Fort Hays State University's Carver Abbott, Hyannis, NE, freshman, is now well on his way to a trip to Lawton, OK, for the College Rodeo Championship Series on May 7-11. He is ranked eighth in steer wrestling after throwing his steer in 5.5 seconds in Weatherford, OK, at Southwestern Oklahoma State University on April 10-12.
Among his teammates who also competed in steer wrestling were Bernie Boeser, Stapleton, NE, junior, who gained enough points to qualify for the CRCS, with a 15th place ranking.
Adam Clark, Burwell, NE, junior, also competed in steer wrestling. He gained the adequate points to be qualified for the CRCS, ranked at 18th.
Luke Boeser, Stapleton, NE, junior, did not gain any points in steer wrestling at Southwestern, but is still ranked fifth.
Other team members who competed were Matt Jarvis, Phillipsburg senior, who is still ranked number one in bull riding despite a no score at SWOKSU. But with 330 points, only 92.5 ahead of the second ranked cowboy, Jarvis will have to dominate the competition at the FHSU Rodeo to maintain his first-place ranking.
In saddle bronc riding, Bernie Boeser rode his bronc for a score of 57 but he was not able to score in the short round. He is currently ranked 12th in the Central Plains Region but will have to gain some points at the FHSU Rodeo April 25-27 to qualify for the CRCS.
The FHSU Rodeo team fell from their fifth place ranking to seventh place. The top team currently has 2,137.83 points and FHSU has 663.33.
In the women's competition, Heidi Housholder, Coolidge junior, roped her calf in 3.4 seconds and tied for fourth in the long round. But a ten-second penalty in the short round kept her from obtaining the third place standing she otherwise would have earned. She will now have to score 60 points at the FHSU Rodeo to qualify for the CRCS.
Also competing for the women was Leslie Foos, Tribune junior, in barrel racing. She recorded a time of 17.49 seconds in the long round and 17.78 in the short round, giving her a ninth-place finish.
The women's team finished with five points.
A week earlier, the FHSU Rodeo teams competed at the Panhandle State University N.I.R.A. Rodeo.
Jarvis continued his quest for the bull riding championship of the Central Plains. His cumulative 330 points towered over the three individuals directly behind him in the region, with 210, 182 and 167.5 points, respectively.
His performance was more than Dr. Garry Brower, rodeo coach and associate professor of agriculture, expected, due to a recent injury.
"We were quite concerned about the strength in his hand," said Brower. "He has been in a cast since March 11, due to a ligament injury, and they just took the cast off on April 1."
Brower expects a championship title in bull riding for Jarvis at the FHSU Rodeo if he remains healthy.
The rodeo, which will be on April 25-27, is the ninth of the ten qualifying rodeos for the College Rodeo Championship Series. The championship rodeo will be on May 7-11 at Lawton, OK.
Also making an attempt for a spot at nationals was Luke Boeser. His combined score of 8.9 seconds in steer wrestling qualified him as the champion steer wrestler.
Another contender for a spot at nationals in steer wrestling is Abbot, who threw his steer at Panhandle State in 9.7 seconds, falling 4.6 seconds short of qualifying for the championship round.
In calf roping, Luke Rush, Green junior, placed 11th with 11.4 seconds, but he barely missed qualification in the short round, where an 11.3 was required.
Nathan Kohls, Clearwater freshman, competed in bareback riding, scoring a 51. He also fell short of making it into the championship round, where a 63 was required. Brower has a positive outlook on Kohls' future in rodeo.
"He is progressing under the coaching of Lester Sims and should be a challenger in the future," Brower said.
And on the women's side of things, only two women competed, but they put up a strong fight.
Lana Stueve, Olpe junior, placed third overall out of 79 competitors in breakaway roping after roping her first calf in 3.4 seconds, her second calf in 3.7 seconds, with a combined time of 7.1 seconds.
Not far behind her is teammate Housholder, who would have made it to the championship round in breakaway roping had she not broken the barrier and gotten a 10-second penalty. Although more women are being recruited for the team, Brower has confidence in the two who are currently competing.
"Both of these young women are very capable ropers," he said. "And with a good 'draw,' they could break the drought that the women's team has been in for the last two years."
Tickets for the 38th Annual Fort Hays State University N.I.R.A. Rodeo can be purchased at the FHSU Memorial Union or at Vanderbilt's, 2900 Vine Street. Performances will be at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, at 1:30 on Saturday and Sunday, with slack performances scheduled for noon on Friday and 9 a.m. on Saturday. Friday night will also feature the Watermelon Crawl and the infamous Wild Ride will take place on Saturday night.