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TSU rodeo ends with success

Families and competitors took a break Saturday from the buzz of Operation Iraqi Freedom and the NCAA tournament to enjoy a truly American pastime.

Troy State University decked out Cattleman Park in yellow ribbons for the final round of the school's first ever sanctioned rodeo, dubbed the Trojan Stampede.

The last round of events opened with a memorial ceremony for team-member Brandon Barbee, who was killed November in a car crash.

&uot;It really hit home,&uot; said one TSU rodeo team member.

&uot;But, you can't let that get to you, it's just part of life.&uot;

John Waide, who competed in team roping Friday night and again Saturday night, was supposed to be a part of the ceremony, but missed it because his horse was having problems.

Though Waide only met Barbee briefly before the accident, he said it is obvious the rest of his teammates miss him.

&uot;He was really loved by anybody,&uot; he said.

Schools from Mississippi, Arkansas, Georgia, Michigan Missouri and Tennessee competed in the Trojan Stampede.

Nicole Walroe, a senior at Missouri Valley College, competed in barrels, goat tying and breakaway roping.

She was impressed with the competition and envious of Cattleman Park.

&uot;It's been very competitive,&uot; she said.

&uot;Especially the women's events.&uot;

Walroe placed Thursday in barrels and goat tying and was back for the short round Saturday night.

At press time, Trojan Amber McDongald was second in breakaway roping.

The competition wasn't the only thing that had Walroe excited.

&uot;This facility is just wonderful,&uot; she said.

&uot;It is really, really nice.

They (TSU rodeo team) are so lucky to be able to practice no matter what the weather's like.

I told my coach that if I had two years left, I'd be down here.&uot;

The Messenger will have complete results from the Trojan Stampede on Tuesday, April 1.