ALVA, Okla. – The Domer family has long had strong ties to Kansas State University. Ryan Domer can go down a significant list of his family who have attended the Sunflower State’s land grant institution in Manhattan, Kan.
Maybe that’s why he was plenty excited to see some solid success during the K-State Rodeo last weekend. Domer, a junior at Northwestern Oklahoma State University, finished second in steer wrestling after grappling his animal to the ground in 4.7 seconds, just two-tenth of a second behind winner Stephen Culling of Western Oklahoma State College.
Domer has focused primarily on tie-down roping and team roping, where he has competed most of his life as a heeler. He is in his first year of school at Northwestern after transferring from Northeastern Oklahoma, a junior college in Miami, Okla. In Alva, he joins a team made up of friends and his typical team roping partner, his brother, Collin Domer.
“My mom and dad graduated from K-State, and I have two cousins, my aunt, my uncle …” Ryan Domer said. “My grandparents did a lot up there in Manhattan. My grandpa was a vet, so he went through the vet schools at K-State.
“Our whole family, other than my brother and I, graduated from K-State. To do well at that rodeo really felt good.”
Domer wasn’t the only Ranger who fared well in Manhattan. In fact, the team roping tandem of header Travis Cowan of Highmore, S.D., and Brice Buzzard of Garnett, Kan., won the K-State rodeo, finishing the one-round rodeo in 4.9 seconds. That was six-tenths of a second faster than the field.
Other Northwestern contestants who placed were Chase Lako, who finished seventh in tie-down roping; steer wrestler Jared Thompson, who placed in a tie for eighth; barrel racers Alexis Allen (fourth), Clara Morris (fifth) and Kelsey Fanning (eighth); and goat-tiers Kodi Hansen (third) and Lauren Barnes (tied for fifth).
The men’s and women’s teams compete this weekend at the Garden City (Kan.) Community College Rodeo. The men will try to improve upon their eighth-place ranking in the Central Plains Region, while the women, now ranked second, will try to move a step closer to region leader Southwestern Oklahoma State University.
“It really helped me coming here because I knew a lot of people in Alva and the set-up we have here,” Ryan Domer said. “We have a bunch of good ropers here who are as good as anybody in the region.
“With Stockton (Graves) being the coach, I knew he could rope calves as well as rope steers, and we all know how well he can bulldog, so I knew there were a lot of opportunities.”
Now the teams need to take advantage of them.