Even a hole in a cowboy’s heart can’t stop him from doing what he loves. That’s not a cheesy lyric from the latest country-western hit, but rather simple reality for UVU bulldogger Jake Woolstenhulme. The junior steer-wrestler waited until he was declared the Rocky Mountain region’s steer wrestling champion, and had earned a berth to the Intercollegiate Rodeo National Finals, before undergoing heart surgery last week to repair a condition that has hindered him since high school.
The UVU Rodeo Team hosts their sole “home game” of the spring season this weekend in Heber, giving fans and newbies alike a chance to watch top-ranked UVU athletes compete in one of the final rodeos of the season. The three-day rodeo at the Wasatch County Special Events Center in Heber will be the second-to-last rodeo for Wolverine competitors to qualify for the National Collegiate Rodeo Championships, and coach Shane Draper says that his teams are in a good spot to earn a trip to Nationals in June.
Riders and ropers on the UVU rodeo team rode the red dirt of St. George last weekend in their first rodeo of the spring season. The men’s and women’s teams placed fourth and third respectively, featuring several first-place finishes by UVU cowboys. Bareback rider Connor Kent took first in his event; despite being knocked unconscious both nights during his bareback and saddle bronc rides.