The first rodeo of the 2010-2011 season for the Fort Hays State University rodeo team was full of close calls. Making it to the final round was just on the tips of many Fort Hays competitors’ fingers, but time penalties, stiff competition and the luck of the draw left many members just shy of qualifying for the short-go round.
But as they say, that’s rodeo.
The team’s first rodeo was the Colby Community College Rodeo this past weekend, Sept. 17-19, in Colby. Fort Hays had 25 members entered in a total of 39 events.
Three team members’ event times would have qualified them for the short-go round, but a broken barrier added 10 seconds to each of their times.
In breakaway roping, Nikki Brobst, junior, caught her calf in four seconds flat. Short-go qualifying times ranged from three to four seconds. However, because Brobst did not allow her calf the full head start, 10 seconds was added to her total time.
“Nikki’s steer turned its head just as she nodded, so that hurt her run,” said rodeo team head coach Bronc Rumford.
Aside from the barrier, Brobst, who just started roping as a freshman in college, said she was happy to have caught her calf in a time competitive with the other 116 breakaway ropers who competed at the rodeo.
“It helped (my confidence) a lot by knowing I can actually get it done,” Brobst said.
Ty Rumford, junior, would have easily won the long-go round in steer wrestling if he had not broken out. He finished his run also in four seconds flat, an entire 1.2 seconds faster than the fastest run in the long-go. But unfortunately, the 10-second barrier penalty kept Rumford from the short-go, too.
The barrier also kept Adam Stegman, senior, from the short-go in the team roping. Stegman’s partner, Monte Snider from Dodge City Community College, who serves as the header in the team, broke the barrier. The team finished the run in 7.4 seconds, which would have qualified for the short-go, but again, the extra 10 seconds was added to the time.
Stegman and Snider have roped together a few times in the past year at some jackpot roping competitions.
Stegman said Snider’s “go-big-or-go-home” attitude is what made him want to team up with the DCCC cowboy.
“I decided to team rope with him because we roped pretty good together at the jackpots, and he is really wanting to be successful in college rodeo this year. I like that he is pretty consistent and is willing to take chances,” Stegman said.
In breakaway roping, Jenna Rolland, senior, placed 12th in the long-go, barely missing the short-go, which takes the top 10. But with 95 teams in the team roping, 113 girls in the barrel racing and 117 girls in the breakaway roping, competition was as stiff as ever.
“The barrier in this region is so critical because this region is so tough,” said Bronc Rumford. “You cannot be off the barrier.”
Bronc Rumford said he was pleased with how well the team did at the first rodeo because the members showed their potential for the rest of the season.
“We had a lot of kids that were right in the hunt and just missed that short-go and placing just because of two or three little minute things, so that’s encouraging because there’s not much to overcome,” Bronc Rumford said.
The team travels next to Pratt for the Pratt Community College Rodeo, Oct. 1-3.