A strong showing at the 77th annual Poly Royal Rodeo last weekend helped the Cuesta College men’s rodeo team cement its status as the favorite in the West Coast Region this spring.
Will Centoni’s thrilling victory in the saddle bronc riding during Saturday’s competition — which was held inside the 11,000-seat Alex G. Spanos Stadium for the first time — was the catalyst to his third-place finish in the men’s all-around scoring.
Cash Martin of West Hills College was first in the all-around with 365 points, followed by Colton Campbell of Fresno State at 330 and Centoni at 300. West Hills was the men’s team champion with 930 points, with Fresno State (885) in second, Cal Poly (585) in third and Cuesta (350) in fourth.
According to the West Coast Region standings on the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association website, the Cuesta men’s team has built a substantial lead among its regional peers. The Cougars have recorded 5,920.50 points in the team standings this season, nearly 600 more than second-place West Hills.
Centoni is the rider to beat in the all-around with 2,432 points, followed by teammate Sterling Humphry in second at 1,527. Centoni also is the going away favorite in saddle bronc riding — an event in which Cuesta has three competitors ranked in the top five in the region — as well as bull riding.
Humphry is the second-ranked steer wrestler in the region.
Cuesta’s Tristan Ruffoni is the West Coast Region leader in team roping header with 778 points, and teammate Dalton Pearce is ranked first by a wide margin in team roping heeler.
On the women’s side, it was Cal Poly who captured the team title at Poly Royal Rodeo.
The Mustangs scored 340 points to finish well ahead of UNLV (255) and West Hills (245) last Saturday.
Cal Poly’s Katie Rice was crowned the all-around champion, and she finished first in goat tying with a score of 13.4.
Rice is the clear all-around leader in the West Coast Region with 1,040 points, nearly double the total of second-ranked Cassidy Barnes of West Hills.
Rice leads the regional standings in breakaway roping and is second in goat tying.
Senior Colton Farquer has represented the Mustangs well on the men’s side as the No. 1-ranked tie down roper in the region. He won the event last Saturday with a score of 19.5, while teammates Clayton Combs and Hunter Reaume tied for third at 21.2.
Cal Poly’s Chase Onaka, who won team roping header at Poly Royal Rodeo, is second in the region in that event.
Both the Cuesta and Cal Poly teams appear to be in good position heading into the Regional Finals next month in Las Vegas.
After that, the College National Finals will be held in June in Casper, Wyoming.