It did not take the University of Wyoming men’s rodeo team long to break its school record for most points at a single rodeo — one week, to be exact.
For the second consecutive week, the UW Cowboys’ dominance to start the season left no doubt just how balanced Coach Beau Clark’s team is on both ends of the arena. This time, the Cowboys scored a whopping 965 team points — just 35 points away from an unheard-of 1,000 team points for a Central Rocky Mountain Region (CRMR) rodeo — at the weekend Chadron State College rodeo.
The Cowboys destroyed the field, topping second-place Laramie County Community College (LCCC) by 560 points. Third went to Casper College with 370 points. After just two rodeos, the UW men are nearing the 2,000-point mark with 1,900 points, while runner-up LCCC has 1,130 points and Casper College has 835.
The UW women broke through after a slow opening rodeo when they captured their first team title at Chadron State. The Cowgirls scored 460 points to win for the first time and, in the process, moved atop the CRMR standings with 610 points.
Second at Chadron State was Casper College with 355 points, and Eastern Wyoming College scored 180 for third place. Overall, Casper College is second to the Cowgirls with 570 points. Gillette College holds down the third spot with 420 points.
“It was impressive to watch all of the UW rodeo students this week. I thought we did a great job of keeping things simple and just doing their job when it was their turn,” Clark says. “Overall, just a great team effort. The results are a reflection of all of the work they put into it during the week. I couldn’t be more proud of UW rodeo these last two weeks.”
Five of the six UW men’s points team members contributed to the Cowboys’ total output, and no one had a bigger weekend than all-around winner Garrett Uptain. All the Craig, Colo., senior did was record perfect scores after each round in both saddle bronc and bull riding. Uptain won both the short and long go rounds in both events while also nabbing the overall average in the two roughstock events. He had a perfect 180 points in each event, for a total of 360 points.
“Garrett deserves all of the success he has had,” Clark says. “That young man has worked hard to get where he is, and it’s fun to watch.”
The Cowboys also received production from:
— Cameron Jensen, from Hyannis, Neb., broke into the men’s points team for the first time and responded with a third-place finish in tie down roping. He also split fourth place in team roping with partner Tanner Whetham, of Chadron State.
— Austin Hurlburt, of Norfolk, Neb., was the steer wrestling runner-up.
— Brice Patterson, from Bozeman, Mont., placed second in saddle bronc riding.
— Donny Proffit, of Kemmerer, took third, finishing one place behind Patterson.
A revamped UW women’s points team helped the Cowgirls win last weekend:
— Makenna Balkenbush, from Sheridan, was fifth in the barrel racing average. She competed for the first time this season on the points team.
— Riata Day, of Fleming, Colo., who qualified for the College National Finals Rodeo last year for Northeastern Junior College in goat tying, won the event in her first points team appearance for the Cowgirls.
— Faith Hoffman, of Kiowa, Colo., earned the runner-up award in goat tying.
— Taylour Latham, from Roosevelt, Utah, rounded out the scoring by placing third in goat tying, giving the Cowgirls a 1-2-3 finish in the event. She also was second in barrel racing.
The CRMR tour continues this weekend with the Sheridan College rodeo.