EOU RODEO GETS READY TO HIT THE CHUTES

October 10, 2003 11:00 pm
GET 'EM COWGIRL: Eastern Oregon University rodeo team member Tracy Griffith of Ione practices her calf roping at Mavericks Arena Thursday. The EOU rodeo team will be busy with NIRA rodeos in Ontario this weekend and in La Grande next weekend at Mavericks.  (The Observer/PIERRE LaBOSSIERE).
GET 'EM COWGIRL: Eastern Oregon University rodeo team member Tracy Griffith of Ione practices her calf roping at Mavericks Arena Thursday. The EOU rodeo team will be busy with NIRA rodeos in Ontario this weekend and in La Grande next weekend at Mavericks. (The Observer/PIERRE LaBOSSIERE).

The Eastern Oregon University Rodeo team is busy preparing for a couple of big weekends.

The rodeo team begins its fall season at an NIRA Regional Rodeo, beginning today in Ontario. On Saturday and Sunday, the university cowboys and cowgirls will compete in The Treasure Valley Community College Rodeo, also in Ontario.

These two rodeos are just a precursor to the NIRA Regional Rodeo No. 2 and the 37th Annual Eastern Oregon University Rodeo next weekend. The NIRA event will be held at Mavericks Arena Oct. 17, while the EOU Rodeo will also be held at Mavericks Oct. 18 and 19.

EOU Coach Russ Evans has a big crew out this season. He said there are 24 members of the team, 21 of whom will likely compete this weekend.

Evans said the team has a lot of potential.

"We're more talented this year," Evans said. "If the kids compete well, we have a chance to do well in the region."

Evans said Walla Walla College and Blue Mountain College in Pendleton are the powerful college teams in the area. He said it's good that EOU will get a couple of chances to stack up against the schools in the back-to-back NIRA events.

"They get another shot at them if they have any jitters this week," he said.

The team brings back some veterans from last season, but has a good influx of incoming freshmen.

"The new kids have a lot of talent," said Evans.

The members of this year's team are: Amber Aichele, Baker City; Josh Allen, Yerington, Nev.; Adam Andressen, Amity; Hailey Atwood, Molalla; Rusty Bengoa, McDermitt, Nev.; Kristi Case, Elgin; Andrew Endicott, Marsing, Idaho; Katie Garijo, Winnemucca, Nev.; Tracy Griffith, Ione; Jacob Johnson, Pendleton; Shaun Lequerica, Jordan Valley; Megan Maher, Crane; Heath Martin, North Pole, Alaska; Jay McCabe, Madras; Coy Patterson, Stanfield; Brian Sanders, Elgin; Beckijo Smergut, Wallowa; Casey Smergut, Wallowa; Shonda Titus, Elgin; and Cassi Warnock, Maupin.