Days of ’47 Rodeo: Injuries slow ex-prep star Hannum in steer wrestling
Olin Hannum was sacked Thursday night.
A former All-State quarterback and Class 5A Most Valuable Player at Fremont High School, Hannum failed to post a time in a steer wrestling during the third round of the Days of ’47 Rodeo at EnergySolutions Arena.
Hannum reached his steer in rapid fashion but never got enough leverage to get it on the ground and remain in contention for a paycheck at the $249,000 Days of ’47.
"I thought I got into a good spot," Hannum said. "But the steer just didn’t want to be thrown tonight."
Hannum started the week with season earnings of $20,263. He was 35th on the money list in steer wrestling — only $8,700 behind No. 15 Billy Bugenig of Ferndale, Calif.
ScheduleFriday at 7 p.m., Saturday at 6 p.m.
Where » EnergySolutions
Tickets » ESA website and box office, or call 801-355-7328
The top 15 finishers in each event qualify for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.
With a late-season rush, Hannum could reach the NFR for the second time in his career. In 2011, he ended up 10th in the world with more than $90,000 in earnings.
"I’ve been fighting some injuries this year," Hannum said. "I started off pretty good ... but right now I’m just trying to get myself healthy so I can compete as well as I need to."
Hannum’s health issues began with a case of appendicitis. A concussion followed before he suffered a separated shoulder at Greeley, Colo., which he recently aggravated while practicing. Of course, Hannum knows injuries are part of this game, just like football.
After playing at Fremont, Hannum attended Snow College and North Carolina State, where he ended up playing behind future San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers.
"Those are some of the greatest memories I’ve had," he said. "... It was a real good time, and I think it was a good time for a lot of people because it still gets brought up today."
Hannum never played much at N.C. State because of Rivers, who ended up starting 51 straight games in college before being taken in the first round of the 2004 NFL Draft.
Asked if he stayed in touch with Rivers, Hannum smiled and shook his head.
"Not really," he said. "... We probably would have been better friends if we weren’t competing. That competitive nature gets to you, I guess, and I wanted be better than him every day. That’s what I was striving do to and obviously it didn’t happen. But it was great competition and a lot of fun."
Hannum continues to operate a custom cabinet-making business in Ogden, although he moved his family to Malad, Idaho, a few years ago.
"It’s more affordable, is what it came down to," he said. " It was more affordable to keep my horses up there. So that’s what my wife and I decided to do."