posted 270.
In the saddle bronc riding, OPSU took first, second, third AND fourth places, a testament to the high level of coaching. Seth Schafer walked away the championship, posting a 73-point ride in the long round and a 75-point ride in the short. Trell Etbauer came in second with a combined score of 139 points on two head, Townsend Prince was third with 136 points on two, and last but not least, Robin McGilvray secured the fourth place spot with 132 points.
Etbauer and Schafer both returned to the championship round in steer wrestling where Schafer turned in a time of 4.5 seconds and Etbauer a 4.2. Schafer ended up with the championship in the bull dogging due to his 3.6 second run in the long go with a combined total of 8.1 seconds.
Bull riding saw two Aggies, Chris Wagner and Chelse Day, returning for the short round. Both men had poor luck in the championship go, but the two will hit the next rodeo in Pratt, Kansas with winning on their minds. In the bareback event, freshman Seth Hardwick also made the short round following a 66 point ride on a tough horse in the long round.
On the women’s side, OPSU saw three girls back to the short go in the breakaway roping. Jordan Muncy returned leading the first round with a 2.3 second run. Whitney Knippling came in second with a 2.7 second run, and Krista Johnson also returned to the short go after completing a 3.3 second run in the first round. With a time of 2.7 in the championship go, Johnson made it clear that she wasn’t fooling around. Knippling answered the call with a run of 3 seconds flat, giving her the lead in the average. Although Muncy top-knotted her calf in the short round, her whopping time in the long round earned her enough point stay atop of the All-Around standings.
The goat tying at Colby was no easy job, and factoring in some wild goats in the short go, things were tough on the Lady Aggies. Both Muncy and Chancy Harrington made it back to the short round with times in the long round of 8.8 and 9.4 seconds respectively.
The barrel racing also saw two women back in the championship round, Muncy and Whitney Harding. Coming into the final round, both wanted to see what could be accomplished and Muncy was once again on her game, ending up with the number spot in that event following two smoking runs to earn the title.
It would appear that once again, the OPSU Rodeo team is en route to another National Championship. With an enormous amount of support and help from Coach Craig Latham, volunteer Bill Newman and Dr. Pete Camfield, the cowboys and cowgirls of OPSU refuse to lose. The successful squad will keep up the winning tradition at Pratt in the next weeks. Until that time, be sure to congratulate them on their breakout performance at Colby!