ALVA, Okla. – To say Jacob Haren has been on a roll might be an understatement.
The Central Plains Region’s fall season began with the Callaway, Nebraska, cowboy winning the all-around title in Colby, Kansas, earning points in steer wrestling and tie-down roping. He followed that last weekend with the steer wrestling crown in Stillwater, Oklahoma.
He closed out the semester’s string of four rodeos this past weekend by winning the tie-down roping championship at the Northwestern Oklahoma State University rodeo at the Alva Dome, a hometown title he’ll carry with him.
He led the charge for the Rangers in their second-place finish in the team standings. Haren won the first round with an 8.4-second run, then was 9.1 on Championship Night to finish second in the short round and win the aggregate title. That was worth 170 points, all of which not only counted toward Haren’s place in the regional standings but also that of the Northwestern men.
Fellow tie-down roper Kerry Duvall of Oakdale, California, also scored points, stopping the clock in 10.6 seconds to finish in a three-way tie for sixth place in the opening round.
Haren, who is most comfortable with a rope in his hand, advanced to his third steer wrestling short round of four events this fall. Though he didn’t secure any points in bulldogging, he was on hand as the other five Rangers steer wrestlers did, proving their dominance in the event.
Trisyn Kalawaia built on his lead in the Central Plains standings by winning the bulldogging title at the Alva Dome. He made a 3.2-second run to win the opening round, then was then solid at 4.9 seconds in the championship round to take the overall title.
“That 3.2 was the fastest I’ve ever been in my life,” said Kalawaia, a senior from Waiakea, Hawaii. “I was 3.3 in Springhill, Louisiana, and I’ve been 3.4 before, too. I had a really good steer, and the Alva Dome is a small building, which makes the steers set up, so you’ve got to be ready for it.
“I blew the barrier out (timing his start with the barrier’s release), and I saw he was going to stop right there. I jumped off, and everything worked out right there.”
Riding his horse Rumor, a 14-year-old sorrel mare, helped the Hawaiian’s confidence. It’s the same horse he and his traveling partners rode through the summer season in ProRodeo; he competed across the country with Northwestern graduates Kaden Greenfield and Stockton Graves, the latter of whom serves as the Rangers rodeo coach.
“She’s definitely a special horse,” he said, noting that fellow Ranger Emmett Edler was his hazer. “Emmett was 3.8 seconds in the short round to win it, so it’s good to have someone on the other side that’s that strong, too.
“Winning at home is great. It competes with some of the ProRodeo wins. For me, it’s great because the people you know from around Alva get to see you in person. It’s people I shoe horses for or people from school … they come out to watch. Being the last time I college rodeo in the Alva Dome makes it special, too.”
Kalawaia was followed in the standings by Quade Potter of Stockville, Nebraska, who placed in both go-rounds and finished third overall. Edler won the short round, which shot him up to fourth in the aggregate race. Cam Fox of Tulsa was 4.4 to finish in a tie for fourth place in the opening go-round, Sterling Lee of Goetebo, Oklahoma, placed sixth in the long round.
Kansas team ropers Colter Snook of Dodge City and Rhett Murray of Alma roped solidly over the weekend, placing fourth in the championship round and finishing fifth overall. Northwestern header Sage Bader of Boone, Colorado, placed sixth in both the final round and average while roping with Cadon Remington of Southwestern Oklahoma State University.
Jayden Jensen led the way for the Northwestern women. The breakaway roper from Fallon, Nevada, was 2.7 seconds on both of her runs; she placed second in the short round and third overall.
“The team finishing second is pretty big,” Kalawaia said. “I think we could have capitalized a little more in the short round; Stockton pushes us to make the short rounds and then do well in the short round. Last year we won the rodeo, but I think second is pretty good.”
It’s also a lasting memory for the Rangers. They will have almost four months off Central Plains competition before returning to action in the spring semester. It’s not only a time to celebrate holidays, but it should allow them the time to improve their games and their mental approaches before the spring semester run of the final six rodeos.
“Sometimes it’s just about making the best run you can at the time you make it,” Kalawaia said. “I didn’t have the greatest steer in the short round, but (Northwestern alumnus and world champion) Jacob Edler told me to be smart on the barrier and make a solid run. I made the best run I could on that steer, and it worked out for me.”