Miller stands out for GCCC rodeo at Kansas State competition




The Garden City Community College rodeo teams started their spring seasons at the Kansas State University Intercollegiate Rodeo last weekend.

The women's team, led by Emily Miller, took fourth, which bumped the Broncbusters to second place in the Central Plains Region standings.

Still, GCCC head coach Jim Boy Hash was hoping for a better showing.

"We could have done better," he said in a phone interview. "We didn't do as well as I hoped."

The competitions are divided into two nights of "long go," preliminaries, where competitors can qualify for the short go championship round on the final day.

Miller was the only Buster on the women's side to qualify for the short go, and recorded a 5.7-second time in the goat tying event, in both the long go and short go.

"She was 5.7 in the long go and the short go, and that's almost unheard of in goat-tying," Hash said. "If it happens here at our rodeo, I'll be surprised. It's unlikely, but it could — you never know."

Miller is now first in the region in all-around scoring and moved to second in goat-tying thanks to her performance. She's also first in barrel racing.

"She did well for us, she's kind of our team leader as far as the women are concerned," Hash said. "Keeps us in the thick of things."

Hash said that he expects the rest of a young Busters squad to improve with time.

"I think our other girls will settle down. We have some freshmen girls I'm relying on to pitch in and help out," he said. "Once we get them to settle down and relax, just try to go be smooth, we'll be all right there." On the men's side, Keenan Wahlert and Dalton Davis both qualified for the short go. Wahlert finished 10th in steer wrestling in the short go and in average. Davis, with partner Travis Tetrick of Dodge City Community College, placed seventh in team roping in the long go, but the two couldn't rope their steer in the short go, finishing ninth.

"I'm still waiting for some of my guys to mature and come around and figure out how to compete in college rodeo," Has said.

Hash said Jace Hildreth re-injured his neck and back in saddle bronc riding after being thrown off, and was fighting the injury bug this time last year as well. The men's team doesn't have as many competitors in the rough stock events — saddle and bareback bronc riding, and bull riding — making it harder to be successful.

"All in all, my men's team is different than what it was in the past. Just don't have the weapons in the rough stock events that I'm used to having. Not as deep there as we used to be," Hash said. "So I'm relying on the ropers, which is tough because ... there's more people who enter the roping events than enter the rough stock events, so it's harder to win."

The Busters host the Garden City Intercollegiate Rodeo on March 2 through 4 at the Finney County Fairgrounds, their only home competition of the season. It's the longest-running community college rodeo in the state, going back to 1967.

Hash said he hopes his teams can get back on track with this home competition.

"I'm hoping they do well," Hash said. "I know our girls will perform better, just being where we practice, we'll be in the same arena we've been practicing. So we'll do well, I think we'll see some good things. It'd be awesome to win our home rodeo."

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