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Published October 10, 2017
Just like last year, the University of Wyoming women’s rodeo team closed out the first half of its fall season last weekend in second place. That standing will hold up until the spring season kicks off next March.
The fall portion of the Central Rocky Mountain Region (CRMR) season came to a close a week early when regional teams competed in Riverton last weekend at the Central Wyoming College (CWC) rodeo.
Laramie County Community College (LCCC) traditionally hosts the final fall Shane Dubie Memorial rodeo, but an unknown virus has attacked horses at the college, leaving officials no choice but to cancel the LCCC event this weekend, according to a story in Tuesday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle. It is tentatively rescheduled for the first weekend in March.
The Cowgirls wrapped up a successful first half of the season, finishing second at CWC. For the four fall rodeos, the UW women were the runners-up twice and placed third another time after getting off to a slow start in the season opener early last month at Chadron State College.
Overall, the Cowgirls remained fully entrenched in the second-place positon in the CRMR with 805 points, nearly 200 points ahead of third-place Eastern Wyoming College (EWC). All regional teams are chasing runaway leader Gillette College, which won all four rodeos this fall. The Pronghorns have amassed a whopping 1,815 points and will be hard to catch once the season resumes in March.
Last season, at this same time, the Cowgirls also were sitting second in the region at the close of the fall slate. They stayed there through the spring schedule and parlayed that into a surprising run at the year-end College National Finals Rodeo, where the UW women finished as the national runners-up.
Coach George Howard is looking to challenge again and may have found a new competitor on the team to go along with an existing veteran to help make up the four-member women’s team. The other two positions are still a work in progress as Howard looks for a winning foursome.
Freshman Justene Hirsig dominated breakaway roping last weekend in Riverton, winning both the long and short rounds en route to also taking the event’s average. She scored 60 points in all three and accumulated 180 of the team’s total of 270 points.
A week earlier, when she was not selected as part of the four-member Cowgirls team, the Cheyenne native won the team roping event, making her a threat in two roping events. But, her breakaway efforts at CWC have landed her fourth in the region with 180 points heading into the spring season. Gillette College’s Quincy Segelke leads all ropers with 325 points.
Hirsig’s teammate, Casey Reimler, remained the region’s top goat tying competitor after she placed fourth in the average at CWC. The Rozet senior holds a solid 120-point lead over EWC’s Jacey Thompson with 420 points through four rodeos.
Gillette College won its fourth straight fall rodeo last weekend, taking the team title with 295 points; the Cowgirls trailed by just 25 points.
The UW men have some ground to make up in the spring after falling two places to eighth place after last weekend’s outing. The Pokes scored just 150 points -- all in one event -- as Northeastern Junior College ((Sterling, Colo.) won for the first time this season with 580 points. Regional leader Sheridan College was second with 490 points.
The defending regional champion Sheridan College Generals lead the regional pack with 1,735 points, while Gillette College has scored 1,525. The Pokes are a distant eighth with 955.
Strong back-to-back weekends by UW bull rider Coby Lane vaulted the Torrington student atop the event’s leader board.
The freshman accounted for all 150 team points at Riverton last weekend, as he was the only rider to mark on two head. He took over the regional lead in his specialty event with 395 points in just two rodeos, while Chasen Cole of Chadron is second with 230.