Stillwater native Will Howell has always been quick with a rope. But as he looked up at the scoreboard at the College National Finals Rodeo in Casper, Wyo., even he didn’t believe his eyes.
In front of a packed house Howell set a new calf roping record with a time of 7.5 seconds.
“Everything happened so fast I had to stay in the arena and watch it on the big screen replay,” Howell said. “I knew the run was quick, but when I heard the announcer say 7.5 and looked up to see it on the scoreboard, my first thought was how happy I was that my whole family and friends were here to see it. I have recently made runs in competition even quicker, but not with my family there and not in front of a crowd on a stage as big as the CNFR.”
“My dad absolutely loved it,” Howell said. “As soon as I left the arena he came up to me and said ‘That was the coolest thing I’ve ever seen.’ It was just really special to share in that moment.”
Even more impressive was the fact that Howell did it on his practice horse after his primary horse was injured in the first round.
“I just wanted to get in there and ride my other horse in that building a little bit and get him used to all of it,” Howell said. “I had posted some similar times on him in practice, but you never know what’s going to happen when he’s in front of a big crowd like that.”
Sponsored by local companies like KICKER Audio and OnCue, the Stillwater native representing Northwestern Oklahoma State University made a name for himself with his performance in Wyoming. Throughout the remainder of last weekend, he remained the buzz of the rodeo finals.
“It was a good feeling,” Howell said. “It’s kind of cool to walk around and here people talking about you. After my run, it just lit the building up. Everybody was so excited. It was just an incredible experience.”