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Olds College Athletics

Olds College students riding high

By Barry Williams
 March 14, 2005 

    Several members of the Olds College Rodeo Club were riding high at the annual Olds College Spring Fling Rodeo held at the College Riding Arena from March 12-13.

   Competing before capacity crowds at both performances the rodeo attracted over one hundred competitors from universities and colleges in  Alberta and Saskatchewan. Sanctioned by the Canadian Collegiate Rodeo Association, the rodeo is the last chance for many cowboys and cowgirls to qualify for the Canadian Inter Collegiate Rodeo Finals being held in Edmonton from March 31-April 3 at Rexall Place.

    Points are awarded at each rodeo sanctioned by the CCRA and the top ten competitors in each event qualify for the Canadian Collegiate Finals Rodeo.

    According to Lynn Jensen , Olds College Rodeo Club coach, the final contestant list for the Canadian Collegiate  Rodeo Finals has yet to be completed but  he expects a prominent list of hands from Olds College will be competing at the College Finals Rodeo.

    Through the rodeo season, members of the Olds College Rodeo Club have been holding weekly practices and attending rodeos. A vast majority of the members have graduated through the National High School Rodeo Association and have participated at rodeos sanctioned by the Lakeland Rodeo Association, the Foothills Cowboys Association, the Chinook Cowboys Association as well as amateur rodeos in Saskatchewan and British Columbia. Still others have competed in the open competition at rodeos sanctioned by the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association.

    Jensen, now retired from the professional rodeo circuit, believes the summer  rodeos attended by the members of the Olds College Rodeo Club assists them in developing their skills, makes them more competitive and allows them the opportunity of experiencing the hectic format of a professional or semi-professional rodeo.

    As in any sport, the most successful athletes benefit from hard work, a positive attitude and dedication and the Olds College hands have maintained these standards in making the Olds College Rodeo Club one of the best in Canada.

   At the 2005 Olds College Spring Fling Rodeo, the hard work, dedication and positive attitude were front and foremost as several members were able to post their best performance of the year and walk away  with the go-around event victories.

    In the tie-down roping competition, Olds College calf roper, Justin Bridgeman, won both go-arounds with times of 11 seconds and 13.4 seconds for an aggregate time of 24.4 seconds.

    Olds College buldoggers dominated the steer wrestling as Jarid Berglund won the first performance with a time of 4.5 seconds and Lane Boisjil took Sunday's go-around in a time of 8.4 seconds.

    In the opening go-around of the bareback event, Anthony Hodson from the University of Alberta recorded 68 points. He improved his score to 70 points in the second go-around to take the aggregate with 138 points on two head.

    Setting the mark in the saddle bronc riding in the first performance with a score of 60 points was Ryan Bumphrey, of Olds College. A familiar name in rodeo, Luke Butterfield, won the second go-around with a score of 75 points.

    For the most part, the pen of bulls from Lawrence Pengally Stock held the upper hand as very few cowboys covered their mount. Two Olds College riders recorded the best scores as JJ Ditchuk spurred out 72 points in the first go-around with J.R. Pearce capturing the second round on a score of 75 points.

   Two different tandems of team ropers from Olds College won the team roping as Ryan Bumphrey and Jordan Sonmor stopped the clock at 6.5 seconds in the first round with Shenna Murphey and Tyler Wilkinson recording  10.2 seconds in the second performance.

    Racing around the barrels with the fastest times were two Olds College riders Whitney Davis, 14.3 seconds, and  Nicole Safron with the best time of the rodeo 14.16 seconds.

    Melissa Freeman, of Olds College, won the first performance of pole bending in a time of 23.17 seconds while Dee Walker, of Lakeland College, took the second round in a time of 22.5 seconds.

    Two Red Deer College cowgirls were the fastest goat tying contestants as Amber Oxtoby won the first event with a time of 9.1 seconds with Amy Turner winning the second round in a time of 11.3 seconds.

    Lightning fast times were posted in the Pole Bending as Melissa Freeman, of Olds College, and Dee Walker, of  Lakeland College, recorded times of 23.17 seconds and 22.10 seconds respectively. 

    Interest in college rodeo remains strong in Central Alberta as both Olds College and Red Deer College attract the very best contestants graduating from high school.

