UW Cowboys Zero In On Sixth Straight Regional Rodeo Title

When the University of Wyoming hosts its annual JCA Laramie River Rendezvous Rodeo this weekend, the Cowboys -- barring anything crazy -- should win their sixth consecutive Central Rocky Mountain Region (CRMR) team title.

Already with a strong spring season, UW head Coach Seth Glause had hoped his teams would “step on the gas” the last two rodeos, and the Cowboys did just that. At last weekend’s Ropin’ and Riggin’ Days Rodeo, hosted by Casper College, the UW men put the pedal to the metal with their strongest performance of the season.

The Cowboys had a season-best 770 points to outdistance runner-up Gillette College by 260 points, widening their season total. With just the home rodeo left, the Pokes went from an 85-point advantage over the Pronghorns to a 345-point advantage.

“It’s fun to see them having success and enjoying what they do in the arena,” Glause says. “It’s a great time for them to be peaking and competing at such a high level.”

Through nine spring/fall rodeos, the UW men have accumulated 4,535 points, while Gillette College has tallied 4,190. Casper College, which was third in its home rodeo, is sitting third in the CRMR standings with 3,715 and will need a big final weekend to overtake the ’Horns for the coveted second-place slot. Just the top two teams in the region earn automatic bids to June’s College National Finals Rodeo (CNFR) in Casper.

It appears the UW women will qualify for the CNFR as the region’s No. 2 team heading into the final competition. The Cowgirls were coming off two wins in the past three rodeos and had cut a good chunk of Gillette College’s season-long lead, but the ’Horns pulled away with a win in Casper. The Gillette women scored 385 points, while the UW women were second with 245.

That stretched the Pronghorns’ lead over the Cowgirls to 345 points in the regional standings. Gillette College has 3,093.3 points for the year, UW has 2,532.5, and 561 points behind the Cowgirls is Laramie County Community College (LCCC).

Led by the weekend’s all-around champion David Gallagher, of Brighton, Colo., the Cowboys had a balanced attack, especially in the timed events side of the arena.

Overall team results were:

-- Gallagher scored an individual-best 255 points in two separate events. He opened with fourth-place points in the opening round of steer wrestling, then bulldogged his way to the short go win to give him the overall average win. He used a short go win in tie down roping to place second in the average.

-- Teammate Brice Patterson, of Bozeman, Mont., was the reserve all-around champion, when he, too, placed in a pair of events. He was second to Gallagher in the bulldogging competition, placing in the top six in both rounds. He also made it four straight rodeos in which he placed in his specialty event -- bareback riding. He placed in both rounds to split third in the average.

-- Bodie Mattson, of Sturgis, S.D., combined with teammate Troupe Coors, of Loveland, Colo., to win the short go of team roping to boost the pair to second in the average.

-- Cam Jensen, of Bingham, Neb., won steer wrestling’s opening round, and he was fifth in the short go, finishing in that same position in the average.

-- The final team points came from Rio Nutter, of Rapid City, S.D., in team roping with partner Reece Wadhams, of LCCC. The pair had the second-best time in the opening round, did not place among the six top times in the short go, and wound up sixth in the average.

Other UW Cowboys, not on the points team, also did well at Casper College, dominating the team roping competition. Bodie Herring, of Veteran, and partner Jade Espenscheid, of Casper College, placed first; Colter Nunn, of Laramie, and Kyler Clark, of Eastern Wyoming College, were third; and Weston Mills, of Gillette, and Coy Johnson, of Gillette College, were fifth. Kale Roswadovski, of Gillette, split third place in bareback riding, and Herring was sixth in tie down roping’s average.

Riata Day, of Fleming, Colo., led the Cowgirls, scoring 175 of the team’s total points. She won the goat tying competition with a pair of strong runs. She won the opening round and split the short go’s top time, leaving her just five points shy of a perfect 180 points.

Two other UW women added points to the team’s total. Kenna McNeill, of Hobbs, N.M., was fifth in barrel racing. Josie Mousel, from Egan, S.D., had the fourth-best opening round time in goat tying, but she did not place in the average.

Several other Cowgirls, not on the points team, did well last weekend. Gracie Hardeman, of Jackson, and Buffalo’s Jordyn McNamee went 1-2 in breakaway roping, while Lucy Flynn, of Porterville, Calif., produced the opening round’s best time, but she did not place in the average. Gillette’s Sage Kohr was fifth in the opening round of barrel racing, but she did not place in the overall average.

“The women’s team continues to grind out good weekends. It is exciting to see the races develop for a chance to compete at the CNFR,” Glause says. “We need to finish the season strong at home this weekend. We hope everyone can come and enjoy the rodeo action and cheer on the Cowboys and Cowgirls.”

The JCA Laramie River Rendezvous Rodeo is Friday-Sunday, April 19-21, at the Cliff and Martha Hansen Livestock Teaching Arena.

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Institutional Communications
Bureau of Mines Building, Room 137
Laramie, WY 82071
Phone: (307) 766-2929
Email: cbaldwin@uwyo.edu

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