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UW Women Take Opening Spring Rodeo Title

March 30, 2009

The message is pretty clear to the rest of the Central Rocky Mountain Region (CRMR): The University of Wyoming women's rodeo team will not let up this spring.

The Cowgirls intend to reclaim the overall national points lead after holding it at the end of the fall season. But with several colleges across the nation getting an early start on the spring season a couple of weeks ago, the UW women have dropped to second place behind New Mexico State University.

But the way things went for UW's women last weekend in the spring season's opening rodeo, the Cowgirls should contend for the overall national lead during the next couple of weeks.

The UW women dominated Sunday's Eastern Wyoming College (EWC) rodeo, claiming their sixth team title in as many CRMR events this season. It was another dominating performance by a team that didn't even use all of its major weapons to score team points.

Only two of Coach George Howard's "big three" scored points, but seniors Nikki Steffes and Sarah Mulholland did enough to help lead the team to an impressive 415-point win over second-place regional rival, Central Wyoming College (CWC). UW scored 615 points, while the Lady Rustlers were a distant second and Casper College was third with 175 team points.

The Cowgirls have a 2,222-point lead over Gillette College in the regional standings.

Steffes, a molecular biology senior from Vale, S.D., who leads the nation in all-around individual points, led the Cowgirls in Torrington with 335 of UW's total team points. Mulholland, nursing, Richland Center, Wis., added another 240. The pair also finished first and second, respectively, in the all-around points chase.

Steffes, who has finished second two straight seasons in the College National Finals Rodeo, won the EWC event and then added third-place average points in barrel racing, an event in which she is the regional leader. Mulholland finished strongly in two events as well. She was the breakaway roping average runner-up and also third in goat tying.

The final team points came from Lander kinieseology freshman Heather Bregar, who was fifth in goat tying.

The UW men remained in contention for the CRMR overall team title by finishing a close third in Torrington. Gillette College won with 550 points, front-running CWC was second with 510 and the Cowboys were just five points back. That left UW's men just 245 behind the regional-leading Rustlers.

The Cowboys showed decent balance on both sides of the arena in Torrington by scoring points in both roughstock and timed events.

 Header Chad Nelson, agricultural business senior from Buffalo, S.D., and partner Beau Miller of Gillette College placed second in the team roping average. UW teammate Tyler Viles, finance senior from Cody, added opening round points, but did not place in the average with roping partner Jared Bilby of EWC.

Bucky Dickson, kinesiology sophomore from Sequim, Wash., placed third in the bareback riding average; and Troy Brandemuehl, wildlife biology senior, Gordon, Neb., was fifth in the steer wrestling competition.

Gillette animal science sophomore Merritt Smith placed fifth in the tie down average and he also added opening round points in saddle bronc riding. Jason Hubbard, an agriculture senior from Wheatland, was third in the tie down roping competition.

The Cowboys and Cowgirls will travel to Fort Collins this weekend for the Colorado State University Rodeo.

Listed are the men's and women's team points, followed by the individual winners in the average:

Men's team  standings -- Gillette College (GC) 550; Central Wyoming College (CWC), 510; University of Wyoming (UW) and Lamar Community College (LCC), 505; Northeastern Junior College (NJC), 310; Eastern Wyoming College (EWC), 265; Casper College (CC) 245;  Colorado State University (CSU) 180; Sheridan College (SC), 145; Chadron State College (CSC), 125; Laramie County Community College (LCCC), 40.

Women's team  standings -- UW, 615; CWC, 200; CC, 175; LCC, 135; LCCC, 120; CSC and CSU, 60; GC and EWC, 50; NJC, 30; SC, 20.

Saddle bronc riding -- Blaze Hamaker, CWC, 147; Riley Knoll, CWC, 134; Travis Darling, CC, 131; Steven Johnston, SC, 127; Chason Floyd, GC, 123; Garet Groshans, EWC, 110.

Bareback riding -- Ty Breuer, CWC,153; Cheyenne Seymour, GC, 146; Bucky Dickson, UW, 144; Bryan Jones, CWC, 143; Whitten Hoover, CSC, and Tucker Bringle, GC, 140.
    Bull riding -- Lane Lindsay, GC, 76; Mathew Nichols, CWC, and Cameron Weddle, NJC, 71; Tyson Donaven, EWC, 67.

Tie down roping -- Joey Dickens, CSU, 18.2; Cole Dorenkamp, LCC, 22.2; Jason Hubbard, UW, 23.6; Cody McCluskey, NJC, 24.6; Merritt Smith, UW, 24; Billy McCall, EWC, 25.4.

Steer wrestling -- Chason Floyd, GC, 10.7; Cole Dorenkamp, LCC, 11.3; Chance Threet, LCC, 13.1; Tyrel Bonnet, SC, 13.4; Troy Brandemuehl, UW, 14.9; Dustin Smith, CC, 16.9; Del Kraupie, CSC, 23.

Team roping -- Trice/T.J. Watts, NJC, 13.7; Chad Nelson, UW/Beau Miller, GC, 16.4; Jessica Picchietti/Riley Warren, CWC, 16.9; Riley Milward/Jack Brown, UW, 17.7; Justin Smith,/Cody Merritt, EWC, 29; Cole Dorenkamp/Brice Ingo, LCC, 31.4.

Barrel racing -- Becky Grimm, CSC, 33.95; Shaylee Jobman, LCCC, 33.78; Nicki Steffes, UW, 33.97; Baileee Novotny, SC, 34.12; Michelle Robinson, GC, 34.14; Kaylee Gallino, CSC, 34.20.

Breakaway roping -- Megan Schrock, CC, 5.4; Sarah Mulholland, UW, 6.1; Kendra Hemphill, LCC, 6.8; Shannon Vaughan, EWC, 7.8; Jessie Smith, CSU, 16.3.

Goat tying -- Nicki Steffes, UW, 15.4; Laura Waldo, CWC, 16.2; Sarah Mulholland, UW, 16.3; Lacey Roberts, CSC, 16.6; Heather Bregar, UW, 16.8; Kaylee Moyer, EWC, 18.9.

Posted on Monday, March 30, 2009

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