The B.W. Pickett Arena rocked to the sound of country music and smelled of cattle this weekend as CSU hosted the 57th annual Skyline Stampede, continuing the tradition of the oldest collegiate rodeo in the nation.
“This is a much honored tradition. It was the first collegiate rodeo in the nation and we are honored to keep this tradition going,” said Kurt Johnston, coach of the CSU club rodeo team.
The Skyline Stampede is the nation’s oldest collegiate rodeo sanctioned by the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association (NIRA) and is sponsored by CSU Ram Rodeo, which is the school’s oldest club sport.
The club carries approximately 50 members on the team this year with about 30 competing at the 10 NIRA sanctioned rodeos within the Central Rocky Mountain Region, which consists of Colorado, Nebraska and Wyoming.
Nearly 300 students competed in nine events including barrel racing, steer wrestling and bull riding.
“We’re performing pretty good, we’ve got a few people competing in the top 10,” team president Will Copple said.
Coach Curt Johnston was impressed with how the team performed on Friday and Saturday, but still sees room for improvement.
“We’ve got a good bunch of hard working kids,” Johnston said. “We have a lot of young kids and we could do better, but it is early in the season and there is time to improve. Practice makes perfect,” he said.
Chairman of the Skyline Stampede, senior Hansen Vaughan, competed in the calf roping and team roping events. He ran into some bad luck in the calf roping by drawing a calf not to his liking.
“I had a tough draw in the calf roping,” Vaughan said. “I usually tie faster but it all depends on how you draw.”
All animals are randomly given to contestants and drawing a certain animal, such as a more feisty bull, can make or break the participant’s run.
Community members and CSU students alike filled the seats at B.W. Pickett Arena, and coach Johnston was impressed with the turnout throughout the two-day event.
“We had a very good turnout,” he said. “This rodeo will always out-perform any college rodeo in the region. Heck, we may break even on a rodeo.”
The team now travels to Chadron State College in Crawford, Nebraska for a rodeo April 11-13.
Sports writer Stephen Meyers can be reached at email@example.com.