**For Immediate Release**
Doc Gardner Team Titles Stay Home
- released by OPSU Campus Communications 04-09-2007
by Laura Hays
Goodwell, Okla. — Wet weather made ropes and saddles slick and performers battled the cold, but the Oklahoma Panhandle State University men’s and women’s rodeo teams persevered and defined what it means to “cowboy up.” Both teams won top spots at the Doc Gardner Memorial Rodeo held this past weekend at the Hitch Arena in Guymon, and OPSU’s Kelly Koeppen won the Women’s All-Around saddle.
Koeppen added 170 points to the women’s team in the goat tying with a 3-way tie for first in the long round and first places in the championship round and in the aggregate scoring. She also made the short round in the barrel racing with a tie for second in the first round and a sixth place in the combined scoring. Teammate Kendel Fawcett also made the cut with a sixth place in the first go of the goat tying and went to win fourth in the short round and a fourth place tie in the average. Fawcett also tied for fifth in the long round of the barrels, and took fourth in the championship go and in the combined scoring. Haley Keenan also made the final round of the goats, and Laura Heaton made the short round of the barrel racing, placing seventh in the aggregate scoring.
On the men’s side, seven of the ten returners in the saddle bronc riding wore an OPSU vest. Leading the pack, Trell Etbauer made a second place 83 point ride in the short round and took second in the cumulative scoring. Seth Schafer was right behind, winning third in the championship round and third in the aggregate scoring. A tail bone injury didn’t stop Logan Hodson - he placed second in the long round, fifth in the short round, and placed fourth in the aggregate scoring. Robin McGilvray placed sixth in the championship round and sixth in the aggregate. Ryan Bestol and Tyler Olsen also made the championship round of that event. Taos Muncy, currently sitting fourth in the world in the professional ranks, won the first round with a 75 point ride, but couldn’t keep his seat for 8 seconds in the championship round.
Bareback rider Brian Leddy won first in the long round, tied for second in the championship round, and took second in the combined scoring. Hodson also made the championship round of the bareback. Rounding out the rough stock events, the bulls clearly prevailed in that event. With only four cowboys back for the championship round, OPSU’s Miles Hirsch came into it with a second place in the long round, failed to cover his bull in the short round, but still placed third in the average. In fact, only one cowboy in the bull riding, Thad Newell of Bacone, managed two qualified rides.
In the timed events, Etbauer placed second in the championship round of the calf roping and took second in the aggregate scoring. With Brandi Guttormson at the head and Seth Schafer at the heels, the team roping duo took fourth in the championship round and tied for fourth in the combined scoring. Schafer also took fifth in the short round of the steer wrestling and in the cumulative scoring.
When asked about the win, Coach Craig Latham said, “They’ve earned it! The kids have worked hard for this, and it was a team effort. We’re thankful for everyone that braved the weather to cheer them on.” He went on to thank the OPSU women’s basketball team for providing concessions, the football team for pushing stock, and the men’s basketball team for taking gate with another reference to the team work required to host a rodeo.
The teams head to Southwestern Oklahoma State Univ. in Weatherford this weekend, then compete at Fort Hays State in Hays, Kans. the following weekend and wind up the spring rodeo season April 26-28 at Southeastern Oklahoma State in Durant. Soon after the regular season ends, College National Finals Rodeo qualifiers will be announced, and OPSU hopes to take a men’s team as well as several individuals to Casper, Wyo. this June for the “Rose Bowl” of rodeo.