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If the University of Wyoming rodeo teams are to contend for top honors at the College National Finals Rodeo (CNFR) this week in Casper, they will have to find more consistency in the arena.
After Monday's first of two slack sections, UW Coach George Howard summed it up: "Nothing real exciting happened today, but it was not bad."
His three-member women's team has some early concerns after the Cowgirls competed in two different events. Scoring leader Dana Weiser, a Wheatland junior, has pulled up somewhat lame and is hampered by a sore hamstring.
The injury affected her performance in the first round of goat tying competition. The nagging injury was noticeable when Weiser dismounted her horse, which slowed her giving her an 8.3-second effort.
Then both the team's barrel racers had difficulty getting through clean runs on the cloverleaf pattern. Laramie junior Ilene Choal's horse over-ran the second barrel causing her to add valuable seconds to her time when she posted a 16.3-second clocking. Then teammate Josie Davison, a Miles City, Mont., junior, tipped the second barrel adding a 5-second penalty to her total of 20.3 seconds.
Nikki Steffes, whose points will not count in the UW Cowgirls' overall team production, had an unruly goat and finished with a 7.3 opening round time.
UW's top team roper, Jordan Steele, a senior from Aladdin, and partner Dustin Smith of Gillette College, moved into the top eight after the completion of round one when they had a successful 8.8 time.
Two other UW team ropers also had a good opening rounds with successful efforts, but they both had 5-second penalties when the heelers only managed to loop one of the steer's legs.
Pavillion cousins Dahl and Chance Nicholls had a time of 12.8 and Riley Millward of Jackson and partner Dane Kissack of Gillette College came in at 13.5.
The fifth UW team roper, Beau Miller of Gillette, and partner Cole Dorenkamp of Gillette College, had a no-time.
Tuesday morning is the second section of slack and the first of five straight nightly performances begins later that evening at the Casper Events Center.