The Panhandle State Rodeo Team gathers for a team photo following the Doc Gardner Memorial Rodeo this past weekend. The rodeo was named Central Plains Region Rodeo of the year tied with the Oklahoma State University Rodeo. —Photo by Danae Moore

Apr 30, 2018

Panhandle State Communications

Panhandle State Rodeo Athletes Heading to the CNFR

Goodwell, Okla. — The Oklahoma Panhandle State University Rodeo team hosted the last college rodeo of the year in Guymon, Okla. The team has travelled far and worked hard and their efforts paid off. The Men’s team and two women earned their ticket to once again stir up the dust in the Casper Events Center at the College National Finals Rodeo (CNFR) in Casper, Wyo. this June. Several Panhandle State student-athletes earned individual titles as well as claiming the men’s team title for both the weekend and the year-end. The women’s team came in third in the year-end standings.

Will Martin has had a year to remember. Martin was on fire this year winning the bareback riding in nine out of the ten rodeos. Martin performed up to expectation at this home-town rodeo splitting first in the long round with 69 points and winning the short round with 77 points earning him not only the Panhandle State Bareback Champion title but also the Year-end Bareback Champion title. Martin also made it back to the short round in the Steer- Wrestling. To top it all off, Martin won the Men’s All-Around title for both the weekend and the end of year. Martin will be one to watch at the CNFR.

Dylan Riggins secured a spot on the 2018 CNFR Team. Riggins split fourth in the long round and won second in the short round placing him third in the average. Riggins will be heading to Casper in second place right behind his teammate.

Nolan Richie made it back in the Tie-Down Roping this weekend with a time of 11.5 seconds, but unfortunately had a no time in the short round.

Lane Giovanetti split second place in the long round of the Steer-Wrestling with a time of 4.4 seconds. Giovanetti unfortunately did not get a time in the short round. This was Giovanetti’s first semester to compete in the Steer-Wrestling and he will definitely be worth looking out for next year.

Also on the timed event side of the arena, Bridget Merrigan had a successful weekend in the Breakaway Roping. Merrigan had a time of 3.2 seconds in the long round and 3.1 seconds placing second in the short round and putting her in a tie for second in the average.

Breakaway roper, Caitlyn Wiswell will be making the trip to Casper in June as she secured the third spot in the standings. Wiswell has worked hard all year and will be a strong contender at the finals.

Panhandle State had two teams in the short round of the Team Roping. Tanner White and Luke Meier had a time of 8.0 seconds in the long round earning them the third place. White and Meier then had a time 0f 13.4 seconds putting them third in the short round and second in the average. Bridget Merrigan and Zane Grigsby won second in the long round with a time of 7.8 seconds and won fifth in both the short round and the average.

Kaylee Smith will be the joining Wiswell in June as she placed third in the Goat-Tying regional standings. Smith has proved herself all year and will be giving it her all at the finals.

The Saddle-Bronc Riding was once again dominated by the red and blue vests of Panhandle State having six out of the ten men in the short round. Jake Finlay will once again be competing at this year’s CNFR. Finlay split third place in the long round and fourth place in both the short round and the average this weekend. Finlay won the Central Plains Saddle Bronc Riding Champion title. Dawson Dahm split fifth in the long round and won the short round with a score of 77 points putting him second in the average. Dahm will be at the CNFR alongside Finlay as he won the Reserve year-end title. Preston Ogle won the long round of the Saddle Bronc Riding with a score of 77 points. Ogle split sixth place in the short round and split fourth place in the average. Cooper Thatcher earned the sixth place in the average. Logan Hay and Rowdy Chesser were also present in the short round.

Last, Callum Miller will be joining the men on this year’s trip to the CNFR. Miller won second in the long round and fifth in the average this weekend. Miller won the Reserve Bull Riding Title in the year-end standing. Dustin Martinez also had a good weekend in the Bull Riding. Martinez won fourth in the long round, split second in the short round and won second in the average.

Last but not least, a special mention was given to the team’s favorite teammate, Rambo, who won the men’s horse of the year yet again bringing his tally to six for that particular award. The team is honored and very thankful to have this key player on their team.

Additionally, the “Doc” Gardner Memorial Rodeo tied for the Central Plains Region Rodeo of the Year award with the Oklahoma State University college rodeo.

The team is proud of what they have accomplished this year and wishes the best of luck to their teammates heading to the CNFR.

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