Led by the top three goat tiers in the region, the Chadron State College cowgirls are second in the team standings in the Central Rocky Mountain Region at the halfway point in the 2013-14 competition.
The Chadron State women have compiled 1,540 points to trail Gillette College by just 50 points in the team standings following the five rodeos during the fall. The third place team is nearly 1,000 points behind CSC. Five more rodeos will take place in the spring, beginning in mid-March.
The top three teams and individuals in each event from the region qualify for the College National Finals Rodeo at the end of the school year.
As anticipated, goat tying has been the top event for the CSC cowgirls. Shelby Winchell of Scottsbluff leads the region with 535 points, Shaylee Hance of Circle, Mont., is second with 430 and Amy Tierney of Oral, S.D., is third with 300.
Winchell didn’t win first in goat tying at any of the fall rodeos, but she placed second at three of them and was third at another. Hance has won a first, a second and a third during the fall season. Tierney won the goat tying at one rodeo and was third at another.
All three are proven performers.
The past two years, Winchell has finished second and third, respectively, in the region in goat tying, and was third in the final national standings in 2011-12 when she was attending Eastern Wyoming College. She reached the finals in the event at the national rodeo last June when she was competing for Chadron State.
Hance was the regional goat tying champion and finished fourth in the event at the CNFR last year when she was a student at Central Wyoming College.
Tierney placed third in goat tying at the national rodeo last June for CSC.
Another CSC cowgirl, Amy Deichert of Spearfish, S.D., is third in the region’s barrel racing standings with 355 points at the season’s halfway point. She’s finished second, third, fourth and sixth in the event at rodeos this fall.
Although she did not place at the remaining four rodeos in the fall, Chadron State’s Danni Jo Hinman of Hay Springs showed what she’s capable of doing by winning the breakaway roping at the CSC rodeo with times of 3.2 and 2.9 seconds.
Two more CSC breakaway ropers, Brooke Nelson of Philip, S.D., and Kaycee Werdel of Chadron, also have shown potential in breakaway roping. Nelson has placed once and reached the finals at another rodeo this fall while Werdel has placed twice.
“I’m really pleased how well our women did this fall,” CSC coach Dustin Luper said. “They are a competitive group with lots of experience and determination. I anticipate that we’ll be battling Gillette College all season for the top spot.”
The only CSC cowboy to rank among the top 10 in an event through the fall rodeos is Russell Hipke of Stuart. He is fifth in steer wrestling with 210 points, just 80 points out of first place. He won the doggin’ at the Lamar College rodeo and finished fourth at another rodeo.
Hipke missed qualifying for the College National Finals Rodeo in the steer wrestling by just five points a year ago and was only 10 points behind the regional winner at the conclusion of the 2012-13 schedule.
Kelby Bond of Avondale, Colo., also finished second in steer wrestling once and made the finals in the event at two more rodeos this fall. A broken barrier cost Bond top honors at one of the fall rodeos.
Luper said he expects the men’s team to do much better in the spring. He noted that senior Colten Blanchard of Sulphur, La., had to sit out the fall schedule, but will be back riding barebacks in the spring. Blanchard placed fifth in the final bareback standing in the region a year ago.
In addition, Billy Boldon of Oglala, S.D., will be eligible to compete in the roping and steer wrestling after transferring from Western Oklahoma State this fall.
Luper added that he anticipates the rodeo team members will be able to practice in the new25,000-square foot Coffee Agricultural Pavilion this coming spring before the second half of the schedule begins. The pavilion is the centerpiece of the college’s Rangeland Complex that is being constructed on campus.