Jun 14, 2012 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports EditorThe Rustler cowgirls stood second in the nation through Wednesday.
Central Wyoming College and Texas Tech University
are in a battle for the women's national championship this week at the College National Finals Rodeo.
The Rustlers are second in the team standings after four days at the CNFR at the Casper Events Center. CWC has scored 245 points.
Texas Tech has the lead at 278.3 points. The CNFR started on Sunday and will finish on Saturday night with the finals.
Mesalands Community College is currently third at 230 points. Mesalands is in Tucamcai, N.M.
CWC rodeo coach Rick Smith said Lacey Tech, Traci Hinman and Devin Nicholls all need to make the finals for the Rustlers to remain in the hunt for the team title.
Tech and Hinman are in goat tying. Nicholls is in breakaway roping. Tech stoof first in goat tying through Wednesday.
"We are just as good as anybody in the nation," Smith said. "The other schools don't bother me one way or the other. Texas Tech is on our field now. CWC might be more of a rodeo powerhouse than Texas Tech."
Chadron State is fourth at 205 points. CWC and Chadron State are from the Central Rocky Mountain Region.
The Rustlers ran away from Chadron State in the regular season to win the regional title.
"In my opinion, CWC has never had a team more prepared to compete for a national championship than these girls," Smith said.
The CNFR rodeo continues Thursday and Friday night with nightly performances. Start times are set for 7.
"If the girls do what they need to do, then we will be fine," Smith said.
CWC finished seventh in the nation in the 2011 CNFR standings.
Tech has locked up a spot for the finals with her three solid runs in goat tying. Her times were 6.7, 6.8 and 6.3 The 6.3 came Wednesday night. She will now prepare herself for the Saturday night finals.
"I told Lacey to just enjoy the next two days," Smith said. "Lacey doesn't get worried. These girls aren't worried about what anybody else does. That is what makes these girls tough."
Bailey Guthrie of Texas Tech is second in times of 6.9, 6.9 and 6.6.
Mesaland's Macy Fuller stands third at 6.7, 7.1 and 6.7.
Hinman started off with times of 6.9 and 7.0.
Hinman will have her third performance on Thursday night.
"Traci is in great position," Smith said. "I would like to see her have a 6.9 on down. She is going to be in the top 12 going into the short go (finals).
CWC's Jacalyn Walker has posted times of 7.2, 10.5 and 7.6 to sit 17th in goat tying. Smith said Walker won't advance to the finals.
Nicholls didn't record a time in the first go in the breakaway roping competition.
She put herself back into contention for a spot in the finals after a 2.7 in the second go and a 3.1 in the third go.
"I'm proud of Devin for coming back," Smith said.
Nicholls is currently sixth in the breakaway standings. Nicholls will be watching 21 other cowgirls go in the next two nights to see if she has a spot in the finals.
CWC's Charlie Kogianes was bucked off the first go on Sunday in saddle bronc riding.
Kogianes scored a 71.5 on the second go and a 62.5 on his third go for a total of 134.
Colton Miller didn't last the eight seconds on his saddle bronc on the first go, but had a 72 and a 69 for his next two performances.
"Colton made a couple of mistakes at the CNFR that hurt him," Smith said. "He kept trying hard. I'm proud of them."
This is the first time Kogianes and Miller have been at the CNFR.
"I knew coming in those two are young and inexperienced," Smith said. "They were going to have some growing pains and learn some lessons about the competition at this level."
CWC's Stetson Jorgensen began the CNFR with a time of 4.7 seconds in steer wrestling to put him in contention. Jorgensen fell back in the standings after a 11.75 on his second go.
Jorgensen's teammate Tyler Williams is 0-2 in the bull riding competition.
"Tyler probably still has a chance if he can ride a bull," Smith said. "You can make it back to the finals on one bull."
Casper College cowboy Riley Krassin went timeless in his first two performances in steer wrestling.
The 2010 Lander Valley High School graduate finally posted a score of 6.9 seconds in his third go.
In the team roping competition, Matt Scheick from Sheridan College and Kelsey Scott of Chadron State had a 21.5 in the first go.
The duo didn't rope a time in the second and third performances.
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