Just two rodeos remain for the Chadron State Eagles and Head Coach Dustin Luper intends to keep his Cowboys and Cowgirls hungry for the opportunity for a trip to the College National Finals Rodeo in Casper this June.
Three CSC athletes currently sit in the top three of their events, the requirement for qualifying for the CNFR, and three more are on the outside looking in. But Luper’s hope is to see either his men’s or women’s team qualify as a whole.
Though both teams are currently fourth in the Central Rocky Mountain Region standings, and would need to get to second place, Luper believes there’s still an outside chance to qualify, but his teams would need to make up some ground.
The CSC cowboys would likely need to overcome either Gillette or Sheridan College who occupy the second and third sports. Currently, the Eagle men are about 300 points behind Sheridan in second. The region is led by University of Wyoming which currently has about a 1,200 point lead on Sheridan.
The women’s team , which has 1,428 points, is currently about 650 points behind second place University of Wyoming who has 2,080. Third place Gillette College has 2,030 and first place Eastern Wyoming College has 2,099.83.
“Anything can happen,” Luper said. “I’ve had teams score 800 points before at one rodeo. That was a phenomenal rodeo, but it can happen.”
As of Monday, cowboys Kyle Bloomquist, Kalane Anders and Miles Englebert were the only eagles to be in a position to make the CNFR.
Bloomquist, who leads the region in bareback riding, currently has 1,000 points, but cowboys Chance Ames, of Sheridan College, and Cole Reiner, of Casper College, aren’t far behind with 885 and 875 points respectively.
Bloomquist hasn’t seen the same kind of success he did in the Fall. Luper says that could be because he’s been fighting forearm splints.
Luper would like to see Bloomquist continue to fight through the pain and win the region.
“A champion isn’t the one wearing the gold buckle,” Luper says, “it’s the one that gets knocked down and every time keeps on going. I’m trying to instill in him, ‘hey man, you don’t have this thing won, let’s stay after it.’”
On the outside looking in of the event is senior Rowdy Moon.
“I hate to be pessimistic but that’s probably the toughest event right now in our region,” Luper say of bareback. “Rowdy would just about have to win everything there is to win and the other guys would have to fall on their face, and I just don’t see that happening. That’s why I’m hoping we can solidify a second-place team, that way I can take Rowdy to the college finals cause he sure deserves it. He’s been riding good.”
Englebert, who is coming off a win at Colorado State University, is third in bull riding and just 20 points behind second place rider Nate Hoey, of Lamar Community College.
Luper says he’s happy with Englebert’s mindset and that they’ve been making small changes to his fundamentals which he believes will pay off.
“In today’s day and age, it’s all about how hard they buck and spin and kick,” Luper said, “and he’s just having a few problems with that and he’s starting to figure that out.”
Luper said he believes Englebert has a bright future as a bull rider.
Chadron’s other cowboy poised to make the finals is senior Kalane Anders who Luper believed would compete for this year’s all-around cowboy.
You have free articles remaining.
“He’s kind of been hamstrung as far as rodeo goes,” Luper said. “He’d maybe break out or draw a bad steer.”
Despite not having as strong a season as either Luper or Anders would have liked, the senior is currently second in the steer wrestling standings, though the difference between first and fourth place is just 80 points.
“I believe he’s going to be (in the finals),” Luper said. “He’s made the college finals before, he’s no stranger there. I’d just really like to see him win the region, which is still very possible.”
Anders currently has 350 points in the event; University of Wyoming’s Ty Everson leads with 385 points.
A trio of cowgirls are chasing Easter Wyoming College’s Jacey Thompson for the final qualifying spot in breakaway roping and goat tying.
In breakaway, CSC’s Hanna Hostutler is in fourth place and about 110 points behind Thompson, while Quincy Segelke is trying to challenge from fifth where she’s about 140 points behind.
Luper says both CSC cowgirls need to score sharp and be aggressive in their final two rodeos.
“(Hostutler has) been pretty consistent getting times in the 3 to 3.8 (second range),” Luper said. “She needs to be getting them these next two weekends in the 2.8 or 2.9 (second range) to be chipping away at (third place).
Luper said Segelke is a wildcard in fifth place due to her aggressive nature.
“She would have won a lot more this spring semester, but she just kinda breaks out,” Luper said. “She’s just all-in - she just kind of Texas Hold ‘em puts it all-in every time. She might just tear that barrier down and get 2 (seconds) flat or something. If we can kinda reign her back a little bit and push Hannah forward a little bit I think we’ll take two girls to the college finals in that event.”
Eagle cowgirl Kaycee Monnens is also chasing EWC’s Thompson in goat tying, where Thompson is third with 615 points and Monnens is fourth with 595 points.
Luper praised Monnens as the hardest working girl on the women’s team and that there’s nothing he would change.
“That’s one girl that doesn’t take a lot of coaching, just encouragement,” Luper said.
At CSU last weekend Monnens would have had the fastest time in goat tying, but failed to score when the goat got free.
“It’s just little mistakes, I guess, but she’s trying to win. And that’s what it takes is a mindset that no matter what happens you’re going to give it your all and she does that every time.”
More than just his athletes who are poised to qualify for Nationals, Luper hopes all of his cowboys and cowgirls stay hungry during the final two rodeos.
“There’s two more opportunities to represent your team and win two pretty prestigious championships as far as (the rodeos at) Casper College and University of Wyoming,” Luper said. “So they should set their goals high and go at it with everything they’ve got. Forget what’s behind and drive toward what’s ahead.”