Olds College rodeo club holding Alumni Rodeo

By Barry Williams
 January 17, 2004 

     Former members of the Olds College rodeo club will be remembering their good old days at the college this weekend.

     Upwards to two hundred cowboys and cowgirls, all past members of the Olds College rodeo club are returning to  Olds to participate in the annual Rodeo Club Alumni Rodeo on Saturday Jan. 22, 2005 at the college riding arena.

Rodeo action is expected to start at 2:30 p.m. and will feature the main events of any college rodeo, saddle bronc riding, bareback riding, bull riding, tie down roping, steer wrestling and team roping as well as barrel racing, pole bending and goat  tying for the cowgirls.

    Some of the current members of the rodeo club are also expected to pay their entry fee for the popular rodeo.

    "We're expecting approximately two hundred participants at this year's alumni rodeo," said Olds College rodeo club coach, Lynn Jensen, of Sundre.

    "Several former members of the rodeo club are participating professionally in Canada and the United States," Jensen said.

    "Because the rodeo season in Canada doesn't start until March quite a few former students register for this rodeo," added Jensen, noting the rodeo gives them an opportunity to get the early season crinks out of their way.

    According to Jensen, recent college graduates are handling themselves well in the professional ranks and this is a feather in the cowboy hat for the college rodeo club.

   "Most of our former members are either participating in Canadian Professional Rodeo Association sanctioned rodeos or or on the semi-professional rodeo circuit like Foothills Cowboys' Association," Jensen added.

   For the past few months members of the Olds College rodeo club have competed in several rodeos scheduled by the Canadian Intercollegiate Rodeo Association.

    According to Jensen, several seasoned hands have won events at Canadian college rodeos this season and they're an inspiration for the rookie riders.

    Jensen indicated the veteran members of the club are invaluable as they are always willing to assist the newer hands.

    "Some of our members have never participated in a rodeo before so the success of our older experienced  members is an inspiration to our younger competitors," Jensen said.

    "This year there is a lot of potential within the members and I expect the majority of them to turn professional," Jensen added.

    And Jensen indicated there is a lot of try within the members as they are always willing to better themselves.

   "If a member gets bucked off or fails to rope an animal they are always eager to get another chance, an opportunity to prove to themselves they can do it" Jensen said.

    Besides learning the ropes of rodeo in an infield, most members are studying the finer aspects of the sport as rodeo is a credited course at the college this year.

    Besides the rodeo, the club has scheduled a complete weekend of activity as an awards banquet, dance and a silent auction are a part of the festivities.

     Rodeo fans are reminded the College Rodeo Club's spring rodeo is scheduled from March 12-13, 2005 at the college.

Future stars compete at Olds College rodeo

By Barry Williams
 October 25, 2004 

     Judging from the performances of approximately one hundred college hands at the Olds College Fall Classic Rodeo, the future of rodeo in Canada is in good shape.

     The annual rodeo hosted and organized entirely by the Olds College Rodeo Club is one of the many rodeos sanctioned by the Canadian Intercollegiate Rodeo Association and points accumulated by the contestants count towards qualifying for the Canadian Intercollegiate Finals Rodeo held annually in March. for the past two years, the Olds College Rodeo Club hosted the annual year-end rodeo but according to Olds College Rodeo Club Head Coach, Lynn Jensen, of Sundre, the CIRA has not awarded the venue for the CIRA Finals Rodeo.

     Right now, the venue for the CIRA Finals Rodeo is not important to the contestants as the only thing foremost on their mind is competing at the rodeos so they can rack up points for the year end finals competition.

     And more then likely, the qualifiers for the finals Rodeo will be household names as the collegiate rodeo scene in Canada is rich with second and third generation cowboys and cowgirls.

    "This season, the Olds College Rodeo Club has several second generation cowboys and cowgirls as members," said Jensen.

    "Some of them come from families with a rich rodeo heritage in Canada," added Jensen, noting he competed with some of the parents of the college hands when he was competing professionally at rodeos in Canada.

    "On the other hand, we have club members who have never been associated with the sport of rodeo until they joined the rodeo club at Olds College," said Jensen.

    According to Jensen, the Olds College Rodeo Club offers the best of two worlds for members as they have the opportunity to participate in rodeos as a contestant and produce rodeos they are competing in.

