Bulldogger U lives up to its name

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ALVA, Okla. – There were 41 steer wrestlers competing at the Fort Scott (Kansas) Community College rodeo over the weekend. Twelve advanced for Sunday’s championship round.

Nine of those attend Northwestern Oklahoma State University. In that elite field, only one non-Ranger mustered points; the rest of those valuable treasures went to the men sporting the black vests with red and black lettering.

“We struggled a little bit and didn’t have a good outing at Manhattan,” Cam Fox said of the first Central Plains Region rodeo of the spring semester at Kansas State University. “We figured Fort Scott would be a good setup for us, and there was a good set of steers. Everything just worked out for us.”

Fox, a senior from Tulsa, benefitted the most. He had runs of 4.8 seconds and 4.9 seconds to finish second in both go-rounds; his cumulative time of 9.7 seconds earned him the overall victory and 160 points. Already second in the regional standings, Fox moved to within 145 points of teammate Trisyn Kalawaia, the season leader.

“This weekend was just something that came together for us,” Fox said. “It lit a fire in us, and we hope to continue the momentum heading into the next ones.”

Eight of the nine Rangers scored points, and each of the top six steer wrestlers in the final standings are from Northwestern. Tevin Cowan of Harrold, South Dakota, won the short round and finished second overall; Quade Potter of Stockville, Nebraska, won the first round and placed third; Logan Mullin of Clay Center, Kansas, was fourth; Emmett Edler of State Center, Iowa, was fifth; and Scout Cutsinger of Claremore, Oklahoman, was sixth.

“I think this was a good sign for us as a team,” Fox said. “We practice hard ever day. We have a lot of good guys, and we just keep pushing each other to do better and be better. We also get to learn from Stockton Graves.”

Northwestern is known as the Bulldogging Capital of College Rodeo because of Graves, the coach his alma mater and an eight-time National Finals Rodeo qualifier. This wasn’t the first time that most of the steer wrestlers in the short round were Rangers; it was just one of the most dominating performances for the team.

Three other Rangers bulldoggers – Jacob Haren of Callaway, Nebraska (seventh); Sterling Lee of Goetebo, Oklahoma (eighth); and Grady Aasby of Highmore, South Dakota (11th) – also qualified for the final round. Lee finished fourth in the opening round, and Haren was sixth in the short round. Heeler Sage Bader of Boone, Colorado, also qualified for the final performance; he and header Cadon Remington of Southwestern Oklahoma State University capitalized there, finishing sixth in the round.

For the women, barrel racer Sierra Schott of McLaughlin, South Dakota, took advantage of her short-round position. She rounded the cloverleaf pattern in 12.84 seconds to win the final round and finish second in the aggregate. Breakaway roper Jayden Jensen of Fallon, Nevada, shared the first-round win with a 2.2-second run; she was 3.8 to finish third in the final round and average. Fellow roper Lauren Hopkins of Lincoln, California, was 2.6 seconds to finish in a five-way tie for fourth place in the opening round, and goat-tier Savannah Greenfield of Lakeview, Oregon, earned a sport in the championship.

On a weekend when the Northwestern steer wrestlers dominated the field, Fox led the way but also saw a teammate make a significant move in the regional standings. Potter also placed in both rounds and secured 120 points. That pushed him to third place in the region. With four events remaining on the schedule, the Rangers own the top three spots and hold down tight positions among the top 10.

“It’s great that there are a bunch of us up there and that Trisyn and I are right there at the top,” said Fox, who rode a horse owned by Mullin and utilized the hazing skills of Edler. “We’ll just try to stick to the same script: Go out there, run the steers and get them down. We need to stay aggressive and not relax by where we are in the standings. We want to try to keep the foot on the gas. We just can’t be content.”

That mindset and Graves’ push for a winning attitude have proven fruitful for many Rangers.

“I think we could be really good, really dominant,” Fox said. “This is my last year, and I’d love to see what we can do the next few weeks.”


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