WALLA WALLA — Two arena records bit the dust here Tuesday during the opening round of timed events competition in the Frontier Days Rodeo at the Walla Walla Fairgrounds.
Nate Baldwin, a Blackfoot, Idaho, cowboy, roped and tied his first calf in 7.3 seconds to win the first "go" in the tie-down roping event and scrawl his name in the fairgrounds arena record book. Baldwin surpassed the old record of 7.4 seconds that was set by Josh Peek of Pueblo, Colo., just last year.
More importantly to Baldwin, who ranks 20th in the world in his event and is tryiing to climb into the top 15 and earn a spot in December’s National Finals in Las Vegas, he banked a $1,326.19 first-place check that will go on top of his season earnings. Baldwin went into the week with total winnings of $47,995 and was less than $5,000 behind Monty Lewis of Hereford, Texas, who was holding down 15th place.
Cody Ohl of Hico, Texas, who sits comfortably in fifth place in the PRCA calf roping standings, turned in a time of 8.1 seconds and finished second in the first round, an effort that produced a $1,326.13 payday. Roger Nonella, Klamath Falls, Ore., was in third place at 8.4 and left town $1,049.90 richer.
The other new arena record belongs to Trevor Knowles of Mount Vernon, Ore., who bulldogged his first steer in 3.5 seconds to win the first round of the steer wrestling. Knowles clipped two tenths of a second off the old record, which was set by Curtis Cassidy of Donalda, Alberta, Canada, in 2006 and matched by Stockton Graves of Newkirk, Okla, in 2007 and by Clay Cowan of Highmore, S.D., in 2008.
Knowles, the son of former Walla Walla Community College rodeo star Jeff Knowles, claimed the $1,584.12 first-place check that he will add to his season earnings of $62,755 which is good enough for seventh place in the world bulldogging standings.
Cassidy, who leads all bulldoggers with $95,331, is not at this year’s Frontier Days.
Second place in the bulldogging was shared Tuesday by K.C. Jones of Decatur, Texas, and Lee Graves of Calgary, Alberta, who each wrestled their first steer to the ground in 3.8 seconds and took home $1,037.87 apiece.
JoJo LeMond of Andrews, Texas, and his partner, Randon Adams of Logandale, Nev., headed and heeled their first steer in 4.6 seconds to win the first round of the team roping event and earned $1,721.87 each in the process. LeMond is the fifth-ranked header on the PRCA tour and Adams ranks sixth as a heeler.
Second place in the event was shared by Coleman Proctor of Pryor, Okla., and Caleb Twisselman of Santa Margarita, Calif., and Shane Philipp of Washington, Texas, and Brock Hanson of Casa Grande, Ariz, each duo timed in 4.9 seconds. The four cowboys left the arena with $1,276.56 each to add to their season earnings.
There were a total of 66 calf ropers, 64 steer wrestlers and 46 sets of team ropers in the arena Tuesday, and about half of them began the second round of competition.
Monty Lewis of Hereford, Texas, had the second "go" lead in calf roping with an 8.0 clocking, and Timber Moore of Aubrey, Texas, was first in the average in 17.9.
Ronnie Fields of Oklahoma City, Okla., bulldogged his second steer in 3.5 seconds to lead the round, and Knowles was on top in the average at 7.4.
And in team roping, LeMond and Adams held the second round lead at 4.3 and were first in the average in 8.9.
The final 30 entries in each event will get their second round during the three nights of Frontier Days action that begins Friday and concludes Sunday. Ten calf ropers, 10 bulldoggers and 10 team roping duos will compete each night to finish off the second round.
They’ll be joined by the PRCA’s rough stock cowboys and women’s barrel racers during the three nightly shows. There are totals of 59 saddle bronc riders, 51 bull riders, 37 bareback riders and 87 barrel racers entered at Frontier Days.
The chutes open at 7 p.m. each night.
Frontier Days Rodeo
FIRST ROUND — 1, Nate Baldwin, Blackfoot, Idaho, 7.3 seconds, $1,602.49; 2, Cody Ohl, Hico, Texas, 8.1, $1,326.19; 3, Roger Nonella, Klamath Falls, Ore., 8.4, $1,049.90; 4, Shane Hanchey, Sulphur, La, 8.5, $773.61; 5, Jack Vanderlans, Temecula, Calif., 8.6, $497.32; 6, (tie) Stetson Vest, Childress, Texas; Tim Pharr, Resaca, Ga.; Cade Swor, Chico, Texas; Randall Carlisle, Lipan, Texas; Clint Cooper, Decatur, Texas, 8.9 each, $55.25 each.
FIRST ROUND — 1, Trevor Knowles, Mount Vernon, Ore., 3.5 seconds, $1,584.12; 2, (tie) K.C. Jones, Decatur, Texas, and Lee Graves, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, 3.8 each, $1,037.87 each; 4, Beau Franzen, Sidney, Mont., 3.9, $764.75; 5, Jason Miller, Lance Creek, Wyo., 4.0, $491.62; 6, Casey McMillen, Craig, Colo., 4.1, $273.12.
FIRST ROUND — 1, JoJo Lemond, Andrews, Texas, and Randon Adams, Logandale, Nev., 4.6 seconds, $1,721.87 each; 2, (tie) Coleman Proctor, Pryor, Okla., and Caleb Twisselman, Santa Margarita, Calif., and Shane Philipp, Washington, Texas, and Brock Hanson, Casa Grande, Ariz., 4.9, $1,276.56 each; 4, Travis Tryan, Billings, Mont., and Michael Jones, Stephenville, Texas, 5.0, $831.25 each; 5, (tie) Justin Yost, Morris, Pa., and Britt Bockius, Claremore, Okla.; Joe Beaver, Huntsville, Texas, and Arky Rogers, Lake City, Fla.; and Charly Crawford, Prineville, Ore., and Russell Cardoza, Farmington, Calif., 5.4, $277.08 each.