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UW Women’s Team Advances to College National Finals Rodeo

May 1, 2017

Relying on its season-long strength -- overall depth and versatility -- the University of Wyoming women’s rodeo team secured its second straight runner-up trophy in the Central Rocky Mountain Region (CRMR).

The Cowgirls placed third in the spring season-ending home rodeo last weekend at the 68th annual Laramie River Rendezvous Rodeo, punching their ticket to next month’s College National Finals Rodeo (CNFR) at the Casper Events Center.

Being a back-to-back national qualifier is a welcome feat for George Howard’s women’s program, which went a stretch without qualifying for the CNFR. Before last season, the last time the UW women gained a spot in college rodeo’s biggest stage was during the 2009-2010 season.

The top two clubs in both divisions send full four-member women’s teams and six-member men’s clubs to the CNFR. The UW women assured themselves a spot on the national competition after Friday night’s performance.

The Cowgirls were steady all season, placing no lower than third place in all but two of the 10 rodeos this season -- one each during the fall and spring schedules. Gillette College won its second straight CRMR team title with 3,298.67 points, while UW was second with 2,262 points, and Casper College made a late run with 1,680 points to place third.

UW will send its four-member team to the CNFR with a balanced squad that includes just one senior, Amelia Anderson, of Forsyth, Mont. Junior Kailee Webb, of Isabel, S.D., qualified for her second straight national finals, while freshman newcomers Casey Reimler, of Rozet, and Cori Terry, of McKinnon, gained a spot in their first year of college rodeo.

All four women’s team members had a good season, especially in the team’s overall strength event -- goat tying, where three of the team members were among the top seven performers. Terry and Anderson were second and third, respectively, in the final regional standings, while Reimler was seventh.

Reimler, who finished third in the all-around competition, was the 10th best breakaway roper this season.

Webb finished in the top 10 in barrel racing, placing ninth overall. She was last season’s regional barrels champion, but was slowed down most of the season recovering from a knee injury.

The Cowgirls were third in the home finale last weekend performing in front of a packed Cliff and Martha Hansen Livestock Teaching Arena last Saturday evening. The UW women scored 148.3 points to finish behind front-running Chadron State College, which ran away with the team title with 415 points, and Gillette College was second with 160 points.

The Cowgirls had three women in the barrel racing finals -- Anderson, Reimler and Webb -- but only Anderson managed to place in the average, finishing sixth. Terri also picked up sixth-place points in the goat tying average. Reimler also reached the breakaway roping championship round, but did not place in the overall average.

The UW men will send a trio of Cowboys to the CNFR, including a set of brothers in team roping who qualified on the last day of the season.

Dusty Taylor, a UW freshman from Craig, Colo., and his brother, Denton Taylor, a sophomore, came back from the No. 5 position in the overall CRMR standings when they managed to score 120 points in the home finale to split third place.

That gave the Taylor brothers the final third-place spot as individual performers to extend their season for one more rodeo this season. They came through with a second-place performance in the championship round Saturday night.

They were 8.5 in the opening round to reach the short go, and things didn’t look good when Dusty Taylor managed only to get his rope around one of the steer’s heels, giving the pair a five-second penalty to push their overall time to 12.4 for the round. However, just three teams managed to capture both the head and heels in the round of 10 teams. The Taylors’ time stood up for second place in the average.

Those 120 points were good enough to push the pair into a tie for third place in the CRMR standings with Logan Miller and Coley Nichols of Eastern Wyoming College, who did not place at last weekend’s rodeo.

Also sneaking in on the last day was senior bareback rider Brock Wahlert, of Casper. He will compete at the CNFR despite finishing fifth in the overall regional standings. The No. 3 rider, Kyle Bloomquist, from Sheridan College, will go automatically as a member of the regional-winning Sheridan College team. And the fourth-place rider, Jaden Clark, from UW, has been out with a knee injury since the opening spring rodeo earlier in March. That left the door open for Wahlert. He placed fifth in Saturday night’s average with a pair of 70 rides.

Sheridan College ran away with the Laramie River Rendezvous Rodeo title with 710 points, and Northeastern Junior College was second with 415. The Pokes wound up sixth with 275 points.

For the season, the Generals won, going away, with 4,970 points, while Gillette College was more than 1,000 points back. The Cowboys remained stuck in fifth place with 2,665 points after 10 rodeos.

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