University of Wyoming
JACKSON, Wyo. — The Wyoming Cowboys football team might be grounded due to the pandemic, but the university’s rodeo team is flying high after a record-setting performance last week at the Chadron State College Rodeo to start the fall season.
The Wyoming Cowboys set a new high while the Cowgirls also rolled to the women’s team title.
The Cowboys scored a school-record 865 points during the first of four fall rodeos to better the old mark by 10 points set in 2018. The UW men, the two-time defending Central Rocky Mountain Region (CRMR) champions, outdistanced second-place Casper College, which put up 585 team points. Third went to Sheridan College with 410 points.
Third-year UW Coach Beau Clark says his men’s performance is the result of having a veteran club this season.
“Their work ethic and effort over the years are why they were successful,” he says of the team’s opening school-record team victory. “I am so proud of how much they all give to rodeo, and it’s nice to see it be so rewarding for them.”
Meanwhile, the Cowgirls had two of their four points team members score enroute to a close win in the opening weekend with 255 points, topping the host runner-up Chadron State women by 30 points. Third place went to Gillette College with 200 points.
The UW women also are the two-time defending regional champions.
Chadron Coffield and Donny Proffit, who led five Pokes in scoring, each placed in two separate events to lead the Cowboys.
Coffield, from Yuma, Colo., with 305 individual points, led UW by winning the tie-down roping event and splitting first in steer wrestling. The senior, who was the weekend’s all-around runner-up, was third in the tie down’s opening round and won the average when he placed first in the short go. He was third and second, respectively, in the two rounds of steer wrestling, splitting the average with Laramie County Community College’s (LCCC) Riley Reiss.
Kemmerer’s Proffit took the bareback event’s opening round and had a solid ride in the short go for second, splitting the average with Casper College’s Ethan Mazurenck. Proffit added 75 points to his 240 individual points for the Cowboys by placing fourth in the bull riding average. He reached the short go by splitting third place in the opening round.
Austin Hurlburt, from Norfolk, Neb., put together a consistent two rounds of calf roping, finishing with the second-best times on both of his attempts to finish as the tie down’s runner-up. He was the third UW men’s team member to score in triple digits for the Pokes, with 150 points.
Seth Peterson, who won the region’s all-around title two years ago, returned for his final season and placed fourth in the steer wrestling average. The Minot, N.D., senior scored 90 points for the UW men.
The final 80 came from Garrett Uptain, from Craig, Colo., who used a third-place finish in the short go to finish in the same spot in saddle bronc riding’s overall average.
The women also had a solid weekend, Clark says.
Taylour Latham and Faith Hoffman paced the women’s team, placing in just the goat tying event, but it was enough to give the Cowgirls the overall women’s team title over the weekend.
Latham, from Lapoint, Utah, was third in the opening round and moved up one place in the short go to give her second overall in the average. Hoffman, from Kiowa, Colo., won the opening round but fell a few notches in the short go for fifth and split fifth in the average.
Two more UW Cowgirls won their respective events, but they were not selected prior to the weekend rodeo for the women’s points team.
Makenna Balkenbush, from Sheridan, led a UW-dominated goat tying contingent by winning the short go round, which put her first overall in the average. Teammate Karson Bradley, from Big Piney, won the barrel racing competition on the strength of posting the opening round’s best time.
The next CRMR rodeo is this weekend, with the annual Shane Dubie Memorial Rodeo hosted by LCCC in Cheyenne.
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