By Joe Naiman
Ramona cowboys Cameron Elston and Marcus Battaglia each won a go-round in their event during the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association’s California Circuit finals in Lancaster.
Elston won the third tie-down roping go-round at the California Finals Rodeo, which takes the California Circuit’s top 12 earners in each event, and he also placed during the first go-round.
Battaglia was a team roping header and partnered with heeler Kyle Lockett of Visalia to win the second team roping go-round.
“Came out of there all right, I guess,” Elston said.
Elston, who rode a horse called Matt, had a time of 9.1 seconds in the first tie-down roping go-round to split third and fourth place with Jared Ferguson of Cottonwood. Elston and Ferguson each earned $260 for the go-round.
“It was all right. It was a good start for the rodeo,” Elston said.
Elston missed his second calf, which kept him from placing in the average, so his subsequent goal was to win the final go-round.
“All I could do was really go for the go-round, so I did,” he said.
Elston had a time of 7.9 seconds to win the third go-round.
“I had a good calf,” Elston said. “I made a good run on him.”
The time was the first ever under 8 seconds for Elston in tie-down roping. It was also more than a second faster than the 9.0-second run of Wheatland cowboy C.J. DeForest Jr., who finished second. Elston earned $692 for the go-round win.
The circuit finals rodeo was the first for Elston.
“It was pretty good. It was fun. Hopefully I go back,” he said.
Battaglia also qualified for the circuit finals for the first time.
“It was a good rodeo,” he said. “It was a good final. I wish I would have done better.”
Battaglia, who rode Cocky, missed his steer in the first go-round. Battaglia and Lockett were the seventh Team Roping partners to compete in the second go-round.
“I was going to try to do something,” Battaglia said. “Had to get some money out of it.”
Battaglia and Lockett had a time of 5.0 seconds on their Oct. 15 run.
“Just happened to get it on him,” Battaglia said.
Runs of 6.2 seconds gave a split of second and third to Ed Necochea and Dennis Watkins and to Blaine Linaweaver and Jake Twisselman, giving Battaglia and Lockett a go-round win by more than a second.
“Horse worked good,” Battaglia said.
Battaglia and Lockett received $692 apiece for the go-round win.
Junior Saenz, a 2000 Ramona High School graduate, competed in the Bull Riding at the California Finals Rodeo. His score of 80 points in the second go-round placed second and earned him $519.