Chadron State College senior Shelby Winchell of Scottsbluff tied for second in the goat tying and junior Amy Deichert of Spearfish placed fifth in the barrel race as the College National Finals Rodeo in Casper concluded Saturday night.
Those results led the Chadron State women to the reserve champion honors in the team standings with 472.5 points.
Paced by all-around cowgirl Macy Fuller, Central Arizona College was the team champion with 635 points.
Eastern New Mexico University placed third with 420.
Winchell completed her four go-rounds in the goat tying in 25.9 seconds with runs of 6.6, 6.3, 6.5 and 6.5 seconds. A picture of consistency, she placed among the top six entries in all four sessions.
Winchell also wound up second in the goat tying at the 2012 CNFR when she was a sophomore at Eastern Wyoming College and was among the 12 finalists last year after she transferred to Chadron State.
This year’s goat tying was won by Hayden Segelke of Eastern New Mexico in 25.7 seconds, just two-tenths of a second faster than Winchell’s total time.
The aforementioned Fuller came on strong in the goat tying, winning both of the last two go-rounds in 6.1 seconds, the fastest times of the rodeo, to share second place with Winchell in 25.9 seconds on four runs.
Fuller also won the breakaway roping championship en route to the rodeo’s all-around title.
The barrel racers were on fire in the championship go-round Saturday night. After posting just five times under 14 seconds through the first three go-rounds, there were nine contestants who finished the cloverleaf pattern below 14 in the finals. One of them was Deichert’s 13.92-second run that earned fifth place in the go-round. She also was fifth in the averages with a total time of 56.47 seconds.
The barrel racing champion is another cowgirl from the Central Rocky Mountain Region, Taylor Engesser of Gillette College. Her time Saturday night was the rodeo’s best of 13.58 seconds and her total time was 55.78 seconds.
Also finishing just ahead of Deichert were Calli Crossley of Blue Mountain Community College in Oregon in 56.03 seconds, Georgia Diez of Cochise County College in Arizona in 56.41 and Shay Spits of South Plains College in Texas in 56.42.
While Chadron State cowgirls have ranked among the top eight in the team standings at three previous College National Finals Rodeos, this year’s runner-up finish is their highest.
Through the years, three CSC women’s teams have finished among the top eight in the final CNFR standings.
The 1979 team made up of Jean Fuchs, Kathy Kennedy and Martee Meter was fourth, the 1983 team of Shari Fisher and Bunny Pisacka was fifth and last year’s team of Winchell and Amy Tierney tied for sixth and seventh.
The 2002 men’s team led by national champion bull rider Will Farrell wound up fourth for the highest finish by a group of CSC cowboys at the national rodeo.
The CNFR is the “Rose Bowl” of college rodeo.
It is where the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association crowns individual event champions in saddle bronc riding, bare back riding, bull riding, tie-down roping, steer wrestling, team roping, barrel racing, breakaway roping and goat tying.
National team championships are also awarded to both men’s and women’s teams. Over 400 cowboys and cowgirls from over 100 universities and colleges compete in Casper each year. Contestants compete all year in one of the NIRA’s 11 regions for a chance to rope or ride at the CNFR.
The top three students in each event, and top two men’s and women’s teams from the NIRA’s 11 regions qualifed for the CNFR.
All of the competitors who qualified for the CNFR start on an even playing field. They each competed in three rounds before the championship round. Their scores and times were added together with the best 12 in each event advancing to the finals.
Orin Larsen from Panhandle State University emerged victorious from the bareback riding competition. Larsen transferred from the College of Southern Idaho last fall after winning the title for them in 2013. The Inglis, Manitoba, resident won the title here with 316 points on four rides to beat Tarleton State University’s Richmond Champion by just 1.5 points.
In the team roping, defending champions Billy Bob Brown and Logan Medlin earned their second title with a total time of 26.0 seconds on four runs. Brown, from Tarleton State University did the heading while Medlin from Eastern New Mexico University did the heeling. Macy Fuller from Central Arizona College, earned the women’s all-around title with 555 points earned in goat tying, barrel racing and breakaway roping. She also had the fastest total time in breakaway roping at 10.6 seconds. The men’s all-around stayed in Wyoming with Sheridan College’s Taygen Schuelke who earned 415 points in saddle bronc and bull riding.
Two freshman emerged through all four rounds of competition as champions in the tie-down roping and steer wrestling, Taylor Santos-Karney from Cal Poly State University roped and tied four calves in 37 seconds and left Casper sporting a new buckle as college rodeo’s best tie-down roper. In the steer wrestling, it was Cade Goodman from Wharton County Junior College who earned the title with a total time of 21.3 seconds.
Joe Frost was the lone bull rider to be successful on four rides so he earned the title by a lot of points. The Panhandle State University junior had 308.5 points. Frost is a cousin of the late Lane Frost and also related to tie-down roping champion Taylor Santos-Karney.
Other champions CoBurn Bradshaw in the saddle bronc riding for Western Texas College with 311 points on four rides, and barrel racer Taylor Engesser from Gillette College at 55.78 seconds on four runs. The men’s team title went to the University of Tennessee – Martin with 755 points. Central Arizona College won the women’s team with 635 points. ❖