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Laramie River Rendezvous Rodeo Wraps Up Regional Season

April 29, 2015

Individuals and teams have one final opportunity to qualify for the College National Finals Rodeo (CNFR) when the region’s regular season comes to a close at this weekend’s 66th annual Laramie River Rendezvous Rodeo.

Action begins Friday, May 1, with slack and the first of two nightly performances that begin at 7 p.m. when the University of Wyoming rodeo teams host some of the region’s best cowboys and cowgirls at the Cliff and Martha Hansen Livestock Teaching Arena. Two performances are scheduled at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday, May 2, and the championship round is at 1 p.m. Sunday, May 3.

Cost is $5 for adults for each session, and children under age 12 are admitted free.

What’s at stake at the Central Rocky Mountain Region (CRMR) finale are team and individual bids for the CNFR June 14-20 at the Casper Events Center. Just the top two regional teams earn automatic invitations to college rodeo’s biggest year-end event. Top individuals also can earn their way to the CNFR by being among the top three in the six men’s and three women’s events.

It’s been a tough spring season for the UW Cowboys who were sitting second in the region at the halfway point of the regional schedule. But, the Pokes have struggled somewhat and have placed only as high as fourth in four spring rodeos.

As a team, the Cowboys are fourth overall in the CRMR standings heading into their home rodeo with 2,895 points to trail the leaders Casper College and Gillette College for the top two positions. The T-Birds are the overall leaders with 3,505 points, while the Pronghorns have 3,445 points. Chadron State College (CSC) holds down third place with 3,280 points and Northeastern Junior College (NJC) rounds out the top five with 2,617.5 points.

The UW women had their second straight tough year, struggling to find any consistency with a young group of team members. The Cowgirls sit 11th overall with just 523 team points through nine rodeos.

Gillette College has led the women’s team standings from the get-go with 3,127.5 points and NJC is second with 1,695. The rest of the top five clubs are Laramie County Community College with 1,315 points; Sheridan College has 1,195; and Central Wyoming College has scored 975 points.

Individually, the UW Cowboys have a few contestants ranked among the top five performers in individual events.

Brady Dinwoodie leads the Pokes and is the only individual to hold down the top spot in his event. He leads all saddle bronc riders in the overall individual regional point standings by a wide margin. The Canadian transfer has garnered 1,045 points through nine fall and spring rodeos, and that includes one weekend where he failed to mark. Casper College’s Justin Harrell is a distant second with 430 points.

Despite not placing in any rodeo this spring, header Brit Ellerman, a senior from Fort Lupton, Colo., is in second place in team roping with partner Trey Yates of Eastern Wyoming College (EWC). They trail the leaders, Brady Wakefield of Gillette College and EWC’s Levi O’Keefe, by just 35 points. Ellerman and Yates built an early lead during the fall rodeo season and have remained in contention going into the final week of action.

A UW bulldogger is ranked among the top three steer wrestlers. Hunter Christensen from Alta is third with 470 points, just 25 points behind runner-up Jake Fulton of Casper College. Laramie County Community College’s (LCCC) Kalane Anders leads the pack with 725 points.

UW teammate Dillon Simonson is sitting fourth in steer wrestling, but the Purdum, Neb., junior suffered a season-ending knee injury early in the spring season.

No UW Cowgirl is ranked among the top five individuals in the three women’s events. The current highest ranked UW team member is sophomore Amelia Anderson of Forsyth, Mont., who is ninth in goat tying.

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