    "When a student member leaves the Olds College Rodeo Club,  they have the opportunity of competing professionally at rodeos or working on a committee producing the rodeos," added Jensen.

    Planning for the annual fall rodeo held at the college commenced in September and since then, the members were kept busy promoting and organizing the rodeo, fund raising, securing a stock contractor, registering the contestants, announcing and recording the scores of the individual contestants in their respective disciplines.

    "The Rodeo Club did an excellent job in organizing the rodeo and everyone in the club should be congratulated for a job well done," added Jensen.

    Most of the contestants have rodeo experience as they have participated in high school rodeos, amateur rodeos and some have competed at professional rodeos.

    Jensen indicated most of the reigning and previous Canadian Professional Rodeo Association event champions got their start in the sport at the high school or college rodeos.

    Some present and former Canadian Professional Rodeo Association champions have been a member of the Olds College Rodeo Club.

     "There was a lot of potential at this year's rodeo," Jensen said.

     "These kids have a lot of desire, they work hard at trying to improve their skills and most of them are very competitive, they're doing good," Jensen said.

     Winners of the various events at the Olds College Fall Rodeo included, J.R. Pearce in bull riding, Todd Herzog in saddle bronc riding, Carla Collins in breakaway roping, Kirby Johnson in barrel racing, Jarid Burglund in calf roping and steer wrestling, Amber Oxtoby in pole bending, Stacey Hannah in goat tying, Kevin Turner and Jordan Sonmor in team roping and there was no qualified ride in bareback riding.

Rodeo club members competing at National Intercollegiate Finals Rodeo

By Barry Williams
 June, 15, 2004 

       Five embers of the Olds College Rodeo Club are competing at the National Intercollegiate Finals Rodeo being held at Casper, Wyoming, from June 13-19.

     Canadian Men's  All-around Champion, Jarid Berglund, heads the Canadian contingent participating at Casper.

     In the year end results released by the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association, Berglund finished second in the tie-down roping event with 498 points.

     According to Olds College Rodeo Club Coach, Dale Butterwick, Berglund had an exceptional season participating on the Canadian Intercollegiate Rodeo Association circuit.

   "Jarid is a real good calf roper and has an excellent chance at capturing the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association Championship," said Butterwick.

    "He has been a consistent roper all season and will definitely be a contender at the National Championship Rodeo," Butterwick added.

    Like all successful ropers, Berglund has a good roping horse and they are a good combination. The horse was purchased from BJ Zieffle, a former CPRA Steer Wrestling Champion, High Point Champion and Rookie of the  the Year in 1992.

    "Jarid and his horse work real well together which is important in calf roping," Butterwick said.

     Meanwhile, team roper Kevin Turner rides into Casper as the number one header. during the yearly rodeos, Turner racked up 370 points and held a substantial margin to his next competitor.

     Although Team Roping was not the most competitive event on the Canadian scene this year, Butterwick feels Turner has an excellent chance of capturing the National Championship.

    "As long as Kevin can remain focused during the three go-arounds, he has an excellent shot at claiming the championship," Butterwick added.

    "Kevin and his partner are a very competitive team," Butterwick indicated.

    Breakaway roper, Jody Yanke, finished in seventh place nationally with 368 points and could be a "dark horse" in the national competition.

    Competition with in the Breakaway Roping is expected to be tough but Butterwick believes Yanke will be very competitive.

    "If Jody puts in three solid runs and is able to get a break or two, she could win the event," Butterwick noted.

    "Her roping  has been excellent all year and I believe she will do alright in Casper," noted Butterwick.

    Butterwick is not ruling out the chance Carla Rogers has in the Ladies Barrel Racing. Rogers was the number one competitor in Canada and placed seventh in the National standings.

   "Because all the Ladies Barrel Racing in the United States is held indoors, I think Carla has a distinct advantage because she is used to the confined area of an indoor arena," Butterwick said.

    "All of the events in the United States are held outdoors so their competitors are not as comfortable running in an indoor facility," Butterwick added.

    Bull rider, Paul Lambrecht, has had a strong year taming critters and his momentum in the latter stages of this season should carry on into Casper.

