Texas cowboys red hot as rodeo opens

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WALLA WALLA — A couple of Texas ropers were piping hot in the Walla Walla Fairgrounds arena Tuesday as the annual Frontier Days Rodeo got underway.

E.J. Roberts of Stephenville, Texas, established two new arena records during the day-long slack competition and Monty Lewis of Hereford, Texas, was right behind him.

After sharing fourth place in Tuesday’s first round of tie-down roping with a modest time of 8.6 seconds, Roberts caught and tied his second calf in 7.1 seconds and clipped two 10ths of a second off the old arena mark of 7.3 seconds set by Nate Baldwin of Blackfoot, Idaho, in 2009.

And Roberts’ time of 15.7 seconds on two head improved the arena mark in the calf roping average by a full second. Fred Whitfield of Hockley, Texas, and Matt Shiozawa of Chubbock, Idaho, had shared the record at 16.7, Whitfield’s mark coming in 2002 and Shiozawa duplicating that effort in 2010.

Lewis, meanwhile, after placing third in the first round of tie-down roping with an 8.4 clocking, wrapped up his second calf in 7.3 seconds to equal the old record position him right behind Roberts in the second go standings. Lewis’ 15.8 time in the average is also second, just a 10th of second behind Roberts, and easily surpassed the old arena record.

In fact, Blair Burke of Durant, Okla., posted a 16.7 time on two head to match the old record. Burk finished second in the first round with a time of 8.2 seconds and stands third in the average.

Murray Pole of Erskine, Alberta, was the biggest winner in Tuesday’s tie-down roping as he won the first round with a time of 7.9 seconds and cashed a check for $1,436.54. Pole’s 9.3 time on his second calf wasn’t among the leaders but his 17.3 clocking on two head puts him fifth in the average.

Travis Carnine of Stanfield, Ore., cashed the biggest check of the day, winning the first round of steer wrestling in a time of 4.1 seconds. Carnine earned $1,749.42 for his day’s work.

Walla Walla’s Travis Taruscio turned in a 4.5 time in the bulldogging and finished in a tie for fourth place with Clayton Morrison of Cavalier, N.D. They each pocketed $693.73.

B.J. Campbell of Aguila, Ariz., leads the second round of steer wrestling with a time of 4.3 seconds. Morrison bulldogged his second steer in 5.4 seconds and is in a three-way tie for sixth place with Aaron Volser of Cheyenne, Wyo., and Dru Melvin of Ponca City, Okla.

The aggregate lead in the bulldogging belongs to Casey Martin, who is 9.5 seconds on two head. Martin didn’t place in the first round, but his 4.7 time on his second steer shares second place with Luke Branquinho of Los Alamos, Calif.

Arky Rogers of Lake City, Fla., and Cory Petska of Marana, Ariz., teamed up for a 4.4 time to win the first go on the team roping. They each earned $1,436.54.

Matt Sherwood of Pima, Ariz., and Joel Bach of Rhome, Texas, lead the second round with a 4.1 time that equaled the area record set by the Arizona duo of Colter Todd and Cesar de la Cruz in 2008. Luke Brown and Joel Bach, a pair of Stephenville, Texas, cowboys, are the leaders in the average at 9.7 seconds.

Trevor Brazile of Decatur, Texas, the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association leader in the all-around standings, didn’t earn a dime on Tuesday. But Brazile will be back in the rodeo this weekend when the Frontier Days Rodeo continues with three nightly performances beginning at 7.

Brazile and his team roping partner, Patrick Smith of Midland, Texas, draw their second steer during Friday’s show. And Brazile, who is also entered in the Friday and Saturday morning steer roping competiiton, will be back for his second round of calf roping Saturday night.

The rough stock cowboys will also be in action during the three nights of competition.

Cody Teel of Kountze, Texas, the No. 1 bull rider in the PRCA standings, will be coming out of the bucking chutes Friday night aboard a Growney Brothers bulls called Sweet Sinner.

Saturday night’s show will feature the PRCA’s top saddle bronc and bareback riders. Bronc rider Wade Sundell of Boxholm, La., will test his skills against a Growney Brothers horse called Huckleberry, and Steven Dent of Mullen, Neb., will saddle up West Point Girl, also from the Growney Brothers string.

Frontier Days Rodeo

At Walla Walla Fairgrounds

Tuesday’s Results

Tie-Down Roping

FIRST ROUND — 1‚ Murray Pole, Erskine, Alberta, 7.9 seconds, $1,436.54; 2, Blair Burk, Durant, Okla., 8.2, $1,188.86; 3, Monty Lewis, Hereford, Texas, 8.5, $941.18; 4, (tie) E.J. Roberts, Stephenville, Texas, Ryan Jarrett, Comanche, Okla., and Seth Childers, Cameron, Texas, 8.6, $462.33 each.

