Pratt has repeat success at college rodeo

The Fort Hays State University rodeo team now has a cowboy who is two for three in the 2010-2011 season. Cody Pratt, Monte Vista, Colo., senior, who placed third in the average in steer wrestling at the second rodeo of the season in Pratt, recently repeated his success in Durant, Okla.

The Southeastern Oklahoma State University Rodeo was Oct. 7-9.

Pratt beat out 46 other cowboys with his time of 4.4 seconds to make the short-go round, which only takes the top 10 times. Pratt had a 4.7-second run in the short-go. The two times combined to place him third in the average for the second weekend in a row, which bumped him ahead of 53 competitors.

Pratt said the good steers he drew helped make his weekend a success.

"I drew well over the weekend and was able to be successful by taking advantage of it," Pratt said.  "In rodeo, the draw is a huge factor, and everything came together well."

Performing better than that many cowboys is no easy task. The National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association's Central Plains Region, in which FHSU competes, is well known for being one of the toughest in the country.

With about 20 colleges and universities from Kansas and Oklahoma (and one from Missouri), Central Plains has more member schools than any of the 11 regions in the NIRA. Hundreds of cowboys and cowgirls compete at each rodeo.

And the region doesn’t just stand out in numbers; the skills of its cowboys and cowgirls rank with the best. Three of the 2010 national champions were from Central Plains.

"The Central Plains Region is a very tough region due to the large amount of competitors and the talent that they hold," Pratt said. "With over 500 competitors, you must be on your 'A' game to be successful."

Pratt is now second in the regional standings.

In goat tying, Sam Tenpenny, Topeka freshman, also had a repeat weekend, coming just 0.2 seconds away from the short-go for the second weekend in a row. In addition to that, she was also the fastest cowgirl on her goat with a time of 9.3 seconds. She ended up in 12th place, just two spots shy of the short-go.

"It is very frustrating coming so close the past two weekends," Tenpenny said, "especially when I’ve been the fastest on my goat both weekends. There wasn't much else I could have done.

"At the same time, it is just as encouraging because it proves that I can tie with some of the best goat tiers in the nation. Our region is very tough, and it is my honor to be up there with them."

FHSU also had another member in the 12th hole. Cory Hatcher, Syracuse sophomore, barely missed the short-go in calf roping with a time of 10.7 seconds.

The team travels next to Alva, Okla., for the Northwestern Oklahoma State University Rodeo, Nov. 4-6.

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