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Published October 17, 2022
Halfway to a fifth straight Central Rocky Mountain Region (CRMR) title.
That is what the University of Wyoming men’s rodeo team will contemplate over the winter, as the Cowboys finished the fall portion of the 10-event season sitting atop the CRMR standings. The five-rodeo spring season begins next March.
The Cowboys placed second in the season finale over the weekend at the Shawn Dubie Memorial Rodeo hosted by Laramie County Community College (LCCC) in Cheyenne. The team finished behind Casper College, which racked up 565 points to outpace the UW men, who were 155 points off the T-Birds’ winning pace. The host LCCC men were third in their home event with 355 points.
Overall, the Cowboys finished the fall season with 3,045 points, while Casper College and LCCC were next, posting 2,680 and 1,940 points, respectively.
For the fifth straight rodeo, the UW Cowgirls were second; in the previous four CRMR competitions, the women finished behind front-running Gillette College. But, over the weekend, the host LCCC club compiled 495 points to top the Cowgirls by 95 points.
Gillette College heads the women’s overall team race going into the spring season with 1,959 points, while the UW women have accumulated 1,508.33 points, and the LCCC team has 1,180.
“We had a great fall. We are looking forward to the training we will put in this fall and through the spring,” UW Coach Beau Clark says.
The top two teams in both the men’s and women’s divisions automatically qualify for next summer’s College National Finals Rodeo (CNFR) in Casper.
Only three of the six UW men on the points team scored in Cheyenne:
-- All-around LCCC rodeo runner-up Brice Patterson, from Bozeman, Mont., led the way when he placed in two events. He split the bareback riding competition with teammate Donny Proffit, of Kemmerer. Patterson was not among the top six in the opening round of steer wrestling, but he came up big in the short go, winning the round that gave him fourth in the average.
-- Final points came from teammate Cam Jensen, of Hyannis, Neb., who was fifth in the bulldogging average.
Just like their UW men counterparts, the Cowgirls also had three points team members score:
-- Gillette’s Sage Kohr continued to excel in barrel racing late in the year when she won both rounds of competition to take the overall average.
-- Faith Hoffman, of Kiowa, Colo., made a late-season push to stay in goat tying contention when she split the fastest time in the opening round and recorded the second-best time in the short go to wind up as the event’s runner-up.
-- Kenna McNeill, from Hobbs, N.M., added the final points, placing fourth in the goat tying average.
“For the women’s team, Sage Kohr was dominant in the barrels, and Faith Hoffman had an outstanding performance in the goats,” Clark says.
Several UW Cowboys and Cowgirls also did well at the final rodeo, but they were not selected for either points team.
Wheatland’s Drake Amundson won the men’s bareback riding short go to place third in the average, and teammate Colton Farrow, of Greybull, placed sixth in the same event. Partners Stratton Kohr and Quincy Reynolds, both from Gillette, were fourth in the team roping average.
“Drake won the second round in the bareback riding, and it has been fun to watch him improve and compete this fall,” Clark says.
For the UW women, Gillette’s Emme Norsworthy was fourth in the barrel racing average, and teammate Lily Van Ness, of Steamboat Springs, Colo., was sixth in the same event. Kassandra Shoemaker, from Gill, Colo., was the breakaway roping runner-up, and teammate Jordyn McNamee, of Buffalo, placed fifth in the same event’s average.
“I am really excited for Emme Norsworthy, who is the regional leader after the fall season,” Clark says. “She has trained an amazing horse, and I am excited to watch her compete next spring.”
The top three individuals in each event earn automatic bids to June’s CNFR regardless if they are on the points team. Besides Norsworthy, other individual CRMR event contenders are:
-- For the Cowboys, Bodie Mattson, from Sturgis, S.D., and partner Carson Johnson, from Casper College, are the region’s top team ropers. Patterson, who currently is second in bareback riding, is followed by teammates Proffit and Amundson. Jensen is tie down roping’s second-best competitor; Riverton’s Dylan Grant currently is the second-best bull rider; and Jacob Wang, of Baker, Mont., is splitting second in steer wrestling. He is just five points off the leader, while teammate Kaden Berger, of Saratoga, is fourth and just five points behind Wang.
-- On the women’s side, Hoffman is second in goat tying as is Kohr in breakaway roping.