     "He (Lambrecht) has rode some rank bulls near the end of this  year so I expect him to be a contender at Casper," Butterwick explained.

     "If he draws some good bulls down there he has a chance at winning it all," noted Butterwick.

    Butterwick noted it has been a very good season for members of the Olds College Rodeo Club and he is proud of every person involved with the club.

     In conjunction with the Calgary Stampede, Olds College will now award a scholarship to an up and coming cowgirl or cowboy from the high school ranks enrolled at the college.

     "We are very pleased to be a  partner with the Calgary Stampede in awarding the Bill Kehler Memorial Scholarship to a deserving member of the Olds Rodeo Club," Butterwick said.

    To hone their rodeo skills several Olds Rodeo Club members will be participating in professional and amateur rodeos during the summer months.

    "Every year the rodeo program at the college becomes more popular and I expect it will continue to grow," concluded Butterwick.

Olds College Rodeo Club claims Canadian team championships

By Barry William
April 5, 2004 

     It was a crowning weekend for the Olds College Rodeo Club as it claimed team championships at the Canadian Intercollegiate Rodeo Association Finals Rodeo held in Olds this past weekend.

     Due to outstanding efforts by all the hands participating under the Olds College Rodeo Club banner, the club captured overall team championships in the Women's and Men's categories as well as individual honors in the team roping and tie-down roping events.

      In the tie-down roping competition, Jonathan Morrison picked up points on all three days finishing with 110, twenty more than his nearest rival, Tyler Wilkenson with 90 points. Morrison flanked his two calves in 25.01 seconds with rounds of 12.18 and 12.83 seconds.

     Morrison then teamed up with Jesse Finnerty to capture the team roping event. They teamed up for 120 championship points  with runs of 14.06 seconds, 7.67 seconds and 11.75 seconds for a combined time of 33.48 seconds. They were the only team ropers to post times on all three head. Their nearest competition, the team of Colby Simpson and Justin Ameel netted 80 points with times on  two head, 8.42 and 12.67 for a combined time of 20.01 seconds.

cowgirl Stacey Williams captured first place in two events, goat tying and break-away roping. In the break-away roping, Williams picked up 140 championship points with runs of 3.83, 4.7 and 2.89 seconds for a combined time of 11.47 seconds. Meanwhile in the goat-tying she picked up 140 points and had an overall time of 27.49 seconds with go-arounds of 7.8,  9.42 and 10.75 seconds.

    The quickest lady around the barrels in the ladies barrel racing was Roz Edge with a combined time of 47.893 seconds and 120 championship points.  

    Casey Crandall won the pole bending event with 130 championship points and a combined time of 66.47 seconds on three runs.

   Saddle bronc rider, Nate Horner, put together rides of 62, 74 and 67 to capture the event with a combined score of 203 and 110 championship points.

    Only two riders covered all three mounts in the bareback event with Anthony Hodson claiming top honors with 110 points and a combined score of 213 points. The other rider to post three scores was Mark Fuller with a total of 192 points and 70 championship points.

    The bulls of  Pengally Rodeo held the upper hand during the tree rounds as only one rider, Paul Lambrecht, had a qualified ride. As the last bull rider to open the chutes, Lambrecht only needed a scored ride to claim the championship.

      "Because of injuries, the bull riding event was a way down in numbers this year," said Olds College Rodeo Club Coach, Dale Butterwick.

      Although the total registration was down from last year's Canadian Intercollegiate Finals Rodeo, Butterwick indicated most of the top competitors registered with the Canadian Intercollegiate Rodeo Association were in attendance at the year-end championship rodeo.

    "I was really happy with the rodeo this year," said Butterwick, noting it was very competitive in all events.

    "Every member of the Olds Rodeo Club should be commended for their hard work in putting this event on," added Butterwick.

    Besides competing in the rodeo, members of the Olds College Rodeo Club were responsible for handling all aspects of putting the rodeo on. For many, competing and organizing the rodeo was part of their rodeo studies at the college.

    "This is the first year a credited course in rodeo was offered at Olds College and I believe all members of the Olds Rodeo Club taking this course were impressed with it," added Butterwick.

    "Although the number of contestants participating at the various rodeos throughout Western Canada were down this season, it was still  very successful," concluded Butterwick.


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