ALVA, Okla. – Camden Hoelting and Austin Lampe had been waiting for the moment for quite some time.
Both are juniors at Northwestern Oklahoma State University, and they’ve gone to more than a dozen rodeos over their first two years of competing in college rodeo; still, they’d never earned an event title until this past weekend at the Southeastern Oklahoma State University rodeo in Durant.
“It was about going to all the rodeos I’ve gone to in the past two years, so winning this was pretty special,” said Lampe, a heeler from Dodge City, Kansas. “This was only my third time to make a short round and was the first time I’ve placed in a rodeo, and we ended up winning it.”
Yes, they did. The tandem stopped the clock in 6.5 seconds in the first round, which saw them finish just out of placing for points, but they stepped things up in the championship round. They finished with a 5.8-second run, and their 12.3-second cumulative time on two runs was the top time by almost a second. In all, they earned 120 points and moved into the top five in the Central Plains Region’s team roping standings.
“It helps us a lot being the second rodeo of the year and us not having the best of luck at the first one in Colby (Kansas),” said Hoelting, a header from Olpe, Kansas. “It also helps a lot in confidence when you get the win, especially in Durant, where the roping is always so tough. It puts confidence in your head going into the next one.”
They weren’t the only Rangers to have success in southeastern Oklahoma. Header Stran Morris of Woodward, Oklahoma – roping with heeler Jordan Lavins of Western Oklahoma State College – finished third in both rounds and placed third overall. Header Jaden Trimble of Coffeyville, Kansas, placed in a tie for sixth place in the first round with his partner, Shane Jenkins of Northeastern Oklahoma A&M.
Steer wrestler Kaden Greenfield of Lakeview, Oregon, earned his way into the short round with a 6.2-second run in the opening round, then won the championship round with a 3.9-second run. He finished third overall. Breakaway roper Hannah Zimmers of Eureka, Kansas, finished second in Durant. She finished sixth in the first round with a 2.6-second run, then followed that with a 2.7 to tie for the short-round win.
But the weekend belonged to the Kansas team ropers.
“The key to winning was drawing good; if you draw the right steers, you’ve got to use them,” Hoelting said. “We drew the steer in the short round that we needed to draw. They won the first round on that steer, and we won the short round. That makes a big difference.”
His partner agreed.
“The steers were really good, and we drew the best steer in the pen for the short round,” Lampe said. “We weren’t really trying to be 5.8, but we had the best steer, and Camden got it on both steers really good.
“I try to catch two feet on every one no matter where they’re at in the arena.”
Lampe spent two years at his hometown Dodge City Community College. When it was time to move on to the next level, he checked out a couple of options but settled on Northwestern.
“I wanted to try to be better, and it was a lot better to come to where I knew everybody roped good and worked hard at it,” he said. “That’s the way I want to do it, and I think there are more opportunities to get better in Alva.”
Hoelting took a different path, moving directly to Northwestern out of high school. It was the right move at the right time.
“I like the community, the small community like where I’m from,” he said. “I like Stockton (Graves, the coach). He’s been there. He’s been to the National Finals Rodeo. He’s going back this year. I thought he’d be a good coach, and he has been. I have a good friend from back home that pointed me in this direction, and Stockton finalized it.”