Photo caption: 2013 CNFR Qualifiers (l to r): Dustin Dailey, Derek Weinreis, Coach Jake Clark, Troy Wilcox, Cotey Hansen and Levi O’Keefe.
The Eastern Wyoming College (EWC) Men’s Rodeo Team was crowned the Central Rocky Mountain Region (CRMR) Champion Men’s Team this past weekend. This position earns the team six positions at the College National Finals Rodeo (CNFR).
“I could tell early on this team was special,” Jake Clark, EWC Rodeo Coach, said. “I knew it would be a great year, but to end up on top in this region is a great accomplishment.
“There are some tough teams in this region,” He continued. “I am really proud of this group and how hard they have worked.”
Troy Wilcox, of Red Owl, South Dakota, won the Men’s All-Around Champion. Wilcox will compete in the team roping, steer wrestling and calf roping at the CNFR.
“Troy returned to school this year because he had some business to finish and he did,” Clark said. “He has been an outstanding team leader and competitor throughout his college career.”
Team roping partners Derek Weinreis, of Beach, North Dakota, and Levi O’Keefe, of Mohall, North Dakota, won the region in the team roping. Weinreis is the regional champion team roping header and O’Keefe is the regional champion team roping heeler. This is Weinreis and O’Keefe’s second consecutive qualification to the CNFR.
“These guys have been so consistent since the beginning of the season,” Clark said. “They had one of the best years a team roping team could have.”
Wilcox teamed up with freshman Cotey Hanson, of Berthold, North Dakota, to win the reserve champion team roping title. Wilcox is the CRMR Reserve Champion Header and Hanson is the CRMR Reserve Champion Heeler.
“Cotey teamed up with Troy this year and it has been a great match,” Clark said. “Cotey had an outstanding rookie season. I’m very pleased with his performance in his freshman year.”
Rounding out the EWC team competing at the CNFR is Dustin Dailey, of Long Pine, Nebraska. “Dustin had a great year in the steer wrestling as a freshman and I’m glad to see him earn a national qualification,” Clark said.
The EWC Rodeo Team earned additional honors during the regional awards ceremony. The Lancer Rodeo 2013 was voted as the “Rodeo of the Year” for the Central Rocky Mountain Region (CRMR). “Our goal is to produce a great rodeo for the fans to watch and a great rodeo that provides each contestant the best chance in their event,” Clark said. “We appreciate the support of the college, the community, and families each year.”
EWC Rodeo Coach Jake Clark was also named the 2012-13 “CRMR Coach of the Year.” “It is an honor to be voted by your peers for this award,” Clark said. “I give a lot of the credit to my team who has worked so hard this year and have been an outstanding group to coach.”
The 2012-13 Central Rocky Mountain Region college rodeo season concluded with the University of Wyoming college rodeo May 3-5 in Laramie. The 2013 CNFR will be June 9-15 in Casper, Wyo.
Over 400 cowboys and cowgirls from over 100 universities and colleges compete in the CNFR 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. Visit www.cnfr.com for schedules and ticket information.
“The CNFR is a great show,” Clark concluded. “We are fortunate to have this event here in Wyoming. I encourage folks to consider coming to Casper in June to support EWC’s student athletes.”