UW Men's Team Climbs Up Regional Rodeo Standings

October 5, 2010

With just one fall rodeo left on the Central Rocky Mountain Region (CRMR) schedule, the University of Wyoming men's team is making a serious run for the top position.

Even though the Cowboys finished fourth at the Lamar (Colo.) Community College (LCC) rodeo last weekend, it was how close out of first place UW was from taking the team title. Less than seven points separated the top four teams.

Defending CRMR champion Gillette College (GC) won the LCC rodeo with 460 points and just five points back were both the host Lamar club and Casper College. The Pokes were next with 453.3 points. UW is now just about 300 points out of first place in the overall region standings.

The GC Pronghorns have taken the overall CRMR lead after four fall rodeos with a total of 1,685 points. Just 75 points back in second is Casper College and the UW men have shot past two other clubs for third place with 1,383.3 points. Just the top two teams in the region get automatic bids to next summer's College National Finals Rodeo in Casper.

A pair of UW youngsters continued to move up the overall team roping standings with another strong performance last weekend. Header Kade Merritt, a marketing sophomore from Eaton, Colo., and heeler Clayton Van Aken, a Descanso, Calif., pre-veterinary freshman, split first in the opening round and had the second-fastest time in the short go to finish second in the average. They are now just 20 points from taking the overall points lead in the CRMR.

Competing on the six-man UW team for the first time, Coley Wondra, an agriculture education senior from Casper, partnered with Colorado State University's Joe Pullera to advance to the team roping short go. Wondra added 23.3 points to the overall team's output.

Thomas Smith, an engineering major from Eden, was second in the steer wrestling short go and scored fifth-place points in the overall average. The final points came from senior Merritt Smith of Gillette in saddle bronc riding. He split second in the opening round, but failed to mark in the short go.

Two other UW teammates scored individual points, but their scores did not count toward the Cowboy team's overall production. Cody Alvernaz, a pre-veterinary freshman from Williams, Calif., and Devin Nicholls, an undeclared freshman from Riverton, reached the team roping short go after scoring fifth place points in the opening round.

Eastern Wyoming's Troy Wilcox took all-around honors at LCC.

Appearing to finally break through the week before with one of its better outings, the UW women's team took a step back by scoring just 60 points at Lamar. Lander's Heather Bregar, a kinesiology sophomore, was sixth in the goat tying average for the Cowgirls' only team points.

Defending region champion Gillette College won the LCC team title with 400 team points, while Central Wyoming College netted 342.5.

Only one UW competitor placed in the average in any of the three women's events, but Dana Weiser's points didn't count in the team's standings. The Wheatland computer science senior was fourth in the goat tying average.

Gillette College's Chelsea Moore won the women's all-around title.

The CRMR teams have the weekend off, with the fall season's final home rodeo Oct. 15-17, at Laramie County Community College in Cheyenne.

Listed are the team scores from the LCC rodeo followed by the top six individuals in the average:

Women's team scores - Gillette College (GC) 400; Central Wyoming College (CWC) 342.5; Laramie County Community College (LCCC) 215; Eastern Wyoming College (EWC) 113.3; Northeastern Junior College (NJC) 87.5; University of Wyoming (UW) and Sheridan College (SC) both 60; Chadron State College (CSC) 30; Otero Community College (OCC) 7.5; Casper College (CC) 3.3.

Men's team scores - GC, 460l LCC and CC both 455; UW 453.3; NJC, 380; CSC, 375; EWC, 355; CWC, 200; CSU 110; LCCC 90; SC 40.

Goat tying -- Chelsea Moore, GC, and Traci Hinman, CWC, both 16.5; Shelby Winchell, EWC, 16.8; Dana Weiser, UW, 16.9; Heather Bregar, UW, 17.3; Jordan Thurstan, GC, 17.3.

Breakaway roping -- Tori Bonham, LCCC, 6.4; Charlie Opela, EWC, 6.8; Jacalyn Walker, CWC, 7; Chelsey Kelly, SC, 16.7. On two.

Barrel racing -- Marlys McGuire, GC, 36.28; Jesse Pichler, LCCC, 36.32; Raelynn Keller, LCCC, 36.39; Kali Palen, NJC, 36.59; Amy Tierney, NJC, 36.64; Branda Williams, EWC, 36.97.

Bareback riding -- Chance Madsen, CC, 148; Whitten Hoover, CSC, 144; Justin Moldaschel, CC, 142; Ty Taypotat, LCCC, 131; Shane Stevens. SC, 119. On two.

Saddle bronc riding -- Chancy Miller, GC, 155; Cole Elshere, GC, 154; Ray Tom Meiers, CC, 147; Charlie Kogianes, CWC, 144; Ty Hiatt, SC, 131. On two.

Bull riding -- Chase Reed, LCC, 162; Taylor Miller, GC, 154; Nathan Schaper, GC, 151; Kris Newman, CC, 141.

Tie down roping -- Riley Pruitt, EWC, 17.1; Joey Dickens, CSU, 18.6; Dane Kissack, GC, 18.8; Mitch McAdow, NJC, 20.1; Troy Wilcox, EWC, 20.7; Tyler Mattarocci, LCC, 21.7.

Steer wrestling -- Carter Coble, LCC, 13; Tyrel Bonnet, CSC, 13.1; Troy Wilcox, EWC, 13.3; Travis Wondra, CC, 13.4; Thomas Smith, UW, 13.6; Miles Spickelmier, CSC, 14.3.

Team roping -- Tyler Schnaufer, LCC/Shay Carroll, NJC, 14.1; Kade Merritt/Clayton Van Aken, UW, 16.5; Colby Sturgeon, EWC/Will Van Hill, LCC, 22.5; Casey Good, CC/Tyler Schnaufer, LCC, 24.1. On two.

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