WYOMING — The University of Wyoming (UW) men’s and women’s teams secured three of a possible four team titles at a pair of rodeos last weekend in the opening weekend of the spring season in the Central Rocky Mountain Region (CRMR).
Both the Sheridan College and Gillette College rodeos were spread over four days last weekend in Gillette.
The Cowboys split first place with Gillette College in the Sheridan rodeo, while the Cowgirls dominated the women’s side of the competition. The UW men continued to pull away from the CRMR pack by taking the Gillette College team title, while the Cowgirls struggled Sunday in the Pronghorns’ rodeo, finishing seventh among the regional teams.
With six of the 10 fall and spring rodeos now in the books, both the Cowboys and Cowgirls own the top spots as both teams attempt to win the program’s third consecutive CRMR team titles.
With four remaining competitions left, the Cowboys have amassed 4,388.5 points and hold nearly a 1,000-point lead over runner-up Gillette College, which has 3,397 points. Casper College sits third with 2,598.5 points.
Chadron State College put together two solid rodeos over the weekend to cut into the Cowgirls’ seasonlong hold atop the women’s standings, but the UW club still has a comfortable lead. The Cowgirls have scored 1,985.96 points, while second-place Chadron State has 1,160.84 points. They are the only two regional clubs to score more than 1,000 team points.
“I couldn’t be happier how everyone did over the weekend,” UW Coach Beau Clark says. “We just have so many good kids, and it’s not just the ones on the points teams. They all had a great weekend.”
During the weekend rodeos, competitors made one run or had one head instead of competing in long and short go rounds.
In the Sheridan College rodeo, both UW and Gillette College scored 699 points, while Casper College was next with 393.5 points.
Scoring team points for the Cowboys were:
— Garrett Uptain, from Craig, Colo., first in bull riding with 145 points and second in saddle bronc riding with 126 points for a total of 271 points. He also split the all-around title.
— Austin Hurlburt, from Norfolk, Neb., second place in steer wrestling, 126 points.
— Donny Proffit, from Kemmerer, second place in bareback riding, 126 points.
— Jase Staudt, from Nathrop, Colo., second place in team roping with partner JC Flake, of Gillette College, 126 points.
— Seth Peterson, from Minot, N.D., sixth place in steer wrestling, 50 points.
The Cowgirls’ streak of winning a team title reached five straight with the Sheridan College win with 399.8 points. Chadron State College was second with 240 points, and one point behind the Nebraska school was Gillette College at 239.
Scoring points for the Cowgirls were:
— Kelsey Lensegrav, from Interior, S.D., second in breakaway roping with 126 points and sixth place in goat tying with 50.33 points for a total of 176.33 total points.
— Jacey Thompson, of Yoder, split first place in breakaway roping, 135 points.
— Faith Hoffman, from Kiowa, Colo., fourth place in goat tying, 88 points.
The Cowboys put together another strong performance in winning the Gillette College rodeo with 594.5 points, while second-place Eastern Wyoming College scored 466. The host Pronghorns were third with 353 points.
Leading the way for the Cowboys were:
— Uptain, split first in bull riding with 135.5 points and second in saddle bronc riding with 126 points for a total of 261.5 points. He again won the all-around title.
— Chadron Coffield, from Yuma, Colo., fourth in steer wrestling with 88 points and sixth in steer wrestling with 50 points for a total of 138. He was the all-around runner-up.
— Staudt, third in steer wrestling, 107 points.
— Proffit, fourth in bareback riding, 88 points.
The Cowgirls had their team-winning streak end at the Gillette rodeo when they scored just 61.13 points. Chadron State put together its best rodeo of the season, taking the team title with 460.8 points, while the host Gillette women posted 230.8 points to place second.
Hoffman scored 50.3 points in goat tying to place sixth and 6.5 more points in breakaway roping. Lensegrav rounded out the scoring with 4.3 points — a split for fifth place — in the goat tying competition.
Even though their points did not count toward the team’s output over the weekend, several UW competitors did well.
At the Gillette rodeo, Chase Rose, from Lincoln, Calif., split second place in bareback riding; and Wyatt Tarver, of Gillette, and partner Corbin Fisher, of Sheridan College, were third in team roping.
For the Cowgirls, Natalie Leisinger, of Highmore, S.D., won the goat tying competition; Big Piney’s Karson Bradley was third in barrel racing; and Makenna Balkenbush, from Sheridan, and Brandy Schaack, of Hyannis, Neb., were fifth and sixth, respectively, in breakaway roping.
Placing at the Sheridan rodeo for the UW men were Jared Schultis, from Tryon, Neb., third in bareback riding, and Rose split fourth place; Tarver took fourth in calf roping; and Jace Berger, from Saratoga, was third in steer wrestling.
For the Cowgirls, Bradley was fourth in barrel racing; Reata Beck, of Albin, split fourth in goat tying; and Hailey Hardeman, from Jackson, split fourth in breakaway roping.
Eastern Wyoming College hosts the next CRMR rodeo this weekend.