MILTON-FREEWATER -- Walla Walla Community College cowboys and cowgirls kept their drive for another trip to the National Collegiate Rodeo Finals alive here Sunday in rodeo action at the Pioneer Posse rodeo grounds.
"From watching the kids, I think we've done very well," WWCC coach Buster Barton said. "Three champions for today (Sunday) and some of our key players placed in their events. We're pleased."
The Warriors' Nick Gutzwiler came back from a third-place finish in Saturday's bareback, drew a familiar horse, and rode to a 77 on Sunday to earn first place money and points.
"I had a good horse, she bucks every time," Gutzwiler said. "I got on her at the WWCC rodeo (in March). I won that rodeo on her also. I knew her pretty good."
The Warriors head to the last regular-season rodeo in Hermiston Saturday looking to earn individual honors as well as a team trip to Nationals after final tabulation of the season. Gutzwiler is in a good spot.
"I'm winning the bareback right now," Gutzwiler said. "It's all based on points, and if you are in the top three, you go to Nationals."
Brice Baggarley and Ross O'Sullivan started a winning trend in tie-down roping for the Warriors in Saturday action. Baggarley and O'Sullivan both got their calf tied in 10.9 to tie for first.
Mason Chambers continued the winning trend Sunday. Chambers tied his calf in 11.1 seconds to edge Treasure valley's Jared Thompson, who posted an 11.3 run.
"It was one of my better runs of the year," Chambers said. "It was a good calf and he ran real straight. My horse didn't have a lot of chance to give me a good set, but it was a pretty smooth run. I caught him right outside the chute, and got out on him really good."
Chambers used his Saturday run to get ready for his title go Sunday.
"I hit my rope on the pole on the way out of the healing box," Chambers commented. "That messed up my chances to win, but it set me up pretty good for today."
The Warriors posted wins in both gos of barrel racing. Liz Combs posted a 17.26 Saturday run to win the go.
On Sunday, it was Alyson Kennedy's turn. Kennedy made the circuit in a Sunday-best 17.31.
"It (the run) went really good," Kennedy said. "The ground was a little deep, but my horse handled it. I was setting third in the region before this weekend, and I won third yesterday (Saturday). Yesterday, they ran a 17.2, and I wasn't quite that fast today, but it was a little bit deep today."
Kennedy, as do her teammates, has her eyes set on Nationals.
"I'm setting in there right now, if next week end goes well (Kennedy will finish in the top three)," Kennedy added. "We'll go (practice) a couple of times to keep him (her horse) in shape."
Zack Bright, in bareback, earned the third Saturday championship for the Warriors with a 69 ride.
The Warriors hosted this rodeo, in addition to their annual March event, as Washington State University and the University of Idaho chose not to host.
"We volunteered (to host)," Barton said. "It's a lot of work, but we save our travel money."
Hermiston will close out the WWCC rodeo season this weekend and it has been a successful season to date.
"The top two teams qualify (for Nationals)," Barton said. "Right now we are leading both the men and women for the region. We are looking to qualify both in first place."
Saddle Bronc ¬?-- 1. TB Hannan, TVCC, 50; 2. Garret Fitzpatrick, TVCC, 36.
Bareback -- 1. Nick Gutzwiler, WWCC, 77; 2. Chase Creason, TVCC, 69; 3. Sylvan LaCross, UI, 67.
Bull Riding -- 1. Lane Bailey, EOU, 76; 2. Zack Bright, WWCC, 75; 3. Creason, TVCC, 64.
Tie-Down Roping -- 1. Mason Chambers, WWCC, 11.1; 2. Jared Thompson, TVCC, 11.3; 3. Matt Rice, UI, 11.6.
Steer Wrestling -- 1. Austin Clow, TVCC, 8.8; 2. Dakota Eldridge, BMCC, 10.9; 3. Kat Schemmipfinnig, TVCC, 13.4.
Team Roping -- Eldridge and Tanner Luttrell, 7.9; 1. Ross O'Sullivan and Andrew Carleton, 7.9; 3. Matt Moulton and Clow, 8.5.
Breakaway Roping ¬?-- 1. Jackie Owens, UI, 3.2; 2. Jordan Crossley, CWU, 3.3; 3. McKatee Mason, TVCC, 3.5.
Barrel Racing -- 1. Alyson Kennedy, WWCC, 17.31; 2. Coti Fuller, UI, 17.39; 3. Courtney Frazier, WWCC, 17.64.
Goat Tying -- 1. Manda Mellergaard, CWU, 7.2; 2. Lacy Jones, TVCC, 7.4; 3. Jillian Gerard, WSU, 7.7.
Saddle Bronc ¬?-- 1. Bryan Martinat, BMCC, 47.
Bareback ¬?-- 1. Bright, WWCC, 69; 2. LaCross, UI, 67; 3. Gutzwiler, WWCC, 56.
Bull Riding -- 1. Stephen Hopkins, TVCC, 75; 2. Laine Baze, WWCC, 65.
Tie-Down Roping -- 1. Brice Baggarley, WWCC, 10.9; 1. O'Sullivan, WWCC, 10.9; 3. Rusty Gill, BMCC, 11.1.
Steer Wrestling -- 1. Eldridge, BMCC, 5.3; 2. Cody Cabral, WWCC, 12.4; 3. Clow, TVCC, 17.8.
Team Roping -- 1. TJ Hays and Ty Baggerly, 8.6; 2. Thompson and Schemmipfinnig, 8.9; 3. Brent Baggarley and Brice Baggarley, 10.2.
Breakaway Roping -- 1. Fuller, UI, 3.8; 2. Kristin Hoeft, BMCC, 4.7; 3. Annie Mackenzie, WWCC, 4.8.
Barrel Racing -- 1. Liz Combs, WWCC, 17.26; 2. Fuller, UI, 17.30; 3. Kennedy, WWCC, 17.43.
Goat Tying -- 1. Britni Thopre, BMCC, 6.6; 2. Mellergaard, CWU, 7.6; 3. Kayla Tiegs, BMCC, 8.0.