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The University of Wyoming men's rodeo team improved from week one, but the Cowgirls went in the opposite direction.
The Cowboys placed sixth overall at the Central Wyoming College (CWC) rodeo in Riverton Sunday with 300 points, but still finished back among the Central Rocky Mountain Region (CRMR) overall leaders. Just two weeks into the season the UW men are ninth overall in the regional standings.
It was a rough weekend for the Cowgirls. They showed early season promise with a third place finish in the opening weekend, but faltered mightily at the CWC rodeo, getting no points. All four Cowgirls failed to score in either of the two rounds of competition.
CWC won both the men's and women's divisions in its home rodeo during the weekend competition. The third stop in the CRMR fall schedule is this weekend's Sheridan College rodeo.
UW senior Merritt Smith had a breakout weekend in Riverton after failing to place in the opening rodeo. The Gillette native finished second in the saddle bronc average and was boosted by a runner-up mark in the short go.
Sophomore Kade Merritt of Eaton, Colo., and UW teammate Clayton Van Aken, a Descanso, Calif., freshman, combined to place fifth in the team roping average for another 120 points. Van Aken tallied the final 60 UW team points with a fifth-place finish in tie down roping. He finished second in the all-around competition to Casper College's Riley Krassin.
The Cowboys finished with 300 team points, while CWC had a winning 465 -- 20 better than defending CRMR champion Gillette College. Overall regional leader Casper College was third at the CWC rodeo with 380 points.
The CWC women won their portion of the home rodeo with 420 points, while Chadron State College took second with 300. Taking the rodeo's all-around title was Northeastern Junior College's Amy Tiernan.
Listed are the team points from the CWC rodeo followed by the winners in the average:
Women's team points -- Central Wyoming College (CWC) 420; Chadron State College (CSC) 300; Northeastern Junior College (NJC) 235; Eastern Wyoming College (EWC) 220; Laramie County Community College (LCCC) 175; Colorado State University (CSU) 120; Casper College (CC) 100.
Men's team points -- CWC 465; Gillette College (GC) 445; CC 380; NJC 375; LCCC 315; University of Wyoming (UW) 300; Lamar Community College (LCC) 220; EWC and CSC 160; Sheridan College (SC) 130; CSU 95; Otero College 50.
Goat tying -- Traci Hinman, CWC, 17.1; Lacey Tech, CWC, 17.3; Heather Bregar, UW, 17.9; Kodi Hansen, CWC, 18; Megan Belus, CC, 18.1; Jordan Thurston, GC, 18.7.
Breakaway roping -- Kaycee Werdel, CSC, 6.5; Kelsey Scott, CSC, 7.8; Shelby Winchell, EWC, 9.1; Toree Gunn, EWC, 8.4; Amy Tierney, NJC, 9.5; Taylor Holmes, CC, 13.2.
Barrel racing -- Raelynn Keller, LCCC, 36.08; Dani Buhler, CSU, 36.27; Samantha Tallent, NJC, 36.40; Amy Tierney, NJC, 36.41; Stephanie Newman, EWC, 36.44; Amy Newman, UW, 36.52.
Bareback riding -- Chance Madsen, CC, and Ty Taypotat, LCCC, both 143; Whitten Hoover, CSC, 142; Spencer Brown, OC, 109. Only four riders on two.
Saddle bronc riding -- Cole Elshere, GC, 152; Merritt Smith, UW, 144; Wyatt Thurston, CWC, 142. Only three riders on two.
Bull riding -- Loncey Johnson, LCCC, 152; Johnathon Herman, GC, 134. Only riders on two.
Steer wrestling -- Daine McNenny, CWC, 11.5; Travis Wondra, CC, 13.3; Nick Winterhalder, CSU, 14.3; Carter Coble, LCC, 15.8; Levi Gorsuch, CSC, 17.9; Kelby Bond, NJC, 19.8.
Tie down roping -- Riley Pruitt, EWC, 17.8; Dane Kissack, GC, 18.4; Riley Krassin, CC, 19.4; Clayton Van Aken, UW, 22; split, Mitch McAdow, NJC, Eric Martin, CSU, and Casey Good, CC, all at 22.5.
Team roping -- Joe Pullera, CSU/Coley Wondra, UW, 13.4; Brandon Lippert/Cody Mcluskey, NJC, 15.7; Marlys McGuire, Dalton Harris, LCC, 17.7. Only three teams on two.