By PAUL DELANEY
When the dust settled, some new stars may have been born at the 45th Cheney Rodeo.
Bull rider Dustin Smith of St. Paul, Ore. had an 87-point ride Sunday to lead a legion of competitors who had by far their season-best paydays.
Smith, who according to the most recently posted standings in the Columbia River Circuit had won a total of $424, collected a $2,677.80 payday on board Carpet Shock. Cheyne Olney form Kennewick took home $2,209.02 with his 81-point ride on a bull named Punch.
Smith was just one of a handful of competitors who appear to have shot out of the dark over the three-day run of the event.
Terrebonne, Ore. bareback rider Austin Foss led off Sunday's go-round with his 81-point, $1,608.25 ride, easily outdistancing himself from runner-up Trenten Montero who collected $1,218.37. Prior to Cheney, Foss sat in 11th in the Columbia River Circuit with season winnings of $594.
Roy Johnson of Etna, Calif. earned one of the closest victories of the day, edging Jacob Stacy 79-78 in the saddle bronc event and winning $1,871.59. Johnson did not show up on either Pro Rodeo or Columbia River leader boards going into Cheney.
Just two-tenths of a second separated the top three competitors in steer wrestling as Jack Vanderians from Temecula, Calif. needed just 5.2 seconds to earn first-place money of $1,769.85, edging Buster Barton from Walla Walla (5.3/$1,539) and Adrian, Ore's. Jace Davis (5.4/1,308.15). Vanderians was also the top all around cowboy.
Matt Nauman from Stanfield, Ore. had to be very pleased with his tying Houston Hutto in tie-down roping in a time of 8.7 seconds as the two each earned $1,654.42. Before Cheney, Nauman had earned just $120 according to Columbia River standings posted last Monday.
Nauman emerged in sixth place in NFR tie-down standings with earnings of $49,069 after his Cheney stop.
Kelli Curran from Dayton, Wash. likely improved her Columbia River Circuit standing after a $1,526.17 payday in Cheney following her 17.34-second time in the final go-round in barrel racing.
The team roping duo of Shane Erickson from Terrebone, Ore. and Yakima's Brent Falon easily won the team roping title as the Columbia River Circuit's current third-place team scored nearly a one-second victory, each winning $1,235.
Paul Reimer from Spokane Valley took all in the open bull riding title while Loon Lake competitor Shawn Burns won in the youth open steer riding.
Paul Delaney can be reached at email@example.com.