Ty Woods, meet Michael Calmelat.
Michael Calmelat, this is Ty Woods.
Introductions were definitely necessary as the two team ropers had never met each other before making their first run in the 17 & Under Open division Thursday at the Wrangler Rodeo Arena. Two days and five runs later the 15-year-old Woods and the 10-year-old Calmelat were world champions.
“Neither one of us had a run in the open so they drew us in together,” said Woods, who hails from Texas. “I had never even heard of him before. I didn’t know he was 10 either until the opening ceremony, and people started telling me how good he heels and I was just ready to rope with him.”
“I had no idea who he was,” Calmelat said of Woods.
With Woods heading and Calmelat heeling they placed second in the first go-round with a 5.83-second run. They followed that with times of 5.38 and 6.09 seconds, respectively, on Friday. On Saturday, their 7.98 was good enough for a fourth-place finish in the fourth go and put them in the No. 2 position going into the short go.
“After our first two runs we knew we would be in there,” Woods said. “So we just started roping smarter to stay in the average.”
They had an 8.96 in the short go to take the lead in the average but had to wait for the final run. And when Kreece Thompson and Cole Curry posted their first no-time of the week Woods and Calmelat were the world champions.
Did Calmelat think he would be leaving Las Vegas with a saddle, a buckle and a world championship?
“Yeah,” he said matter-of-factly.
Woods also had thoughts of winning a championship this week, but he didn’t think it would come in the Open division.
“Absolutely not in the Open,” he said. “I didn’t think I was going to get anywhere near what we did. In the #10 my heeler is Catcher Gasperson and we were coming in to win it, but I didn’t think I was going to win the Open.”
Even though this was their first time roping together, they don’t think it will be their last.
“We’ll rope together anywhere we can,” Woods said.
Hagen Peterson from Delta, Utah, and Breck Ward from Jerome, Idaho, won the short go with a 4.23-second run.
Utah steer wrestlers walked away with two world championships on Saturday.
Cash Robb from Altamont won the 16 & under division while Kyler Dick from Oakley won the Open division.
Dick came into the short go-round in second place 1.3 seconds behind Robb, who was competing in both divisions. And when Robb had his slowest time of the week with a 10.5-second run, Dick took advantage. The Oakley cowboy had a 5.5-second run to give him the title.
Gavin Soileau from Bunkie, Louisiana, was the reserve world champion in the Open division while also setting an arena record with a 3.0-second run in the first go-round.
Kade Kinsella from Pierre, South Dakota, won the short go with a time of 4.5 seconds.