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CNFR - Sunday

Sheridan College bareback bronc rider Cole Reiner rides Ace of Spades last year during the Bulls, Broncs and Breakaway matinee performance of the College National Finals Rodeo at the Casper Events Center. Reiner now competes for Casper College.

Thanks to some mid-season acquisitions, the Casper College men’s rodeo team is making a late push in the Central Rocky Mountain Region team standings.

The Thunderbirds are currently fifth entering this weekend’s rodeo at Colorado State University, but won the rodeo at Eastern Wyoming College two weeks ago and were runners-up the week before that at Gillette College.

“We’ve got some great momentum going right now,” Casper College coach Jhett Johnson said. “We kind of dug ourselves a hole early in the season, but we’re trying to claw our way out of it.”

The T-Birds failed to score a team point at the season-opening rodeo in the fall and finished a distant ninth the following week. Two sixth-place finishes were sandwiched around a win at Lamar Community College to end the fall season, but Casper College still found itself well behind the pack entering the spring.

That’s when Sheridan College cowboys Cole Reiner, Lane Schuelke, K’s Thomson and Ian McGivney made the decision to transfer to Casper College. Both Reiner and McGivney have a family history with Casper College assistant coach Sandy Bob Forbes, so the move made sense once the four got things cleared with Sheridan College.

“After they got things taken care of, they called me and we worked it out,” Johnson said. “They were looking for somewhere else to rodeo and we’re glad to have them.”

Johnson’s excitement is understandable.

Schuelke currently leads the saddle bronc riding standings while Reiner is second in the bareback bronc riding. Thomson sits sixth in bull riding and McGivney is 13th in saddle bronc. The four roughstock cowboys have combined with timed event cowboys Wheaton Williams, Cash Hetzel, Logan Brown and Jerren Johnson to give the T-Birds a formidable lineup. Williams sits atop the header standings while team roping partner Hetzel is third in the heeler standings. Brown and Jerren Johnson are fifth and sixth, respectively, in the heeler standings.

“When you combine those four roughies with the guys we already had on the team that hopefully sets a tone for where we’re going,” Jhett Johnson said.

With just two rodeos remaining after this weekend before this June’s College National Finals Rodeo, the T-Birds still have a lot of ground to make up if they hope to finish in the top two of the region and qualify as a team for the CNFR. However, with the top three competitors in each event also qualifying for the CNFR, there should be plenty of Casper College red vests at the Casper Events Center.

The University of Wyoming remains the team to beat, thanks to its work in the timed events. The Cowboys enter this weekend with 3,395 points, followed by Sheridan College (2,690 points), Gillette College (2,550), Chadron State College (2,290) and Casper College (2,170).

Wyoming has four of the top 5 steer wrestlers, including event leader Kade Greer two of the top 5 tie-down ropers and three of the top team ropers, led by heeling leader JC Flake.

For the women, Eastern Wyoming College (1,952 points) and UW (1,895) have pushed to the front, with defending team champ Gillette College (1,595) still in the mix.

Eastern Wyoming doesn’t have anyone leading an event, but Jacey Thompson is second in breakaway roping and fourth in goat tying and Karissa Rayhill is second in goat tying. The Cowgirls counter with event leaders Rachael Calvo (barrel racing) and Teisha Coffield (breakaway roping) while Gillette College’s Taylour Latham sits atop the goat tying standings.

CRMR Standings

Men

Team: University of Wyoming 3,395 points Sheridan College 2,690 Gillette College 2,550 Chadron State College 2,290 Casper College 2,170 Laramie County Community College 2,025 Central Wyoming College 2,015 Eastern Wyoming College 1,325 Otero Junior College 860 Lamar Community College 380 Colorado State University 230 Northeastern Junior College 20.

Bareback Bronc Riding: Kyle Bloomquist, CSC, 895 points Cole Reiner, CC, 795 Chance Ames, 710 Rowdy Moon, CSC, 550 Thomas Davis, CWC, 410 Jake Kesl, GC, 410.

Saddle Bronc Riding: Lane Schuelke, CC, 755 points Jacob Kammerer, GC, 610 Trevor Clark, SC, 365 Carter Elsehere, GC, 350 Tyler Beebe, OJC, 335 Brady Thurston, CWC, 330 Garrett Buckley, CC, 305.

Bull Riding: Cody Johnson, SC, 570 points Nate Hoey, LCC, 360 Miles Englebert, CSC, 280 Aukai Kaai, CSU, 230 Tyrell Fisk, GC, 180.

Steer Wrestling: Kade Greer, UW, 325 points Brady Thurston, 305 Gage Greer, UW, 295 Caden Camp, UW, 285 Seth Peterson, UW, 275 Ryan Shuckburgh, LCCC, 260 Cordell Davenport, OJC, 250 Ty Everson, UW, 250 Coles Retchless, CSC, 240.

Tie-Down Roping: Chadron Coffield, EWC, 695 points Jase Staudt, UW, 375 Seth Peterson, UW, 310 Jon Peterson, GC, 305 Kalane Anders, CSC, 250 Houston Brown, LCCC, 235 Rance Johnson, LCCC, 235.

Team Roping (header): Wheaton Williams, CC, 565 points Caden Camp, UW, 455 Cooper White, GC, 350 Branden Pirrung, EWC, 320 Kellan Johnson, GC, 225.

Team Roping (heeler): JC Flake, UW, 455 points Denton Shaw, UW, 350 Jace Engesser, GC, 320 Cash Hetzel, CC, 320 Logan Brown, CC, 245 Jerren Johnson, CC, 225.

Women

Team: Eastern Wyoming College 1,952 points University of Wyoming 1,895 Gillette College 1,595 Chadron State College 1,273 Casper College 1,053 Northeastern Junior College 890 Central Wyoming College 605 Laramie County Community College 500 Colorado State University 365 Sheridan College 315 Otero Junior College 80.

Barrel Racing: Rachael Calvo, UW, 485 points Karson Bradley, CWC, 395 Makayla Seely, CC, 370 Lake Mehalic, CSU, 300 Makenna Balkenbush, CC, 260 Elena Pickard, CSU-Pueblo, 250 Riley Addington, GC, 225.

Breakaway Roping: Teisha Coffield, UW, 570 points Jacey Thompson, EWC, 397 Brooke Howell, GC, 345 Hannah Hostutler, CSC, 275 Payton Donnelly, UW, 252 Chase Kiker, NJC, 250 Morgan Darnell, LCCC, 240 Georgie Lage, LCCC, 238.

Goat Tying: Taylour Latham, GC, 680 points Karissa Rayhill, EWC, 655 Kaycee Monnens, CSC, 595 Jacey Thompson, EWC, 580 Faith Hoffman, NJC, 530.

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Sports Editor

Jack Nowlin returned to the Star-Tribune in 2007 after eight years covering Michigan State University athletics. A Wyoming native, and a graduate of Jeffrey City High School and the University of Wyoming, Jack serves as the Star-Tribune’s sports editor.

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