Needing a solid showing at the season-ending Laramie River Rendezvous back in April, the University of Wyoming women’s rodeo team delivered.
The Cowgirls entered the final rodeo of the 2018-19 Central Rocky Mountain Region season in first place, but both Eastern Wyoming College and Gillette College were within striking distance. So any slip-up by the Cowgirls could have been disastrous in their attempt to qualify for the College National Finals Rodeo.
Wyoming rodeo coach Beau Clark had faith his team would do what it needed to do.
“They all had to step up at the right times and execute for the team to be successful,” he said. “It was fun to watch them.”
The Cowgirls scored a season-best 585 points to increase the distance between themselves and runner-up Eastern Wyoming, which was second with 300 points. The win was the third in the final four rodeos of the spring for Wyoming.
At the final rodeo, Teisha Coffield finished second in goat tying and sixth in breakaway roping on her way to winning the all-around and breakaway titles for the season. Rachael Calvo was the runner-up in barrel racing and finished as the regional champ in the event. And Kelsey Lensegrav placed fifth in barrel racing.
Those three, along with breakaway roper Payton Donnelly, comprise the Cowgirls’ team at this year’s CNFR. Both Coffield and Donnelly will compete Sunday during the Bulls, Broncs & Breakaway competition.
“All four of these girls have rodeoed a lot so I really don’t see them making being at the CNFR a bigger moment than what it is,” Clark said. “I know all the girls have been working at it and they’ll be well-prepared. And they’ll be confident in their abilities, they won’t push or panic and try to make the moment bigger than it is.”
Coffield and Lensegrav both had some success at last year’s college finals. Coffield, competing for Colorado State University-Pueblo, tied for second place in the second go-round with a 2.2-second run, but missed a chance to make the short go when she failed to catch her calf in the third go. Lensegrav was seventh in the second go after tipping a barrel in her first go. Unfortunately, she had to turn out for her third go when her horse got sick.
Clark expects them to build on that success this year based on how they performed during the regional season.
“Our girls did a great job all year,” he said. “And all of them ran barrels, tied goats and did breakaway, and some of them even team roped, so they were busy every day at practice working on two or three events.
“All four of the girls here had great years,” Clark added. “And we had other girls who did a good job of making short rounds and kind of playing defense at times where they stopped girls on other teams from scoring points.”