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UW Men’s Rodeo Team Regional Lead Challenged by Casper College


October 3, 2011 — Just 40 points separate the Central Rocky Mountain Region (CRMR) leading University of Wyoming Cowboys and the defending regional champion team from Casper College with one rodeo left on the fall schedule.

The hard-charging T-Birds won the Lamar (Colorado) Community College rodeo last weekend with 455 team points -- 50 better than second-place Eastern Wyoming College. The Cowboys were third with 390 points.

It is a three-team race for the regular-season CRMR championship. After four fall rodeos, UW leads with 1,845 points, while Casper College has 1,805 and the Lancers are third with 1,725.

CRMR teams have the weekend off. The final fall rodeo is Oct. 14-16 at Laramie County Community College in Cheyenne. Gillette College hosts the first spring rodeo competition March 16-18.

The Cowboys were led at LCC by all-around leader Clayton Van Aken, who scored points in both tie down and team roping. The Descanso, Calif., sophomore placed second in the tie down competition average after recording the fastest time in the short go. Van Aken is the regional roping leader.

Teammate Tyler Schnaufer, a Pueblo, Colo., sophomore, won the tie down competition with two solid rounds.

Van Aken and partner Kade Merritt, Eaton, Colo., junior, were sixth in the team roping average. The pair currently sits second overall in the CRMR standings.

Three other UW Cowboys placed in their respective events, but their points did not count toward the team's overall score. They were not selected to the six-member UW team.

Cheyenne senior Jack Tyner placed fifth in the tie down roping average; and team roping partners Zach Henrichs, Pueblo, Colo, and Jack Brown, Whitlash, Mont., both seniors, were third in the average.

The UW women had their toughest outing of the season, finishing ninth at LCC with just 30 points -- all from Kaycee Nelson. The Buffalo, S.D., sophomore was sixth in the goat tying average.

Northeastern Junior College (NJC) of Sterling, Colo., won the weekend rodeo with 495 team points to surpass Central Wyoming College (CWC) in the regional standings. NJC has 1,223.3 points through four rodeos, while CWC has 1,205. The Cowgirls slipped to fourth in the standings with 650 team points, 75 behind third-place Gillette College.

The region's top two teams will gain an automatic berth to next summer's College National Finals Rodeo in Casper.

For complete results of the LCC rodeo, go here.

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