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Published May 03, 2021
From the opening rodeo last fall until the final event this past weekend, there was no doubt that the University of Wyoming had the teams to beat in the Central Rocky Mountain Region (CRMR).
The Cowboys and Cowgirls went wire-to-wire during the fall and spring seasons to capture their third consecutive CRMR team titles.
The UW women were so dominant this season that they swept all five fall rodeos and took four of the five spring events in accumulating 3,644.65 points to send the four-member points team to next month’s College National Finals Rodeo (CNFR). The Cowgirls easily outdistanced runner-up Chadron State College, which had 1,810.84 points.
Only the top two regional teams earn automatic CNFR bids, along with the top three competitors in each individual event.
The Cowboys were equally dominant this season, piling up 6,818.5 points in winning six of 10 rodeos during the split seasons. Gillette College qualified for the CNFR in Casper with a runner-up total of 4,952 points.
Another indication of just how dominant Coach Beau Clark’s teams were this past season: The Cowboys and Cowgirls won individual regional titles in seven of the nine men’s and women’s events. Most of UW’s regional champions were on the points teams throughout the season.
UW Cowgirls swept all three women’s events. Regional event champions are:
-- All-around: Faith Hoffman, Kiowa, Colo., who also won the goat tying event.
-- Breakaway roping: Brandy Schaack, of Hyannis, Neb.
-- Barrel racing: Karson Bradley, from Big Piney.
Taylour Latham, from Roosevelt, Utah, was the goat tying runner-up.
UW men’s CRMR event champions are:
-- All-around: Jase Staudt, Nathrop, Colo., who combined with partner JC Flake, of Gillette College, to win the team roping title. Staudt also won the tie down roping event.
-- Bareback riding: Donny Proffit, Kemmerer.
-- Saddle Bronc riding, Garrett Uptain, from Craig, Colo.
Seth Peterson, of Minot, N.D., was the CRMR steer wrestling runner-up.
Representing the UW women at the CNFR on the four-member points team will be Bradley in barrel racing; Hoffman in breakaway roping and goat tying; Latham in goat tying; and Schaack in breakaway roping. Hailey Hardeman, from Jackson, also qualified for the CNFR in breakaway roping after moving from seventh to third in the final regional standings.
“This is the most talented group of Cowgirls that the University of Wyoming rodeo program has taken to the CNFR in a long time,” Clark says. “The points team will be represented by four women who are extremely competitive and relentless in their work ethic and preparation to succeed.”
He says the group is well balanced among the three women’s events, and he hopes for great things for them at the CNFR.
“We are ecstatic and proud of Hailey Hardeman. We knew she had a chance if things would fall her way and, to her credit, she was able to go execute her job and control the things she could control,” Clark adds. “We are very impressed with how she handled the moment and was able to capitalize on the opportunity to make the CNFR as a freshman.”
Qualifying for the men’s CNFR team are Coffield and Peterson, both in calf roping and steer wrestling; Proffit in bareback riding; Staudt in team and tie down roping; and Uptain in saddle bronc riding.
“We are really excited for this group of men that we are taking to the CNFR. They have a ton of experience in finals situations,” Clark says. “Four of them have all been to the CNFR in the past, and Donny, who will be making his first appearance at the CNFR, has won four state championships in that building as a Wyoming high school wrestler from Kemmerer.”
He adds that this is a “great group of Cowboys who will represent the brand of excellence that the UW rodeo program is building.”
The Cowgirls closed out their strong season by dominating the year-end Colorado State University (CSU) rodeo in Greeley, Colo. The UW women tallied 475 points through the weekend, while Sheridan College was a distant second at 170.
Yoder’s Jacey Thompson paced the UW women by placing in two events. She was second in goat tying and fifth in breakaway roping. Latham returned to the points team and promptly won the goat tying event. Hoffman split fourth in the goat tying average.
Five of the six UW men’s points team members scored in the final CSU rodeo.
Proffit and Chadron Coffield, of Yuma, Colo., scored 100 team points each when they were fourth in the average in bareback bronc riding and steer wrestling, respectively. Peterson was fifth in steer wrestling; Staudt sixth in the team roping average; and Austin Hurlburt, of Norfolk, Neb., added points in steer wrestling but missed out in the average.
Eastern Wyoming College took the final men’s rodeo team title with 490 points; Laramie County Community College was second with 430 points; and the Cowboys were third with 400 points.