Rodeo champions crowned


Staff Writer

IRON RIVER – Hundreds of spectators attended the third performance of the Upper Peninsula Championship Rodeo in Iron River on Sunday.

The show capped off yet another successful rodeo weekend, which included three rodeo performances, a country music concert, parade, street dance, and much more.

On Sunday, spectators were treated to the crowning of the new Miss U.P. Rodeo Queen and several top rodeo performances from cowboys across the Midwest.

Brooke Granquist, 21, of Powers was chosen to be Miss U.P. Rodeo 2013. In addition, she picked up pageant awards for public relations, horsemanship, personality, and rodeo knowledge.

Granquist was thrilled to be named queen.

“It’s so great, I’ve worked very hard,” she said. “I’m looking forward to traveling to other rodeos to see how they work and representing this rodeo.”

This year was Granquist’s second year of participating in the Miss U.P. Rodeo Queen pageant. She has also vied for the queen title at the Carney Roundup Rodeo and the Great Lakes Rodeo in Marquette.

Outgoing Miss U.P. Rodeo Queen Ishaia Lustila of Marquette noted that it was bittersweet giving up her crown.

“I’m kind of sad to see it go,” she said. “I’ve been busy, but it’s been so much fun – an eye-opening experience.”

Over the past year, Lustila represented the Upper Peninsula Championship Rodeo at rodeos in Manawa, Wis., Spooner, Wis., and Merrill, Wis.

Granquist’s fellow pageant contestants also earned awards. Allison Dagenais, 18, of Gladstone was first runner up and took the Miss Congeniality award. Jennifer Thomas, 18, of Niagara, Wis. won the appearance award.

Since Thomas was injured Saturday while riding her horse, she was not present at the award ceremony.

Following the ceremony, the rodeo events began. Each rodeo performance consisted of competitions in bareback riding, saddle bronc riding, steer wrestling, team roping, tie-down roping, barrel racing, and bull riding.

Weekend-best performances on Sunday were in the following categories:

– saddle bronc, in which Cody Rud of Greenfield, Wis. posted a score of 78 points.

– team roping, in which Wade Steffen and Ben Meyer clocked a time of 7.7 seconds.

– tie-down roping, in which Casey Hume of Brodhead, Wis. turned in a time of 9.7 seconds.

– bull riding, in which Sunshine Schwartz of Anoka, Minn. completed the only qualifying ride of the weekend. He earned a score of 82 points.

According to the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) website, the all-around cowboy for the weekend was Jess Hume of Orfordville, Wis. He netted a total of $1,077 for his performances in team roping and tie-down roping.

Total payoff for the weekend was $22,762.

The 2014 Upper Peninsula Championship Rodeo is scheduled for July 18-20 in Iron River.

Nikki Younk’s e-mail address is