It was not the ending that the University of Wyoming rodeo teams were looking for at the College National Finals Rodeo (CNFR) in Casper last weekend.
Coming off a historic season in which they accumulated the most points in school history, the UW Cowboys were riding high coming into the CNFR as the team with the second-most points in the nation. Certainly, expectations were high for the UW men. Additionally, the UW Cowgirls won the regional title for the fourth consecutive year — the same as their Cowboy teammates.
The UW teams wrapped up a tough week at the CNFR Saturday night at the Ford Wyoming Center.
The Cowboys placed 22nd overall with 175 points as compared to the two front-running schools: Tarleton State University (Stephenville, Texas) won the men’s national title with 900 points, while McNeese State University (Lake Charles, La.) was the runner-up with 780. The Cowgirls entered the short go sitting sixth in the nation but, without any finals qualifiers, they slipped six places with 175 points. Weatherford College (Weatherford, Texas) took the women’s team title with 538 points — eight better than second-place Southwest Oklahoma State University (Weatherford, Okla.).
“We had highs and lows all week and, at the end of the day, I’m proud of their effort all year and during the week,” UW Coach Beau Clark says. “For sure, there were some great moments for UW rodeo during the week, and we will build on those.”
Only one UW team member reached the short go: bareback rider Brice Patterson, of Bozeman, Mont., who split third place in the short go with 81.5 points. He finished seventh in the average. Teammate Austin Hurlburt, of Norfolk, Neb., also reached the championship round, seeded fifth in steer wrestling. However, he missed his steer in the short go and did not place.
During the week, Chadron Coffield, of Yuma, Colo., in tie down roping; Taylour Latham, of Lapoint, Utah, in goat tying; and Kemmerer bareback rider Donny Proffit all placed in their respective rounds.
“It’s impressive to compete at the level it takes to win here at the CNFR,” Clark says.
He also commented on the individual performances of goat tying teammates Riata Day, from Fleming, Colo., and Kelsey Lensegrav, of Interior, S.D., who were close to reaching the short go but were bumped out on the final day of qualifications.
“We can learn the most from our challenges, and the week will make our program better,” Clark says. “We can do better, and I can do better for the students. I am excited to regroup and maybe restructure some things in the program to help us compete here at the CNFR. College rodeo is impressive, and this rodeo is as good as it gets in the country.”