Here's the scenario: The goal is the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas this December. The winter rodeos were good-not great, but good. Good enough to go home during California's spring run. You're partner, meanwhile, did go to California-his home state-to rack up circuit points and is much higher in the standings than you. The Fourth of July cost you a ton of money in fuel, and you didn't win a dime. Salinas came and went without a check. It's time for the Daddy of 'Em All: Cheyenne. What do you do?
Well, that was Logan Olson's situation. He, for one, responded by roping his first steer in Cheyenne in 7.2 seconds-fastest in the first round and, as it turned out, the rodeo. He didn't let up, there, though. He and partner Broc Cresta, the 2007 Resistol Heeling Rookie of the Year, split seventh in the second round with an 8.6-second run.
O.K., you think, you've broken the slump. You're high call at Cheyenne, don't get greedy, right. Then your steer breaks and he's trying-you drew a runner. Just safety up, stay in the average and take what your steer gives you. That's the strategy, right?
"We were high call, we had like .7 over Derrick Begay and Victor Aros," Olson said. "If I ever try to safety up and just catch, it backfires on me. That's when I make a mistake. I'm better off just trying to be as aggressive as I can. That way, when I do see my shot I take it, rather than second-guessing myself. I've been in a few situations where I second-guess myself and I stubbed my toe."
So, watching a steer with a 30-foot head start what did he do?
"The short round was pretty tough," Olson said. "The steers were trying pretty hard. Derrick and Victor came out and they were 10 something. I figured I had to be around 11 flat to get them. Our short round steer, when I nodded, he left. I was like, Oh boy. He took off and went to the right, which is really good, but we went down there quite a ways and felt like we were getting close to the back end and he was running off to the right, but he kept stepping away from me. I didn't want to reach at all, I was hoping I could run right up in the middle of him, and I took a little gutsier shot than I wanted to. I felt like we were getting to that point where we needed to be getting something caught."
Cresta came around the corner and stopped the clock at 10 seconds flat.
"You can only be so fast on some steers, but I knew right there where Logan headed him we had a chance to win it," Cresta said. "We had to come back and be a long 10 or so and I knew we were right there in that range. I wasn't in a hurry, that steer ran fast enough I knew we were going to finish quick and be alright."
In sum, their success at Cheyenne meant $17,403, a 16- (for Olson) and 10- (for Cresta) place jump in the Crusher Rentals World Standings and new hope for the season.
"The Cheyenne we had, to win the first round, split 7th in the second round and win the short round and the average, that's kind of unheard of in Cheyenne to place in every round. It's like making the NFR, it's one of the rodeos at the top of the list you want to win. That's a huge win for us right now," Olson said. "They pretty much skunked us over the Fourth. That was the first money we've won. We haven't done anything from Reno until now. Haven't drawn very good and haven't gotten anything good going. It was kind of a crucial win for us.
"I was probably 30th and only had $20,000 won when Cheyenne started. We dang near doubled it these past two weeks. We placed over there at Ogden and at Nampa we got a little there. It really, really helps."
What's more, while Olson went home to Flandreau, S.D., for the month of May, Cresta went home, too. The difference was, Cresta's home is in California, where all the major rodeos are happening in the spring. He teamed with both Wade Wheatley and Tyler Magnus and won $10,000 on the west coast-including a win in Sisters, Oregon.
"This rodeo here made it a lot easier on us," Cresta said. "Logan didn't have as much money won as I did coming into Cheyenne, but this will jump us both up there pretty good. We both have a shot at the Finals now."
Olson, who made the Finals in 2005 with Cody Hintz, missed the last couple of years but remained in the top 30. He and Kinney Harrell roped together last year, but decided to part ways for 2008.
Harrell, however, is good friends with Cresta and recommended the two give it a shot.
"I got to know Logan really good last year," Cresta said of his rookie-year campaign when he roped with Spencer Mitchell. "Kinney had told me he wasn't going to rope with him and it just went from there. It all turned out where we clicked pretty good and we've been winning. It's cool having a guy who's rodeoed enough to know what it takes to win. This being my second year, having someone like that heading for me makes it a lot easier."
Another thing making it easier for Cresta is his 14-year-old sorrel stick, Lynx.
"I've rode him for so long, he knows what I'm going to do and
I know what he's going to do," Cresta said of his silent partner for eight years. "I know every time we back in the box that he's going to give me everything he's got."