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Published March 21, 2022
All it took was one dominating performance for the University of Wyoming Cowgirls to climb into first place in the Central Rocky Mountain Region (CRMR), while their Cowboy teammates kept on winning.
The Cowgirls overwhelmed the field in taking the first rodeo of the spring season last weekend at Gillette College. The Cowgirls won one event and had one team member place second in two others to rack up 640 points to outdistance runner-up Northeastern Junior College, which had 230 points. Eastern Wyoming College (EWC) was third with 185 points.
The win helped the UW women vault from third place in the regional standings after the fall season into first place. The Cowgirls now have 1,645 points through six of 10 rodeos in the combined seasons. Gillette, the fall season break’s CRMR leader, slipped to second place with 1,610 points, while Casper College moved to third with 1,330.
On the other side of the ledger, the UW men won their sixth straight rodeo, taking the Gillette College team title with 645 points to edge Casper College, which was 35 points behind the Cowboys. The host Pronghorns were the third-place team with 275 points.
The Cowboys added to their seasonlong dominance of the region and now have 5,135 points with four remaining events left on the season. Casper College and Laramie County Community College (LCCC) remained second and third, respectively, with 3,230 points and 2,225.
Interior, S.D., senior Kelsey Lensegrav returned to the UW women’s points team in a big way after a two-year absence from the starting lineup. She was a member of the women’s points team her first two seasons at UW.
Lensegrav placed second in all three women’s events -- barrel racing, breakaway roping and goat tying -- to score 360 of the team’s total. She easily won the women’s all-around over the weekend.
“The women’s team had a great weekend, and I’m really happy for Kelsey Lensegrav,” UW Coach Beau Clark says. “Last fall was a huge challenge for her as she had to overcome an illness and, then, she lost her great barrel horse at Cheyenne at the LCCC rodeo.”
All four UW women’s points team members scored at the Gillette College rodeo:
-- Riata Day, from Fleming, Colo., won the goat tying short go to propel her to first place in the average.
-- Faith Hoffman, of Kiowa, Colo., took the opening round of goat tying but did not record a time in the short go, leaving her sixth in the average.
-- Taylour Latham, from Roosevelt, Utah, split third in the opening round of the goat tying competition, but she did not have a time in the short go, which kept her out of the average.
“The success of the women’s team is not only from the girls on the points team, but the team, as a whole, is working really hard, and it’s nice to see some success at the first rodeo,” Clark says.
Clark praises the weekend performances of non-points team members McKenna Balkenbush, of Sheridan, in barrel racing; goat tyer Reata Beck, from Albin; and Cassidy March, of Hot Springs, S.D., in breakaway roping.
Just like their Cowgirl counterparts, the UW men received scoring from all six points team members, which included one first-place event winner and a pair of runner-up finishers:
-- Kemmerer’s Donny Proffit kept his grip on the region’s bareback bronc riding lead by stringing together two solid rides to win the average while scoring 170 points for the team.
-- Brice Patterson, from Bozeman, Mont., won the opening round of bareback bronc riding, and he marked in the short go for third to wind up the runner-up to Proffit in the average. He added 150 more team points.
-- The region’s all-around leader, Garrett Uptain, of Craig, Colo., scored 140 more points in saddle bronc riding when he placed second in the average on the strength of winning the short go.
-- Cameron Jensen, of Hyannis, Neb., placed third in steer wrestling.
-- Austin Hurlburt, of Norfolk, Neb., and LCCC’s Chance Derner won the opening round in team roping, but they could not match that performance in the short go and had to settle for sixth in the average.
-- And Chadron Coffield, from Yuma, Colo., and UW teammate Quincy Reynolds, of Gillette, were fourth in the team roping average.
“The boys had a great weekend -- a lot of solid performances from Proffit, Patterson, Uptain and Jensen,” Clark says. He also adds that non-points team members Drake Amundson, of Wheatland; David Gallagher, from Brighton, Colo.; and Rio Nutter, from Rapid City, S.D., had good performances.
EWC will host the next CRMR rodeo this weekend in Torrington.