Kalawaia scores all-around title

Home - Uncategorized - Kalawaia scores all-around title

ALVA, Okla. – Even though he’d roped through his youth, Northwestern Oklahoma State University cowboy Trisyn Kalawaia has focused on steer wrestling since he arrived in Alva a couple years ago.

His return to team roping was by happenstance. Bennett McComas, a member of the Northwestern women’s team from Temecula, California, was looking for a partner, so Kalawaia stepped up at the first three rodeos of the spring semester.

“I borrow a horse, I borrow a rope and I borrow a glove,” said Kalawaia, a senior from Waiakea, Hawaii. “I go out there and try to catch a few points.”

It paid off in the biggest way possible this past weekend at the Garden City (Kansas) Community College rodeo. With McComas roping the horns and Kalawaia the heels, they stopped the clock in both rounds. Their 6.4-second run was good enough for second place in the championship round, and the duo finished third overall.

That, combined with his consistency in steer wrestling, helped the Hawaiian to the first all-around championship of his college career. Kalawaia won the short round in steer wrestling, which boosted him to second place overall, behind teammate Cam Fox of Tulsa, Oklahoma, who picked up his second straight event victory.

“I’ve won multiple all-around titles in high school but never in college,” he said. “It’s actually pretty cool; I never thought I’d ever catch two (steers). I got to help us get some more team points and help my partner out.”

Those points are valuable, because they help both individually and for the team. The Rangers men had their best finish of the season, scoring 643.33 points and placing second overall. In addition to the 90 points he received in team roping, Kalawaia added 110 in steer wrestling.

Northwestern had a lot of help. Fox placed in both rounds to win the bulldogging title. Emmett Edler of State City, Iowa, also placed in both rounds and finished fourth overall. Quade Potter bulldogged the first-round victory but was saddled with a no-time in the short round. Grady Aasby of Highmore, South Dakota, and Jacob Haren of Callaway, Nebraska, also made the championship round in steer wrestling.

Though he didn’t acquire any points in steer wrestling, Haren secured 160 total points, with all but 10 coming in tie-down roping. He won the opening round with an 8.8-second run, then finished third in the final round to win the overall title. Haren and teammate Kade Chace of Cherokee, Oklahoma, also finished sixth in the opening round of team roping.

Breakaway roper Jaci Traul of Fort Scott, Kansas, led the way for the Rangers women. Her 2.2-second run helped her win the opening round, and she also placed in the final round. Her two-run cumulative time of 4.9 seconds propelled the Kansan to second overall. Lauren Hopkins of Lipan, Texas, finished third in the short round and fifth overall.

Goat-tier Morgan Poust of Hughesville, Pennsylvania, placed fourth in the short round and fifth overall, while barrel racer Sierra Schott of McLaughlin, South Dakota, placed in the long round and average. Fellow barrel racer Julianna Sprague of Kincaid, Kansas, also advanced to the championship round for the Rangers.

All the points continued to add up for Northwestern. Those that Kalawaia earned in steer wrestling helped him maintain his lead in the Central Plains Region standings, and the top man in the chase to catch him is his teammate, Fox, who gained a little bit of ground with his victory in western Kansas. Kalawaia’s lead is just 105 points.

“He’s been getting tough and catching up,” Kalawaia said of his teammate. “Cam’s been pretty consistent, so he’s really making it fun.”

Northwestern holds down the top five spots in the regional standings. Potter sits third, followed by Edler and Haren. The Rangers compete this coming weekend at Weatherford, Oklahoma, followed by consecutive weekends at Hays, Kansas, and Guymon, Oklahoma, respectively.

Kalawaia will make sure he’s in the mix to wrestle steers at all three, but he’ll face some logistical challenges. He is also competing in ProRodeo – he is 23rd in the world standings – so he will be traveling this week to the West Coast before returning to the Plains states for the intercollegiate competition.

“I’ve been riding my green horse at these college rodeos,” he said of Taxi, an 11-year-old gelding. “I got him in December, so I figured the college rodeos would be best to season a horse. I’ll let my good ones rest and take them to the ProRodeos, but it’s neat to season a horse and find success on him. He’s been working outstanding.”

The Northwestern men utilized their strong performance in Garden City to jump two spots to third place in the team standings. The Rangers are giving chase to Western Oklahoma State College and Fort Scott Community College to finish the year; the goal is to be among the top two when the regional season comes to a close at month’s end to secure a team spot at the College National Finals Rodeo.

“It was a really good weekend for us, but it could have been better,” Kalawaia said. “I think with us coming toward the end of the season, we realize how important it is to take a team to the college finals, so it’s important for us to score as many points as possible to get there.”


Leave A Comment


Latest News