By Shelbie Weeder on 04/27/2015
Guymon, Okla. — The cowboys and cowgirls of Panhandle State finished the Central Plains Region rodeo season with a bang at the 50th Annual Doc Gardner Memorial Rodeo April 23-25 in Guymon. The men’s team claimed the regional team championship and finished second on the weekend. The Panhandle State women clicked on all cylinders to bring home the Doc Gardner Memorial Rodeo women’s team title and finish fifth for the season. The Aggies of Panhandle State put on a show for their hometown crowd, claiming two event championships and the men’s and women’s all-around.
Seniors Terra Micek and Joe Frost led the way for the Aggies. Micek grabbed the women’s all-around title and she finished third in the breakaway roping with a time of six seconds on two head. Additionally, Micek earned fourth place points in the long round of the barrel racing. Joe Frost claimed the men’s all-around title for the weekend. Joe was the only cowboy to cover both of his bulls in the bull riding, proving why he is the reigning national champion. Joe also qualified for the short round in the steer wrestling, but unfortunately had some tough luck Saturday afternoon.
Sophomore Randi Buchanan hustled her way into second place in the barrel racing. After making a horse change following the long round, Buchanan finished third in the short round and second in the average. Senior Mercedes Trenary gave it her all at her last college rodeo. She made the short round in the breakaway and the goat tying. Trenary was joined in the goat tying by junior Chy Black who tied two goats in 21.1 seconds. Senior Mardee Sierks qualified for the short round of her last college rodeo in the breakaway roping.
Seniors Lucas Phillips and Connor Stephens finished their college rodeo careers on a high note. The duo won the team roping title by placing second in the long round and splitting first and second in the short round. Junior Caleb Bullock was 9.7 seconds in the long round of the tie-down roping, but had some tough luck in the short round.
Caleb Bullock and Dusty Moore served a very unique role this weekend, one that does not happen very often at a college rodeo. The duo not only competed in the rodeo but served as the pickup men as well. They did an awesome job getting their fellow cowboys to the ground safely and the McCloy bucking stock to the catch pen quickly.
Four of the seven cowboys in the short round of the saddle bronc riding belong to Panhandle State with junior Clay Elliott leading the way. Elliott finished in second place sealing the deal on a region championship and a trip to the College National Finals Rodeo (CNFR) in Casper, Wyo. Telden McLain finished in fourth place and sealed his trip to the college finals as well. Shade Etbauer finished in fifth followed by Will Gaillard in sixth.
In the bull riding, Tyler Hessman was fourth in the long round. The bareback riding saw Logan Glendy in third place to wrap up his college rodeo career. Glendy was followed closely by junior Wesley Cole in fourth place and claimed his spot to the college finals. Freshman Will Martin grabbed long round points with a score of 75.
As the Doc Gardner Memorial Rodeo came to a close, regional secretary Vickie Shireman was busy crunching numbers in the office to figure the year-end standings.
The OPSU men’s team easily claimed the Central Plains Region championship. With one returning team member from the 2013 National Championship team, the men look to repeat history in Casper, Wyo. June 14-20.
In the bareback riding, Wesley Cole was the reserve champion for the regional race.
It is no surprise that the saddle bronc riding was clustered with OPSU cowboys. Clay Elliott was the champion by a landslide after all the points were totaled and Telden McLain finished in third place.
Team Frost managed to dominate the bull riding. Younger brother Josh Frost ended up taking home the reserve championship, while older brother Joe finished in third. Joe is looking to repeat last year’s performance at the CNFR and bring home another national title. Additionally, Josh claimed the reserve all-around title, so he will also compete in the tie-down roping and the steer wrestling at the college finals.
Shade Etbauer proved that he is an all-around hand that can win at both ends of the arena. Etbauer clinched the men’s all-around championship and will be competing in the saddle bronc riding and tie-down roping in Casper.
On the women’s side Randi Buchanan stayed consistent all year long earning the reserve all-around cowgirl for the region. Buchanan will compete in the barrel racing and breakaway roping at the CNFR. Joining Buchanan on the women’s side will be Shelbie Weeder, the Central Plains Region student director, who will be competing in the breakaway roping at the college finals.
Every year the region has a meeting and votes on who they feel earns the Coach of the Year award. This year that recipient was none other than Panhandle State’s own Robert Etbauer. As many of you know head coach Craig Latham has taken a leave of absence to continue his fight against cancer, and he left some pretty huge shoes to fill. Even though it is not the same without Craig around and we all miss him daily, Robert has stepped to the plate and kept this team together. His wife Sue also deserves a lot of the credit. They have worked extremely hard to keep the team on the path that Craig has laid for them. On behalf of the entire rodeo team we would like to congratulate Robert on his award and thank both of them for all that they have done.
The winning tradition of Panhandle State University Rodeo still remains strong. With a strong group of men and women headed to Casper in June, the team looks for great things to happen.