By Chaney Latham
Oklahoma Panhandle State University
GARDEN CITY, Kan. – Kaylee Moyer doesn’t need any extra motivation to compete at a high level.
She got it anyway last weekend, and the Oklahoma Panhandle State University cowgirl used it to her advantage in sharing the breakaway roping title at the Garden City (Kan.) Community College Rodeo – she also placed in goat-tying and finished second in the all-around race while guiding the women’s team to a third-place finish.
Moyer received a little push from her coach, Craig Latham, who is battling cancer with chemotherapy and radiation treatments at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. Latham sent the team text messages containing references to Scripture.
“It changed my attitude for the weekend,” said Moyer, an education major, who posted a 2.6-second run in the long round and a 3.3 in the short-go to win the title by three 10ths of a second. “This weekend had some frustrating moments, but I just kept remembering what Craig texted.”
Moyer wasn’t the only Panhandle State athlete who found the winning formula, helping the men to a fourth place team finish. Wyatt Gregg won bull riding in Garden City, posting a weekend best 80-point ride to win the first round. His 65 in the short round was good enough for second place, but the cumulative 145 points helped Gregg edge past Dodge City’s Austin Wolfe. Gregg, too, said he relied on Scripture to maintain his focus.
“It sure showed its evidence this weekend,” he said.
Panhandle State was well represented ruing the championship round Sunday. Bareback riders Josh Griggs and Ryan McIntyre earned points in bareback riding. Griggs finished in a tie for third place in the long round and placed fifth in the two-ride aggregate with 126 points, just three points better than McIntyre; he place sixth.
Joe Frost posted two solid runs in tie-down roping to place fourth, but he was one of the busiest cowboys in the field Sunday afternoon. He also qualified for the short go-round in steer wrestling and bull riding – he placed sixth in bulldogging and third in bull riding, with his long-round score of 79 holding up as the top one-ride score.
Five saddle bronc riders made up half the short-go field, and four finished among the leaders. Justin Hegwer was the top OPSU finisher, placing second with a cumulative total of 139 points on two rides. He finished just two points ahead of Magin Montoya (third), while Joe Harper placed fifth with 126 points, and Trevor Thybo placing seventh with a 61. Allen Boore also made it back to the finale. Other in the short-round were steer wrestler Chaz Cobb and bull rider Cody Hessman.
Moyer wasn’t the only OPSU women’s team competitor in the short round; she was joined by junior Callie Schafer, who finished fourth in breakaway roping and posted solid times in goat tying.
The teams compete this weekend at the Fort Scott (Kan.) Community College Rodeo, the sixth of 10 events that are part of the Central Plains Region. The men sit second in the region standings, while the women are fourth. The season wraps April 26-28 as OPSU hosts the Doc Gardner Memorial Rodeo.
For results and more collegiate rodeo information, visit collegerodeo.com.