Five Chadron State College cowgirls will be competing at the College National Finals Rodeo in Casper next week. The rodeo will begin on Sunday and run through Saturday, June 21, at the Casper Events Center.
Shelby Winchell of Scottsbluff, Shaylee Hance of Circle, Mont., and Amy Tierney of Oral, S.D., will be in the goat tying. Amy Deichert of Spearfish, S.D., and Katie Loughran of Broken Bow will compete in the barrel racing for CSC.
The goat tiers qualified for nationals by finishing one-two-three in the Central Rocky Mountain Region standings for the 2013-14 season. The top three contestants in all nine events from each of the 11 regions from across the nation qualify for the National Rodeo.
Since the Chadron State cowgirls finished second in the regional team standings they qualified as a team for the national rodeo. That allowed Deichert and Loughran to also compete in Casper.
This is the seventh time a CSC women’s team has qualified for the national rodeo, dating back to 1979.
Chadron State rodeo coach Dustin Luper said he’s optimistic that the Chadron State team will do well at the CNFR.
“All of these women have lots of experience and that includes competing at the CNFR at least once,” Luper said. “We’re kind of stacked in two events, the goat tying and the barrel race, but I’m confident we’ll do well in both of them. I’m excited about how we’re going to do.”
Winchell and Tierney are seniors; Hance, Deichert and Loughran are juniors.
All three of the goat tiers were among the 12 finalists at the finals rodeo a year ago, when there were 53 national qualifiers. Tierney finished third, Hance fourth and Winchell 10th in the final standings.
Hance was completing her second year at Central Wyoming College at Riverton last year, then transferred to CSC at the beginning of the 2013-14 school year.
Besides ranking 10th in the goat tying standings last year, Winchell finished second in the event at the national rodeo in 2012, when she was a sophomore at Eastern Wyoming College in Torrington before she transferred to CSC that fall.
Both Deichert and Loughran were freshmen in 2012 when they were added to the Chadron State team led by Kelsey Scott that had qualified for the National Rodeo by placing second in the Central Rocky Mountain Region. Deichert ranked among the top 10 in each of the first three go-rounds at nationals before tipping over a barrel in the championship go-round to end her bid to place high in the final standings.
This year, Winchell and Hance waged a friendly but close battle for top honors in the region’s goat tying standings. Winchell finally prevailed 1,035 to 1,020 points. A year ago, Hance was the regional champion and Winchell finished third after she was the runner-up in the region in 2012.
Winchell placed among the top three in the goat tying at seven of the 10 rodeos in the region this year. She finished third at the CSC rodeo in September and was the runner-up at the next three fall rodeos. During the five spring rodeos, she was a runner-up once before winning top honors at the final two to clinch the goat tying championship,
Hance placed at eight of the 10 regional rodeos in 2013-14, finishing third twice, second four times and winning first twice.
It was Winchell and Hance who led the Chadron State cowgirls to the runner-up spot in the regional team standings for the year. The CSC team finished with 3,143.33 points, just 11.67 behind Gillette College for top honors.
The CSC cowgirls won the team title at four regional rodeos, shared the top honors once, were second twice, tied for second and third once and finished third once
Tierney, who has been the president of the student section of the National Collegiate Rodeo Association the past year, placed third in this year’s regional goat tying standings with 510 points to also provide a big boost in the team rankings. She was third once and first twice in the event at the regional rodeos.
Deichert placed fourth in the region’s barrel racing standings this year with 540 points. She never won the event, but was among the top six at six rodeos, finishing sixth once, fourth twice, third twice and second once.
Loughran missed most of the 2013-14 fall season while recovering from shoulder surgery, but she came on strong during the spring to place second twice and first once and wind up seventh overall in the region’s barrel racing standings. She had the fastest time of the rodeo during one of her runs at both the Colorado State and the Casper College rodeos.
Drawings to determine when the contestants will compete were made Friday.
All three of the CSC goat tiers will are bunched together in the same sessions. They will make their first runs in the middle of the opening session of their event on Monday and take their second runs in the middle of the second section on Tuesday. All three will make their third appearance during the Wednesday night rodeo.
There are 44 entries in the goat tying.
Both barrel racers will make their initial runs late in the slack on Monday and their second runs early on Tuesday. Deichert will be last barrel racer to appear on Monday and the first to run the cloverleaf pattern on Tuesday.
Deichert’s third trip around the barrels will be during the Wednesday night performance. Loughran’s will be Thursday night.