Frontier Days Rodeo off to a fast start

Visiting cowboys lead the way in the slack competition on Tuesday.

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Cowboys watch as a rodeo entrant completes a tie-down roping run on Tuesday morning during the 2011 Walla Walla Fair and Frontier Days.

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Coils of lasso swing around as a tie-down roper collects his rope after a run during the opening day of the rodeo.

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Tie-down roper Trent Walls attempts to take the bite out of his stubborn calf during his first tie-down run at the Walla Walla Fair and Frontier Days rodeo Tuesday morning. Walls ended up with a time of 17.3 seconds.

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Tie-down roper Roger Nonella lifts his calf en route to a time of 11.2 seconds on Tuesday morning during the opening event of the Walla Walla Fair and Frontier Days rodeo.

WALLA WALLA - Jhett Johnson lived up to his Christian name and Turtle Powell surmounted his during the Frontier Days Rodeo slack competition Tuesday at the Walla Walla Fairgrounds.

Johnson, who is from Casper, Wyo., and Powell, Stephenville, Texas, turned in a quick 4.6-second clocking to win the first round of the team-roping competition and $1,625.45 each. They came back later in the day with a 5.3 time that was good enough for fourth place in the second-round standings and a comfortable lead in the average.

Johnson, who is the header, and Powell, the heeler, came into the day ranked ninth in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association team-roping standings with earnings in excess of $60,000. They were 9.9 on two head Tuesday and their nearest competition came from the team of Matt Sherwood, Pima, Ariz., and Cory Petska, Mirana, Ariz., who were 16.7 on two runs.

Petska, fifth in the world among headers, and Sherwood, who ranks 12th in the PRCA heeler standings, finished sixth in the first round Tuesday with a 5.4 clocking. But their 11.3 run in the second round wasn't fast enough to rank among the leaders.

Hermiston ropers Jake Stanley and Shane Crossley have a share of the second-round team-roping lead with approximately 30 teams still awaiting their second steer during one of the rodeo's three nightly shows Friday through Sunday. The Hermiston duo was caught in five seconds flat, as were Caleb Mitchell of Pollok, Texas, and Tyler McKnight of Wells, Texas.

Both teams missed their second steer and aren't likely to figure into the aggregate standings.

It proved to be a good day for area team ropers.

Joe Bartlett of Boardman, Ore., and Andy Carlson of nearby Stanfield are holding down fifth place in the second round with a time of seven seconds flat. Ellensburg's Riley and Brady Minor got it done in 5.2 seconds to claim fifth place in the first round. And Bryce Palmer of Milton-Freewater and his partner, Garrett Jess of Coulee City, Wash., stand fourth in the average with a time of 17.2 seconds.

Matt Shiozawa of Chubbuck, Idaho, and Cooper Shofner of Huntsville, Texas, are the early leaders in the other timed events that were contested during Tuesday's slack.

Shiozawa, the 11th-ranked calf roper in the PRCA standings, was second in the first round of the tie-down roping and is tied for fifth place in the second round. His two-head time of 17.7 seconds was good for the lead in the average, followed by Nampa, Idaho, roper Jake Echevarria, who placed fifth in the first round and stands fifth in the second. He is 18.5 on two.

Jeremiah Peek of Pueblo, Colo., won the first round of calf roping in a time of 7.9 seconds. Peek added $1,639.22 to his 2011 bankroll.

Ace Slone of Cuero, Texas, roped and tied his second calf in 8.1 seconds to hold down the second-round lead.

Although he didn't finish in the money in the first round of steer wrestling, Shofner bulldogged his second steer in 4.5 seconds and is in fourth place in the round and on top of the average standings in nine seconds flat. Dane Hanna of Berthold, N.D., is at 9.2 on two head and is second in the second round at 4.3.

Dru Melvin of Ponca City, Okla., is the second-round leader after pulling down his steer in 4.1 seconds.

But the fastest times came in the first round of the steer wrestling.

Tommy Cook of McAlester, Okla., and Ross Eickhoff of Grass Range, Mont., shared the top spot with identical times of 3.8 seconds. And they took home $1,413.99 each.

The second rounds in each of the three timed events will resume at 7 p.m. Friday along with rough stock cowboys - saddle bronc riders, bareback riders and bull riders. Women's barrel racing will also be contested during the three nightly rodeos.

Frontier Days Rodeo

Tuesday's Results

At WW Fairgrounds

First Round

TIE-DOWN ROPING - 1, Jeremiah Peek, Pueblo, Colo., 7.9 seconds, $1,639.22; 2, Matt Shiozawa, Chubbuck, Idaho , 8.2, $1,356.60; 3, Cory Solomon, Prairie View, Texas, 8.7, $1,073,97; 4, Cody Ohl, Hico, Texas, 8.8, $791.35; 5, Jake Echevarria, Nampa, Idaho, 9.0, $5089.72; 6, (tie) Ryle Smith, Oakdale, Calif., and Tuf Cooper, Decatur, Texas, 9.1, $1411.31 each.

