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April 8, 2014 — A good weekend propelled both the University of Wyoming rodeo teams up the Central Rocky Mountain Region (CRMR) standings.
The Cowboys placed third at the weekend Eastern Wyoming College (EWC) rodeo, moving into fourth place in the overall CRMR standings to stay within striking distance of the region’s coveted second-place slot. Only the top two regional teams advance full clubs to compete in this summer’s College National Finals Rodeo in Casper.
And the Cowgirls snapped a year-long slump by scoring a season-high 330 team points, which more than tripled their total output for the fall and spring schedules.
Two rodeos into the spring portion of the season, the Cowboys have 2,510 total points after scoring 350 at EWC. The Pokes are just 325 points out of third place and trail second-place Casper College in the overall regional standings by 673 with three rodeos left in the season. Gillette College leads the pack with 3,225.
Two of the teams ahead of the UW men placed first and second last weekend. Sheridan College took the team title with 670 points, for its first win of the year, while Casper College was second with 440.
The Pokes weren’t spectacular at EWC, but did enough in three events by a trio of Cowboys to gain third place.
Wyatt Clark, a Wellfleet, Neb., senior, continued his hold of the regional bareback riding lead by placing third in the average at Torrington.
Tie down roper Clayton Van Aken came out of fifth place after the opening round to take second in the short go and was the runner-up in the overall average. The Descanso, Calif., senior is third in the region, just 60 points out of the top spot.
Fort Lupton, Colo., senior Brit Ellerman and heeler partner Trey Yates of EWC were steady on two head and placed third in the team roping average. The pair is second in the overall regional standings.
Sophomore Devin Nichols of Kinnear was the star performer for the Cowgirls’ team at EWC. She and cousin Coley Nichols of Casper College won both rounds of team roping. Devin Nichols’ 180 points earned in the event counted toward the UW women’s weekend total of 330 team points. That easily surpassed the team’s best effort of 80 points at last fall’s opening rodeo.
Having never placed this season in team roping, the Nichols cousins’ first win of the year moved them into eighth place in the regional team roping standings.
The Cowgirls’ strong weekend moved the club up to eighth place in the overall CRMR standings. The top two teams are Gillette College and Chadron State College with 2,315 and 2,105 points, respectively. Those two teams split the EWC title with 350 points each.
The UW women also received production from two other team members.
Cassie Hamilton, a junior from Chehalis, Wash., placed in breakaway for just the second time this season, finishing fourth in the average. Freshman Amelia Anderson, Forsyth, Mont., added an additional 60 points to the team’s output by placing fifth in goat tying.
The UW teams travel down Highway 287 this weekend to compete in the Colorado State University rodeo in Fort Collins, Colo.