Walla Walla Community College grad returns to steal rodeo show

Brenda Mays, out of WWCC's Class of 1992, wins her first Frontier Days barrel racing crown at Sunday's rodeo finale.

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A humble champ, Steven Dent removes his hat and gets paraded around the rodeo arena after taking the 2010 bareback championship with a score of 82.

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Nebraska cowboy Steven Dent (above) nearly loses his grip as he takes heavy air off the back of his ride Y18 Odds Maker during the bareback finals Sunday night.

WALLA WALLA - A former Walla Walla Community College Warrior returned to her former stomping grounds and stole the show at Sunday night's concluding performance of the 2010 Frontier Days Rodeo at the Walla Walla Fairgrounds.

Natalie Deking of Burbank, who clocked 17.30 seconds during Friday night's show, went into Sunday's final performance with the score to beat in the barrel racing standings. And Brenda Mays of Terrebonne, Ore., was up to the task.

Touchet's Kim Kammensind came out of the gate first and posted a 17.57 run that wasn't challenged by the next four racers. And as the infield became more torn up with each run, Kammensind's run looked to be the best run of night.

But Mays - WWCC Class of 1992 and currently ranked fourth in the Women's Professional Rodeo Association barrel racing standings - and her horse, Jethro, entered the arena for Sunday's sixth run.

Jethro turned each barrel tightly and raced home in 17.21 to capture the best Sunday run and earn Mays her first Frontier Days barrel racing crown and a check for $2,228.70.

"It's good to win this rodeo," Mays said. "It's a great feeling.

"Sometimes it does hinder (being sixth out)," Mays said of her run. "It got a little heavy, but he (Jethro) runs strong. He turned everything well. It was almost flawless. He (Jethro) put it together tonight."

Cheney's Ryan Gray, the leading money winner in PRCA bareback standings, posted a ride of 78 Sunday but couldn't overtake Matt Bright of Azle, Texas, who set the standard at 82 in Friday's competition.

Sometimes when you're No. 2, you try harder. And sometimes your second time around goes better than your first.

Steven Dent, who hails from Mullen, Neb., and is ranked second behind Gray, drew Odds Maker for his Sunday ride. Dent had little success on Odds Maker at the Chief Joseph Days rodeo in Joseph, Ore., but Sunday was different.

Dent rode Odds Maker to an 82 and a share of the Walla Walla bareback title.

"I knew I had a good horse and that I had a chance," Dent said. "I had him at Joseph and it didn't go that well. I wanted to get him back. He's a pretty nice horse and I was glad to have him. He's the kind you shouldn't mess up on."

Defending Frontier Days steer wrestling champion and former WWCC cowboy Trevor Knowles of Mount Vernon, Ore., had the best steer wrestling run Sunday, but his 4.5 wasn't quite good enough.

The second round went to Luke Branquinho of Los Alamos, Calif, and Dean Gorsuch of Gering, Neb., who shared top money with identical times of 4.0.

However, with Sunday's run Knowles moved into third in the aggregate standings with 9.4 on two head. Branquinho won the average with a two-round time of 8.5 seconds.

"I didn't get quite the steer I needed," Knowles said. "It was good enough for some money. I knew he (the steer) would handle good as I'd been 4.8 and 4.9 on him before. He just ran me out there a little too far and I couldn't get my feet on the ground fast enough to be four flat."

Knowles sits fifth in the world steer wrestling standings and is in good position to return to the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas in December.

"I've got a pretty solid spot to almost guarantee a spot in the NFR," Knowles said. "I'm trying to stay focused as I'm only $10,000 out of No. 1. If I have some luck, keep my head down, and stay focused I could go in there No. 1.

"There are a lot of Warrior alumni that excel in the PRCA," Knowles added. "That (Warrior experience) might have something to do with it."

In tie-down roping, two calves didn't stay down after being tied, but Colbert, Wash., cowboy Tyson Durfey got his to stay down and posted a 9.4 run for the best of Sunday. Fred Whitfield of Hockley, Texas, and George Rowland of Paradise, Texas, shared the second go best at 7.8, and Matt Shiozawa of Chubbuck, Idaho, won the tie-down title and matched Whitfield's 2002 arena record with an aggregate time of 16.7 on two.

The team ropers had a rough night, with four no times, one barrier violation and two one-heel catches. On the plus side, an Oregon duo of Charly Crawford of Prineville and Russell Cardoza of Terrebonne made a 4.9 run to claim the second-go best time.

Colby Siddoway of Hooper, Utah, and Justin Davis of Cottonwood, Calif., posted a 10.1 time on two runs to win the average and tie the arena record set in 2007 by Speed Williams and Dean Tuftin.

