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PrattTribune - Pratt, KS
  • Numbers up dramatically for PCC rodeo team

  • With two weeks of practice left before the first college rodeo, Pratt Community College rodeo coach Doug Janke is optimistic about several of his contestants.


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  • With two weeks of practice left before the first college rodeo, Pratt Community College rodeo coach Doug Janke is optimistic about several of his contestants.
    The team is the largest in Janke’s nine years at PCC.
    "We had 50 at the team meeting,” he said, adding that the team includes several less experienced contestants who are likely to wait a semester to begin competing. “We're probably going to have about 20 buy their cards the first semester.”
    PCC competes in the Central Plains Region of the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association (NIRA), with the ultimate goal of qualifying for the College National Finals Rodeo.
    One contestant who has already earned praise from Janke is freshman saddle bronc rider Cory Bullington.
    The North Platte, Neb., native recently completed his high school career with a fourth place finish at the National High School Rodeo Association Finals in Gallup, N.M., in late July.
    Bullington, who began riding broncs as a freshman in high school, came to PCC because of the power lineman program and the rodeo team, noting that the opportunity to do both was too good to pass up.
    "We're putting all our eggs in one basket with Cory in the bronc riding,” Janke said, noting that Bullington is PCC’s only saddle bronc rider. “But he’s darn good."
    Janke also expects good things from sophomore calf roper Jared Schlegel.
    “He’s got a new horse that’s one tough dude,” Janke said of the Westmoreland cowboy.
    One traditional strength of the PCC team has been its steer wrestlers, but numbers are down in that event this year.
    “Steer wrestling we're really down this year, but there weren't any high school bull doggers. There were only six (who graduated from Kansas high schools) and two didn't go to college,” Janke said, noting that he typically has around 13 steer wrestlers.
    PCC also has eight bull riders, three bareback riders, and 14 team ropers.
    On the women’s side, PCC has a well-balanced team, including another NHSRA Finals qualifier in Kaci Kraft of Abbyville.
    Kraft, one of four breakaway ropers on the PCC team, broke the barrier on both runs at the finals, but caught both calves under three seconds and would have made the short go if not for the ten-second penalty for breaking the barrier.
    Another bright spot for the women’s team is third-year contestant Samantha King, a Wisconsin native who excelled in goat tying last year.
    Janke expects her to make the short go at most rodeos and lead PCC’s group of eight or nine goat tyers.
    The women’s team also has around six barrel racers, and several cowgirls who will compete in multiple events.
    Page 2 of 2 - PCC’s first rodeo is set for the weekend of Sept. 13 at Colby. Pratt will host its annual rodeo in October.

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