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Halfway through the two-part rodeo schedule, the University of Wyoming men’s team is in serious contention for its first regional title since the 2005-06 season.
Both UW rodeo teams ended the fall potion of the Central Rocky Mountain Region (CRMR) on a successful note. The team finished as the runners-up at the annual Shawn Dubie Memorial Rodeo last weekend, hosted by Laramie County Community College (LCCC) in Cheyenne.
It has been a steady year for veteran Coach George Howard’s Pokes, who have finished in the top three in four of the five fall rodeos this season.
Last week’s second-place finish enabled the Cowboys to cut into perennial men’s champion Gillette College’s overall CRMR lead. The Pronghorns have scored 2,095 points through five weekend competitions, while UW’s men are just 100 points back. With Casper College’s win at LCCC last weekend, the T-Birds moved into third place overall in the regional standings with 1,755 points, while Eastern Wyoming College of Torrington has 1,665.
Casper College won the final rodeo with 375 points in the lowest scoring competition this fall. The Pokes were 45 points behind the T-Birds, and Northeastern Junior College (Sterling, Colo.) placed third with 313 points. Sheridan College was next at 305.
The Cowboys scored a large chunk of their points in just two events at Cheyenne.
Brady Dinwoodie, from Canada, took the opening round in saddle bronc riding with a high score of 75 points. He managed just 58 more points in the short go, but his combined two-ride score of 133 points was good enough for second in the average. He scored 150 points for the team.
Teammates Britt Ellerman, a senior from Fort Lupton, Colo., and junior Dillon Simonson, of Purdum, Neb., added 140 more points in team roping.
Ellerman and partner Trey Yates of EWC won the opening round with a team best 7.3 seconds, but missed their steer in the short go. They wound up with fifth-place points in the average. Simonson and Gillette College’s Cody Nye were fourth in the average, and were among just four roping pairs to successfully tie up a steer in the short go.
The team’s final points came from Tylor Bond, from Avondale, Colo., in steer wrestling. His second-round time was good enough to put him fifth in the bulldogging average.
With the completion of the fall schedule, UW has three team members ranked high in individual events.
Ellerman leads all regional headers in team roping, while partner Yates is the top heeler. Ellerman has scored 495 points on the year, while EWC’s Blaine Finney is a distant second at 245.
Dinwoodie continues to be steady, leading the pack in saddle bronc riding. He accumulated 495 points through five events. He leads second-place Tayte Clark of Sheridan College by 135 points.
Simonson currently sits in the runner-up spot in steer wrestling with 365 points, while LCCC’s Kalane Anders is the region’s top bulldogger with 405.
In its best showing to date, the UW women’s team tied for second at LCCC last week, with just one team member scoring all of the Cowgirls’ points.
Sophomore Amelia Anderson from Forsyth, Mont., won the goat tying completion, marking the first time this season a Cowgirl has won an event. Anderson had two successful rounds, splitting first place in the opening section of tying. She came back with an identical 7-second time in the short go to take the average. In all, she scored 175 points for the Cowgirls.
That point production was good enough to give the UW women second place with the host LCCC women, while Gillette College took the team title with 305 points. The Lady Pronghorns lead all CRMR teams with 1,865 points after five fall rodeos, followed by NJC with 1,220 points, and Sheridan College is third with 845. The Cowgirls remained ninth in the standings with 260 points heading into the spring schedule.
Individually, Anderson is now eighth overall in goat tying after her LCCC win. The only other Cowgirl in the top 10 is Kylie Kvamme from Carrington, N.D., who is ninth in breakaway roping.
The 2015 spring schedule picks up March 20-22 at Gillette College.