The Weber State University men’s and women’s rodeo club team are going to the national collegiate rodeo after the women took first in the Rocky Mountain Regional Rodeo and the men took fourth. The team also qualified 7 out of 10 for the national rodeo.
Ladd Howell, Taylor Christensen and Ryan Barrington will be going to nationals for the men’s team. McKale Hadley, Lekelsi Talbot, Kayla Dahl and Whitney Dansie will go for the women’s team.
“After taking third in the region last year, which I wasn’t happy about, I challenged them to win it, and they all pulled together and did,” said Dennis Montgomery, rodeo coach.
To determine the regional champions, the teams from all the schools in Utah, Idaho and areas of Colorado compete in 10 different rodeos. Each rodeo, individual and teams, achieve points. The winner of the regionals is the team that accumulates the most points in each rodeo. Each team is allowed to have six competitors that score points in every rodeo.
The WSU women’s team won the regionals by nearly 300 points. WSU ended with 2,863 points. The College of Southern Idaho took second place with 2,572 points. WSU’s Chyanne Thacker took sixth in women’s all-around with 915 points.
“It got a little close,” Montgomery said. “The last rodeo, we were only 150 points ahead, but we ended up taking first and winning by 400 points.”
Hadley, Talbot and Dahl took first, second and third place in the barrel racing. Hadley had 897 points, and Talbot and Dahl were nine points apart, with Talbot at 696 and Dahl at 685.
“I think that would be awesome if the girls could go back and win first, second and third in the nation,” Howell said. “If they can go over and perform like they did at regionals at nationals, they have a good chance.”
Dansie took third in the goat-tying with a score of 669. Korinne Balls from CSI won the goat-tying with 1,331 points.
Thacker took fifth in the breakaway roping with 376, and Lindsey Ward took 15th with 120 points. Balls took first in breakaway with 482 points.
The men’s team took fourth overall in regionals with 4,128 points. Utah Valley University won the regionals with 7,423. Howell took second in the men’s overall with 1,632 points. Luke Pulham from UVU won the men’s all-around with 1,883 points. The men’s team competed the entire season with four athletes on the point team.
“It’s kind of a long shot with us only having four guys, but I think, with the ropers going to nationals, we have a good chance to place really high,” Howell said.
WSU’s Ryne Barrington took ninth in the saddle-bronc-riding and 15th in the bull-riding. Howell and Christensen took first and second in the tie-down roping. Howell had 730 points. Christensen was right behind him with 661. Barrington took 10th. Howell also took fourth in steer-wrestling.
The rodeo team will go to nationals June 10.