SECOND ROUND LEADERS — 1, E.J. Roberts, Stephenville, Texas, 7.1 seconds; 2, Monty Lewis, Hereford, Texas, 7.3; 3, (tie) Russell Cardoza, Terrebonne, Ore., and Seth Hopper, Stanfield, Ore., 7.5; 5, Shane Slack, Idabel, Okla., 7.6; 6, Clayton Shaw, Alvord, Texas, 7.8

AGGREGATE LEADERS — 1, E.J. Roberts, Stephenville, Texas, 15.7 seconds; 2, Monty Lewis, Hereford, Texas, 15.8; 3, Blair Burk, Durant, Okla., 16.7; 4, Tyson Durfey, Colbert, Wash., 17.2; 5, Murray Pole, Erskine, Alberta, 17.3; 6, Ryan Jarrett, Comanche, Okla., 17.6.

Steer Wrestling

FIRST ROUND — 1, Travis Carmine, Stanfield, Ore., 4.1 seconds, $1,749.42; 2, Billy Bugenig, Ferndale, Calif., 4.3, $1,447.80; 3, Miles Switzer, Morro Bay, Calif., 4.4, $1,146.17; 4, (tie) B.J. Taruscio, Walla Walla, and Clayton Morrison, Cavalier, N.D., 4.5, $693.73 each; 6, (tie) Les Shepperson, Midwest, Wyo., and Brad Johnson, Reva, S.D., 4.6, $150.81 each.

SECOND ROUND LEADERS — 1, B.J. Campbell, Aguila, Ariz., 4.3 seconds; 2, (tie) Casey Martin, Sulphur, La., and Luke Branquinho, Los Alamos, Calif., 4.7; 4, Ross Eickhoff, Grass Range, Mont., 4.8; 5, Todd Suhn, Hermosa, S.D., 5.0; 6, (tie) Aaron Vosler, Cheynne, Wyo, Dru Melvin, Ponca City, Okla., and Clayton Morrison, Cavalier, N.D., 5.4.

AGGREGATE LEADERS — 1, Casey Martin, Sulphur, La., 9.5; 2, (tie) Todd Suhn, Hermosa, S.D., and B.J. Campbell, Aguila, Ariz, 9.7; 4, Luke Branquinho, Los Alamos, Calif., 9.8; 5, Clayton Morrison, Cavalier, N.D., 9.9; 6, Tom Lewis, Lehi, Utah, 10.3.

Team Roping

FIRST ROUND — 1, Arky Rogers, Lake City, Fla.-Cory Petska, Marana, Ariz., 4.4 seconds, $1,436.54 each; 2, Chad Masters, Cedar Hill, Tenn.-Clay O’Brien Cooper, Gardnerville, Nev., 4.6, $1,188.54 each; 3, Ty Blasingame, Ramah, Colo.-Rich Skelton, Llano, Texas, 4.7, $941.18 each; 4, (tie) Nick Sartan, Dover, Okla.-Kollin VonAhn, Durant, Okla., David Key, Stephenville, Texas-Bucky Campbell, Benton City, Wash., and Dustin Bird, Cut Bank, Mont.-Paul Eaves, Millsap, Texas, 4.8, $462.34 each.

SECOND ROUND LEADERS — 1, Matt Sherwood, Pima, Ariz.-Joel Bach, Rhome, Texas, 4.1 seconds; 2, Blaine Linaweaver, Irvine, Calif.-Matt Garza, Las Cruces, N.M., 4.7; 3, Luke Brown-Martin Lucero, Stephenville, Texas, 4.8; 4, Dustin Bird, Cut Bank, Mont.-Paul Eaves, Millsap, Texas, 5.4; 5, (tie) Bobby Mote, Culver, Ore.-Trey Johnson, Boyd, Texas, and David Motes, Tolar, Texas-Mike Beers, Post, Ore., 5.6.

AGGREGATE LEADERS — 1, Luke Brown-Martin Lucero, Stephenville, Texas, 9.7 seconds; 2, (tie) Matt Sherwood, Pima Ariz.-Joel Bach, Rhome, Texas, and Blaine Linaweaver, Irvine, Calif.-Matt Garza, Las Cruces, N.M., 10.0; 4, Dustin Bird, Cut Bank, Mont.-Paul Eaves, Millsap, Texas, 10.2; 5, Nick Sartain, Doves, Okla.-Kollin VanAhn, Durant, Okla., 10.5; 6, Ty Blasingme, Ramah, Colo.-Rich Skelton, Llano, Texas, 14.8.

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