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Women’s Team, UW Individuals Compete for CNFR Berths in Home Rodeo

April 25, 2017

There is more than just a team berth at stake for the University of Wyoming women’s rodeo team. Competitors also can qualify for this summer’s College National Finals Rodeo (CNFR) in their respective events.

This bodes well for at least four UW men’s team members who are either in comfortable spots to qualify automatically or in a position to at least challenge during the final rodeo of the season -- this week’s 68th annual Laramie River Rendezvous Rodeo April 27-29 at the Cliff and Martha Hansen Livestock Teaching Arena.

The rodeo will have a different format this week when action begins with a Thursday, April 27, night performance beginning at 7. Slack is scheduled at 10 a.m. Friday, followed by a 7 p.m. performance. Slack picks up again Saturday at 10 a.m., and the championship round ends the rodeo Saturday, April 29, at 7 p.m.

The cost for each of the evening performances is $10 per person, but UW students with student IDs will be admitted for $5 only during Thursday evening’s performance. Normally, all rodeos this season among the region’s schools have been Friday-Sunday events.

The top two teams in both the women’s and men’s divisions are pretty well assured of sending full four-member women teams and six-member men’s clubs to the CNFR. Heading the women’s side of the competition are Gillette College and the UW Cowgirls and, in the men’s division, the top two clubs are Sheridan College and Gillette College.

For the better part of the second-half of the season, UW Coach George Howard has gone with a versatile lineup for the Cowgirls’ contingent, that have scored in all three women’s events, especially in goat tying where at least three women can all challenge for a national title.

Seasonlong regional goat tying leader, Cori Terry, slipped to second place in the overall standings, but the McKinnon freshman is still in contention for an individual CRMR title. She has 736.7 points, and trails Gillette College’s Rickie Engesser who has 800 points. In third place is the only UW senior, Amelia Anderson, of Forsythe, Mont., who has 633.7 points. Sitting in sixth place is Casey Reimler, a Rozet freshman, who has 382 individual points.

Reimler also is third in the all-around standings, having scored points in all three women’s events this season.

The fourth UW team member is reigning CRMR barrel racing champion Kailee Webb, but the Isabel, S.D., junior has yet to have a breakout performance and is 10th overall in the individual standings.

The UW men won’t be challenging for one of the two top CRMR team spots for a CNFR bid, but two individual Cowboys are sitting pretty well in their respective events.

Defending bull riding champion Jacob Smith, a LaSalle, Colo., junior, has been performing well late in the spring season and still has a chance to move up for one of the top two positions. He’s third in the overall standings with 370 points, compared to a pair of Chadron State College riders. Cordale Martin leads the pack with 510 points, and teammate Chason Cole is the runner-up with 430 -- just 60 points ahead of Smith.

Jay Em junior Wyatt Hageman is the second-best saddle bronc rider, scoring 540 points through nine fall and spring rodeos, and trails only Otero Junior College’s Mason Mardesich, who leads the competition with 755 points.

Brock Wahlert, a Casper senior, is technically in fifth place in bareback riding, but the man ahead of him, teammate Jaden Clark, a Wellfleet, Neb., senior, is out for the year after suffering a season-ending knee injury earlier this spring.

Wahlert has 460 points, while the third-place position is held by Sheridan College’s Kyle Bloomquist, who has 545 points. Two of Bloomquist’s teammates hold the top two positions, with no one close enough to catch the pair.

Dusty Taylor, a UW freshman from Craig, Colo., and his brother, Denton Taylor, a sophomore, are on the outside looking in in the team roping competition. Denton Taylor is fifth among all headers, and Dusty Taylor holds the same heeler spot.

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