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Published March 17, 2021
The University of Wyoming men’s and women’s teams open the spring season with a pair of Central Rocky Mountain Region (CRMR) rodeos this weekend in Gillette.
The Sheridan rodeo is scheduled in Gillette March 18-19, and the host Pronghorns will have their own rodeo March 20-21. Both rodeos will have just one head and one run for each competitor this weekend, instead of the usual long and short go rounds during a weekend event.
Both the Cowboys and Cowgirls will be going for their third consecutive regional titles this season. Both currently lead their respective CRMR divisions by a wide margin. Additionally, both will be favored with their points teams all intact for the spring portion of the 2020-21 season.
Third-year Coach Beau Clark says the spring season will be used to get better, eyeing the bigger picture: competing and doing well at the College National Finals Rodeo (CNFR) June 13-19 in Casper.
Clark has put together veteran teams on both ends of the arena this season.
“We have everybody back, and our team focus is how well everyone does this spring,” Clark says.
Heading the men’s points team are Chadron Coffield, from Yuma, Colo.; Austin Hurlburt, from Norfolk, Neb.; Seth Peterson, from Minot, N.D.; Donny Proffit, from Kemmerer; Jase Staudt, from Nathrop, Colo.; and Garrett Uptain, from Craig, Colo.
The six-member team leads the CRMR with 3,095 points, while Gillette College is second with 2,345 points, and Casper College sits third with 1,940 points.
Individually, the Pokes have put up some impressive points to be among CRMR event leaders.
Coffield is the men’s all-around leader; Proffit is the region’s top bareback rider; the Cowboys have the region’s top three tie down ropers in Coffield, Peterson and Hurlburt; Staudt is the top header in team roping; and Uptain is second in saddle bronc riding.
“The men have such a well-rounded team, and they are looking good on both ends of the arena for both the timed and roughstock events,” Clark says. “I’m really excited to see how those boys will do.”
The Cowgirls are coming off a dominant fall schedule, sweeping all four rodeos. The UW women have nearly a 1,000-point lead in the standings. The Cowgirls have 1,525 points heading into the six-rodeo schedule this spring, while Colorado State University has scored 540 points. A distant third is Chadron State College with 460.
Heading the four-member women’s team will be Faith Hoffman, from Kiowa, Colo.; Taylour Latham, from Roosevelt, Utah; Kelsey Lensegrav, from Interior, S.D.; and Jacey Thompson, from Yoder.
Individually, Hoffman and Latham are 1-2 in goat tying, making this event the deepest for the Cowgirls. Lensegrav is sixth, and Thompson is seventh. Hoffman also is fifth in breakaway roping, and Lensegrav is sixth in barrel racing. Hoffman, Latham and Lensegrav are among the all-around leaders. Competitors have to score 200 points or more in at least two individual events to earn the region’s all-around title.
To show how deep the UW women’s team is, two members not on the points team are individual event leaders. Karson Bradley, from Big Piney, is the region’s top barrel racer, and teammate Brandy Schaack, of Hyannis, Neb., leads the breakaway roping event.
“The women have really put in a lot of hard work, which will better prepare them for the finals in Casper,” Clark says.
UW’s annual Laramie River Rendezvous Rodeo is April 23-25 at the Hansen Livestock Teaching Arena.