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UW Women's Rodeo Team Remains Perfect on the Season

April 27, 2009

There is no stopping the University of Wyoming women's rodeo team on its way toward a perfect Central Rocky Mountain Region (CRMR) season.

The Cowgirls have just this weekend's (May 1-3) Laramie River Rendezvous Rodeo before taking aim at their ultimate goal: The College National Finals Rodeo (CNFR) in June at the Casper Events Center. That is what the team has worked for the entire fall and spring rodeo seasons since coming up short as repeat CNFR champions last summer.

The UW women two years ago won the program's fourth national title. The Cowgirls led last year's event going into the short go, but had a disappointing championship round to fall to fourth place overall. With the same trio intact this season, the Cowgirls have led the CRMR since the opening rodeo in September and have put together a run that has pushed them atop the overall national standings.

Those same three team members, all seniors, Nikki Steffes, TaNaye Carroll and Sarah Mulholland, worked their individual skills once again to lead the UW women to another one-sided win last weekend at the Northeastern Junior College (NJC) rodeo in Sterling, Colo.

The Cowgirls scored 615 team points with half coming in goat tying where the Cowgirls have the region's top three individuals to outdistance runner-up Eastern Wyoming College (EWC) by 250 points. Third place went to the Central Wyoming College (CWC) with 225 points.

Steffes, a molecular biology senior from Vale, S.D., won the all-around title again, an accomplishment she's successfully completed at each CRMR rodeo this season. She is also the national points leader and won the CNFR all-around title as a sophomore. The UW program's all-time leading points producer scored in each of the three women's events at last weekend's rodeo.

She won the breakaway roping event, placed third in goat tying and fourth in barrel racing.

Carroll, a kinesiology senior from La Junta, Colo., and the CRMR goat tying leader, won the average Sunday. Mulholland, a nursing student from Richland Center, Wis., split third place in breakaway roping and added goat tying points when she placed sixth in the short go.

The UW men solidified a spot in the CNFR as a team by placing second at the NJC rodeo. Only the top two teams from each of the nation's regions gain a berth to the season-ending event.

Season-long regional leader, CWC, scored heavily in the two horseback riding events to pile up 610 points compared to UW's 415, just five points better than third-place Gillette College.

The bulk of the Cowboys' points came in saddle bronc and bareback riding. Merritt Smith, an animal science sophomore from Gillette, split second in the saddle bronc riding average, while Bucky Dickson, a kinesiology sophomore from Sequim, Wash., placed third in the bareback competition.

The team also received production in a pair of timed events. Bulldogger Troy Brandemuehl, a wildlife biology senior from Gordon, Neb., turned his steer over quick enough to win the short go and placed second overall in the average. Teammate Chad Nelson, an agricultural business senior from Buffalo, S.D., qualified for the tie down roping short go, as did Smith, but both had no-times in the championship round. Smith finished second in the all-around competition to Gillette College's Cheyenne Seymour.

UW's only annual home event, the Laramie River Rendezvous Rodeo in the indoor Cliff and Martha Hansen Livestock Arena, begins at 7 p.m. Friday, May 1. Two performances are scheduled Saturday at 1 and 7 p.m. The short go Sunday begins at 1 p.m.
Listed are the team scores from the NJC rodeo and also the top six individuals in the average:

Women's team scores -- University of Wyoming (UW) 615; Eastern Wyoming College (EWC) 365; Central Wyoming College (CWC) 225; Sheridan College (SC) 120; Gillette College (GC) and Laramie County Community College (LCCC) 90; Lamar Community College (LCC) 5.

Men's team scores -- CWC 610; UW, 415; GC 410; NJC 370; Casper College (CC) 345; Colorado State University (CSU) 210; EWC 145l LCCC 110; LCC 90; Chadron State College (CSC) 80; Sheridan College (SC) 55.

Barrel racing -- Josie Davison, EWC, 36.62; Annie Novotny, SC, 36.87; Jessi Cates, GC, 36.89; Nikki Steffes, UW, 36.91; Michelle Robinson, GC, 36.93; KayTee Schaffer, LCCC, 36.95.

Breakaway roping -- Nikki Steffes, UW, 6.1; Chelsea Moore, CWC, 6.2; Sarah Mulholland and Heather Bregar, both UW, 6.6; Andie Cross, EWC, 7; Britta O'Keeffe, UW, 7.6.

Goat tying -- TaNaye Carroll, UW 17; Kaylee Moyer, EWC, 17.3; Nikki Steffes, UW, 17.8; Jessica Picchietti, CWC, 18.1; Traci Hinman, CWC, 18.4; Sarah Mulholland, UW, 18.7.

Saddle bronc riding -- Lane Sterling, GC, 143; Merritt Smith, UW, and Blaze Hamaker, CWC, 141; Chancy Miller, GC, 139; J.W. Moore, CC, 140.

Bareback riding -- Bryan Jones, CWC, 150; Ty Breuer, CWC, 148; Bucky Dickson, UW, 142; Whitten Hoover, CSC, 138; Cheyenne Seymour, GC, 138;Troy Bechen, CC, 126.

Bull riding -- Justin Ellis, CWC, 131, only rider on two.

Tie down roping -- Joey Dickens, CSU, 20; Brady Graff, EWC, 21.4; Jim Roedeske, CC, 22.1; Riley Warren, CWC, 22.9; Beau Miller, GC, 30.1 Kyle Broce, NJC, 30.2.

Steer wrestling -- J.W. Lorenz, CWC, 12.3; Troy Brandemuehl, UW, 12.4; Cole Dorenkamp, LCC, 13.9; Seth Bolerjack, UW, 15.6; Cheyenne Seymour, GC, 16.1; Cameron Trimber, UW, 16.3.

Team roping -- Justin Smith/Cody Merritt, EWC, 14.1; Will Smith, UW/Cody McClusky, NJC, 17.1; O.J. Huxtable/Dustin Smith, CC, 27.2; Trice Watts/T.J. Watts, NJC, 29.6; Chase Dodson/Blake Henry, UW, 34.8; Tyrel Schroth/Tyrel Bonnet, SC, 38.8.


Posted on Monday, April 27, 2009

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