STEER WRESTLING - 1, (tie) Tommy Cook, McAlester, Okla., and Ross Eickhoff, Grass Range, Mont., 3.8 seconds, $$1,413.99 each; 3, Darrell Petry, Beaumont, Texas, 4.0, $1,013.80; 4, Josh Peek, Pueblo, Colo., 4.3, $747.01; 5, (tie) Casey Martin, Sulphur, La., and Shawn Greenfield, Lakeview, Ore., 4.4, $373.50 each.

TEAM ROPING - 1, Turtle Powell, Stephenville, Texas, and Jhett Johnson, Casper, Wyo., 4.6 seconds, $1,625.45 each; 2, (tie) Quincy Kueckelhan, Bonham, Texas, and Paul Eaves, Millsap, Texas, and Colby Lovell, Madisonville, Texas, and Rich Skelton, Llano, Texas, 5.0, $1,205.07 each; 4, Arky Rogers, Lake City, Fla., and Marty Becker, Cardston, Alberta, 5.1, $784.70; 5, Riley Minor and Brady Minor, Ellensburg, Wash., 5.2, $504.45; 6, Matt Sherwood, Pima, Ariz., and Cory Petska, Marana, Ariz., 5.4, $280.25.

Second Round

TIE-DOWN ROPING - 1, Ace Slone, Cuero, Texas, 8.1 seconds; 2, Will Casey, Mesa, Wash., 8.6; 3, Nate Baldwin, Blackfoot, Idaho, 8.9; 4, Dakota Eldridge, Elko, Nev., 9.2; 5, (tie) Matt Shiozawa, Chubbuck, Idaho, and Jake Echevarria, Nampa, Idaho, 9.5.

STEER WRESTLING - 1, Dru Melvin, Ponca City, Okla., 4.1 seconds; 2, Dane Hanna, Berthold, N.D., 4.3; 3, Wade Sumpter, Fowler, Colo., 4.4; 4, Cooper Shofner, Huntsville, Texas, 4.5; 5, Sean Mulligan, Coleman, Okla., 4.7; 6, (tie) Alex Robertson, Bend, Ore., and Billy Bugenig, Ferndale, Calif., 4.9.

TEAM ROPING - 1, (tie) Jake Stanley and Shane Crossley, Hermiston, and Caleb Mitchell, Pollok, Texas, and Tyler McKnight, Wells, Texas, 5.0 seconds; 3, Wade Wheatley, Houghson, Calif., and Clay O'Brien Cooper, Gardnerville, Nev., 5.2; 4, Turtle Powell, Stephenville, Texas, and Jhett Johnson, Casper, Wyo., 5.3; 5, Joe Bartlett, Boardman, Ore., and Andy Carlson, Stanfield, Ore., 7.0; 6, John O'Connor, Bend, Ore., and Ernie Bacon, Ada, Okla., 7.7.

Aggregate

TIE-DOWN ROPING - 1, Matt Shiozawa, Chubbuck, Idaho, 17.7 seconds; 2, Jake Echevarria, Nampa, Idaho, 18.5; 3, Nate Baldwin, Blackfoot, Idaho, 18.8; 4, Ace Slone, Cuero, Texas, 18.9; 5, Cory Solomon, Prairie View, Texas, 19.0; 6, Trent Creager, Stillwater, Okla., 19.2.

STEER WRESTLING - 1, Cooper Shofner, Huntsville, Texas, 9.0 seconds; 2, Dane Hanna, Berthold, N.D., 9.2; 3, Wade Sumpter, Fowler, Colo., 9.5; 4, Billy Bugenig, Ferndale, Calif., 10.4; 5, Tommy Cook, McAlester, Okla., 12.0; 6, Blake Knowles, Heppner, Ore., 12.8.

TEAM ROPING - 1, Turtle Powell, Stephenville, Texas, and Jhett Johnson, Casper, Wyo., 9.9 seconds; 2, Matt Sherwood, Pima, Ariz., and Cory Petska, Mirana, Ariz., 16.7; 3, Joe Bartlett, Boardman, Ore., and Andy Carlson, Stanfield, Ore., 17.0; 4, Bryce Palmer, Milton-Freewater, and Garrett Jess, Coulee City, Wash., 17.2; 5, (tie) Jake Stanley and Shane Crossley, Hermiston; Caleb Mitchell, Pollok, Texas, and Tyler McKnight, Wells, Texas; Colby Lovell, Madisonville, Texas, and Rich Skelton, Llano, Texas; and Quincy Kueckelhan, Bonham, Texas, and Paul Eaves, Milsap, Texas, 5.1 on one head (Colby-Skelton and Kueckelhan-Eaves yet to compete on second steer).

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