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April 23, 2013 — It may be too late for the University of Wyoming Cowgirls to send a full team to June’s College National Finals Rodeo (CNFR), but the Cowboys still have a chance.
But the UW men have to wait more than a week to get that opportunity.
Both UW teams fell out of contention with average performances at last weekend’s Ropin’ and Riggin’ Days Rodeo, hosted by Casper College. And both UW teams will need strong performances in the final Central Rocky Mountain Region (CRMR) rodeo to gain at least second place in the overall standings to qualify full squads for the CNFR.
Only the top two CRMR teams gain automatic bids to college rodeo’s biggest event at the Casper Events Center in June. However, individuals who place in the top three in their respective regional events also can qualify for the CNFR.
But depth counts for a team’s ability to score points at the CNFR. That’s why both UW teams have to regroup and hope for the best at their own Laramie River Rendezvous Rodeo May 3-5 at the Cliff and Martha Hansen Livestock Teaching arena.
The Cowboys have to make up 245 points to overtake second-place Gillette College. The Pronghorns have 3,720 points through nine fall and spring rodeos while the Pokes have 3,475. Season-long leader Eastern Wyoming College (EWC) has all but wrapped up its first CRMR title in several years. The Lancers have 4,028.3 points on the year.
The Cowgirls have even bigger issues. After ending the fall season in first place, the UW women have struggled in all four spring rodeos. The squad has fallen to a distant third with 2,117.5 points and trails runner-up Gillette College by 427.5 points. The Pronghorns have a good chance to win the overall regional title, trailing Northeastern Junior College (NJC) by only 85 points.
The Cowboys and Cowgirls were fourth and sixth, respectively, at the weekend Casper College rodeo.
The UW men notched 245 team points, while the Pronghorns moved into the regional runner-up position by sharing the Ropin’ and Riggin’ Days title with leader EWC.
Normally, UW’s strong contingent of ropers carries the team, but its team ropers failed to score valuable points last weekend. Bareback rider Justin Moldaschel, from Stanton, Minn., continued his strong season, placing second at Casper College. He split the short go round with Gillette’s Casey Breuer. The pair also split third in the opening round.
The team’s only other points came from Descanso, Calif., junior Clayton Van Aken, who was fourth in the tie down average.
The Cowgirls received points from just one team member and scored a total of 155 points. Regional leaders NJC and Gillette College were first and second with 260 and 245 points, respectively.
Senior Kaycee Nelson, from Buffalo, S.D., took over the regional breakaway roping lead with her winning performance in Casper. She came out of the first round’s three hole to win the short go to win the average. She was the only roper to go under three seconds in the final round.
For a complete list of individual and team results from the Casper College rodeo, click here.