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With just two weeks remaining in the regular season, the defending national champion University of Wyoming Cowgirls still have a chance to qualify for this summer's College National Finals Rodeo (CNFR) in Casper.
The UW women had their best outing of the spring Central Rocky Mountain Region (CRMR) season Sunday, placing second in the Ropin' and Riggin' Days rodeo hosted by Casper College. The Cowgirls tallied 260 team points to finish behind season-long leader Gillette College, which had 300 points.
But more important, UW's weekend performance closed the gap for second place in the overall regional standings. Only the top two teams advance to the CNFR and the Cowgirls, who have won two of the past three national titles, took advantage of regional second place Central Wyoming College's poor performance. The Lady Rustlers scored just 25 points at the Casper College Rodeo, leaving the Cowgirls within striking distance of 203.33 points behind CWC.
The Cowgirls' charge was led by Wheatland junior Dana Weiser who won the goat tying competition and totaled 175 points for UW. She was tied for first place after the opening round, and then used a 7.8 short go time to vault her in the average at 16.1 seconds.
UW also picked up additional points from one other Cowgirl. Breakaway roper Kaycee Nelson, Buffalo, S.D. freshman, was fourth in the average.
Gillette College leads the overall CRMR team chase with 2,815, while CWC has 1,306 points and the Cowgirls are third with 1,103.33.
The UW men had a rough outing and continued to fall out of regional contention. The Cowboys scored just 70 points from bareback rider Shoshoni senior Thomas Baker, who was fifth in the average.
Perennial power, CWC, won the Casper College rodeo team title with 815, while the host T-Birds were second with 470.
Gillette College also leads the men's CRMR overall team standings with 4,296 points and CWC should be one of the top two teams heading to the CNFR. The Rustlers are in second place with 4,090, while the UW men are a distant fifth with 1,835.
NJC will host the weekend rodeo in Sterling, Colo. UW will host the final rodeo of the regular season April 30-May 2.
Listed are the team scores the top six individuals in the average from the Casper College Rodeo:
Men's team scores -- Central Wyoming (CWC) 815; Casper College (CC) 470; Gillette College (GC) 275; Northeastern Junior College (NJC) 250; Eastern Wyoming College (EWC) 245; Lamar Community College (LCC); 240; Chadron State College (CSC) 195; Laramie County Community College (LCCC) 185; Colorado State University (CSU) 125, University of Wyoming (UW) 70; Otero Community College (OCC) 5.
Bareback riding -- Ty Breuer, CWC, 151; Chance Madsen, CC, and Whitten Hoover, CSC, 138; Ty Werdel, CSC, 135; Thomas Baker, UW, 129; Troy Bechen, CC, 75.
Saddle bronc riding -- Riley Knoll, CWC, 140; Ray Tom Meiers, CC, 136; Colt Hamaker, CWC, 133. Only three on two successful rides.
Bull riding -- Loncey Johnson, LCCC, 165. Only contestant on two successful rides.
Steer wrestling -- Jake Kraupie, EWC, 11; Cameron Trimber, UW, 12.6; Jim Roedeske, CC, 13.1; J.W. Lorenz, CWC, 14.1; Hadley Berger, UW, 17.3; Tyrel Bonnet, SC, 20.5.
Tie down roping -- Dane Kissack, GC, 19.1; Joey Dickens, CSU, 19.8; Kyle Broce, NJC, and Riley Warren, CWC, 20; Mitch McAdow, NJC, 21.9; Troy Wilcox, EWC, 22.4.
Team roping -- Mike Bates/Derek Hermes, LCC, 16.6; Jordan Steele, UW/Dustin Smith, GC, 21.8; Brandon Lippert/Kolten Keirns, NJC, 23.7; Colt Hamaker/Clay Gruel, CWC, 39.9. Only teams with two successful runs.
Women's team scores -- GC 300; UW 260, LCC 210; CC 170; CSC 130; Sheridan College (SC) 100; NJC 70; CSU 50; CWC 25.
Barrel racing -- Nikki Steffes, UW, 30.43; Chelsea Moore, GC, 30.60; Britta O'Keefe, UW, 30.94; Dani Buhler, CSU, 31.05; Amy Tierney, NJC, 31.20; Shay Stiles, CSU, 31.33.
Breakaway roping -- Lydia Coe, LCC, 5.6; Kelsey Scott, CSC, 5.8; Lacey Schuelke, SC, 6; Kaycee Nelson, UW, 6.7; Kelsey Smith, UW, 8; Lacey Tech, CWC, 15.8.
Goat tying -- Dana Weiser, UW, 16.1; Jordan Thurston, GC, 16.3; Nikki Steffes, UW, 16.8; Chris Basler, NJC, 17.8; Chelsie Wilhoite, LCC, 18.4; Kayla Hedrick, CWC, 19.7.