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Fans flock to U.P. Championship Rodeo

August 6, 2012
By NIKKI YOUNK - Staff Writer , The Daily News

IRON RIVER - Road construction throughout downtown Iron River didn't deter rodeo fans from flocking to the 45th Annual U.P. Championship Rodeo over the weekend.

On Sunday, the audience enjoyed several top-scoring performances in the various rodeo events, a musical tribute to the late Chet Benson and his wife Ginny, and the crowning of the new Miss U.P. Rodeo Queen.

Ishaia Lustila, 20, of Harvey took top honors in the rodeo queen pageant. She also won the awards for horsemanship, personality, and public relations.

"This is an amazing experience," said Lustila. "I've worked really hard to get here

and I couldn't be happier."

She added that this is her third year competing in the pageant.

Brooke Granquist, 21, of Powers was named first runner-up and the winner of the appearance and rodeo knowledge awards.

Alyssa Davis, 17, of Iron River won the congeniality award.

Rodeo events included saddle and bareback bronc riding, steer wrestling, team roping, tie-down roping, barrel racing, and bull riding.

Sunday's show had the best performances of the weekend in bull riding, steer wrestling, and saddle bronc riding.

Sunshine Schwartz of Anoka, Minn. turned in a score of 81 to win the bull riding event. Out of 18 cowboys in the three rodeo shows throughout the weekend, only Schwartz and Tyler Stoltz of Kalona, Iowa were able to stay on their bulls for the regulation eight seconds.

In steer wrestling, Justin Morehouse of New Ross, Ind. clocked in at 4.2 seconds, beating the Saturday best time of 4.8 seconds.

In saddle bronc riding, Doug Aldridge of Carthage, Mo. turned in a score of 80, beating his own Saturday best score of 72.

Sunday winners in the other events are listed below.

- Team roping, Dean Teigen of Glenwood City, Wis. and Fred Boettcher of Rice Lake, Wis. with a time of 8.4 seconds.

- Tie-down roping, Jody Green of Shakopee, Minn. with a time of 10.9 seconds.

- Barrel racing, Tammy Whyte of Eau Claire, Wis. with a time of 17.02 seconds.

None of the cowboys who attempted bareback bronc riding were able to stay on their horses for the regulation eight seconds. As a result, there were no scores.

Nikki Younk's e-mail address is



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