Wade Sundell of Boxholm, Iowa, rode Pine Ridge to an arena record 86 in Friday's saddle bronc riding, a mark that withstood a Sunday night bronc field that included five former world champions. Chad Ferley of Oelrichs. S.D., and Jake Wright of Hurricane, Utah, topped Sunday's card with a pair of 80s.

A cantankerous bunch of bulls greeted 15 cowboys Sunday, and 10 of them, including top-ranked Shawn HOgg of of Odessa, Texas, found the arena floor before the eight-second horn sounded.

Some of the bulls wouldn't even let the cowboys out of the chutes, leading to several delays in getting the bulls in the right position to come out.

Then there was Ring Leader, who apparently did not like the fact that Clayton Savage of Casper, Wyo., made it to the horn with a ride of 74. The bull stomped on Savage after dumping him after the horn sounded. Savage was helped off and reported to be OK by rodeo officials.

The cowboys got one significant victory Sunday as the PRCA's No. 1-ranked rookie bull rider, Dylan Werner of Bushnell, Fla., rode Big Block to an 81. It was the best score of the night and positioned Werner sixth in the final Frontier Days standings.

Chris Roundy of Panquitch, Utah, and Bobby Welsh of Gillette Wyo., shared the bull riding title with a pair of 88s that were recorded during Friday night's performance.

"I happened to pluck a pretty good one (bull) out of that set," Werner said of his Sunday ride. "I was happy to have him, and they said he was going to turn back in (which he did).

"This is my first year of going at it, and I decided I'd go as far as I could," Werner added. "I need to win about $20,000 more and I should get to the finals, and there's a bunch of good rodeos to go to. Anything can happen."

Although no cowboy cashed checks in multiple events at this year's rodeo, Trevor Brazile of Decatur, Texas, the world all-around leader, was declared the Frontier Days all-around champion. Brazile earned $2,403.32 in calf roping and was also entered in team roping.

Second in the all-around was Jim Ross of Monument, N.M., who won $1,955.80 in team roping and was also entered in the tie-down roping event.

Frontier Days results

BAREBACK RIDING - 1, Steven Dent, Mullen, Neb., 82, $2,328.68; 1, Matt Bright, Azle, Texas, 82, $2,328.68; 3, Caine Riddle, Vernon, Texas, 81, $1,230.24; 3, Wes Stevenson, Lubbock, Texas, 81, $1,230.24.

SADDLE BRONC RIDING - 1, Wade Sundell, Boxholm, Iowa, 86, $2,385.45; 2, Cody DeMoss, Heflin, La., 82, $1,509.29; 2, Ty Atchison, Jackson, Mo., 82, $1,590.29; 4, Heith DeMoss, Heflin, La., 80, $609.61; 4, Jake Wright, Hurricane, Utah, 80, $609.61; 4, Chad Ferley, Oelrichs, S.D., 80, $609.61.

BULL RIDING - 1, Chris Roundy, Panguitch, Utah, 88, $2,479.73; 1, Bobby Welsh, Gilette, Wyo., 88, $2,479.73; 3, Colby Reilly, Ephrata, Wash., 84, $1,310.45; 3, Wesley Silcox, Santaquin, Utah, 84, $1,310.45.

TIE-DOWN ROPING (Aggregate) - 1, Matt Shiozawa, Chubbuck, Idaho, 16.7, $3,101.97; 2, Trevor Brazile, Decatur, Texas, 17.5, $2,403.32; 3. Roger Nonella, Klamath Falls, Ore., 17.8, $1,564.96; 4, Shane Hanchey, Sulphur, La, 18.4, $1,844.42.

STEER WRESTLING (Aggregate) - 1, Luke Branquinho, Los Alamos, Calif., 8.5, $3,523.30; 2, Jake Rinehart, Highmore, S.D., 9.0, $2,212.31; 3, Trevor Knowles, Mount Vernon, Ore., 9.4, $1,420.24; 4, Ethan Thouvenell, Napa, Calif., 9.5, $1,666.06.

TEAM ROPING (Aggregate) - 1, Colby Siddoway, Hooper, Utah, and Justin Davis, Cottonwood, Calif., 10.1, $1,859.62 each; 2, Clay Tryan, Billings, Mont., and Travis Graves, Jay, Okla., 10.3, $1,539.00 each; 3, Luke Brown and Martin Lucero, Stephenville, Texas, 10.7, $1,218.37 each; 4, David Motes, Tolar, Texas, and Justin Copp, Justin, Texas, 11.4, $897.74 each.

BARREL RACING - 1, Brenda Mays, Terrebonne, Ore., 17.21, $2,228.70; 2, Natalie Deking, Burbank, Wash., 17.30, $1,894.39; 3, Lindsay Sears, Nanton, Alberta, 17.33, $1,560.09; 4, Jeanne Anderson, White City, Kan. 17.37, $1,337.22.

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