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UW's Top Roper Plays Waiting Game

June 17, 2010 — This could be the longest two days for University of Wyoming roper Jordan Steele.

Steele, a senior from Aladdin, and team roping partner Dustin Smith of Gillette College turned in their best time of the week, 8.3 seconds, Wednesday night at the College National Finals Rodeo (CNFR) at the Casper Events Center. Their effort is the third-best time currently during the third go round.

But the region's top roping partners this season have to wait until Friday to see if their three-round time holds up to get them into Saturday night's short go. The pair missed their steer during Tuesday's second slack section, and their two good ropes of 17.1 is leaving them in a holding pattern. They must wait two more days to find out if they earn a berth into the championship round.

"That 8.3 really helped them a bunch, but their overall time could move them down," UW Coach George Howard said. "Jordan will just have to wait it out until Friday night."

Steele was the only UW Cowboy to compete in Wednesday night's performance, but two UW Cowgirls finished their third round of breakaway roping competition. And it wasn't good for Dana Weiser and Nikki Steffes, both of whom both missed on their calves.

Weiser, a Wheatland junior and the UW women's leading individual scorer this season, had a chance to qualify for the short go in the breakaway competition, but her no-time derailed her hopes.

And for Steffes, a Vale, S.D., senior, whose chances of repeating as the all-around champion took a hit with her own miss earlier in the breakaway roping event. Steffes, whose points will not count toward the Cowgirls' team totals because she has used up her four-year eligibility but is granted another season as a regional student director, remains in contention in two other events -- goat tying and barrel racing. She competes in those two events later in the week.

Steffes currently is second in the all-around competition.

The top 12 individual times and scores advance to Saturday's championship round.

Steffes will be the only UW team member competing Thursday evening, when she's up in the third round of goat tying.

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