ALVA, Okla. – It’s been a while since Trey Young was in the winner’s circle at a Central Plains Region event.
That changed last weekend when the Northwestern Oklahoma State University cowboy won the tie-down roping title at the Southwestern Oklahoma State University rodeo in Weatherford. Young roped and tied two calves in 19.9 seconds, edging Oklahoma Panhandle State University’s Caleb Bullock by one-tenth of a second to claim the title.
Young, of Dupree, S.D., hadn’t been atop the leaderboard since February 2012. But it’s an important step for the young cowboy with just two rodeos remaining this season – the university’s men’s and women’s rodeo teams compete at the Fort Hays (Kan.) State University rodeo this weekend, then will perform at the Panhandle State rodeo next week to conclude this season’s campaign.
That means there will be much scrambling to gain important points in order to qualify for the College National Finals Rodeo, set for June in Casper, Wyo. Only the top two teams in the region qualify full squads for the finals, while the top four in each event earn the right to compete for the most coveted prizes in the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association.
For his part, Young earned 120 points by winning in Weatherford. He sits seventh in the region standings; he’s on the outside looking it, but he has a chance to move into the top four with a fantastic finish. He wasn’t the only Northwestern cowboy to earn valuable points, joining fellow tie-down roper Ryan Domer of Topeka, Kan., who finished sixth; steer wrestler Tee Hale of White Owl, S.D., fourth; and heeler Dustin Searcy of Mooreland, Okla., second.
Searcy is another Ranger cowboy who is in contention to qualify for the college finals, sitting fifth in the heeling standings. But he’ll need to take care of business over the next two weekends in order to be one of the qualifiers.
The Rangers women fared a little better than the men in Weatherford. The women’s team finished second to Southwestern, powered by barrel racers Alexis Allen of Alva, who placed second, and Micah Samples of Abilene, Kan., who finished third. Goat-tier Karley Kile of Topeka finished seventh.
Allen sits fourth in the region barrel racing standings, while Samples is fifth. Kile is fourth among regional goat tiers, while breakaway roper Jessica Koppitz of Alva is No. 1.