Schnaufer, Van Aken Qualify for Saturday’s CNFR Championship Round
Both University of Wyoming Cowboys Tyler Schnaufer and Clayton Van Aken have cleared the preliminary rounds at the College National Finals Rodeo in Casper. Now, it's on to the championship round Saturday night.
The two UW teammates are within striking distance of winning national titles in their respective events after three rounds of competition.
Schnaufer, a junior from Pueblo, Colo., and partner Shay Carroll of Northeastern Junior College, completed their third round of team roping competition by stopping the clock in 5.9 seconds Thursday night. Their three-head time of 18.6 seconds moved them into third in the average with just one night of roping left Friday.
"There may be only a couple more teams that might move them down a bit, but they're sitting in good position," UW coach George Howard said.
Descanso, Calif., sophomore Van Aken finished his third tie down roping run Wednesday night and currently is sitting fourth in the average after leading after two rounds earlier in the week. His cumulative time of 29.9 seconds is just 1.8 seconds behind the leader, Chance DeForrest of Western Oklahoma State University (Altus, Okla.).
Schnaufer and Van Aken are the only two UW Cowboys to qualify for this year's CNFR. The two teammates have scored enough points to put UW 12th in the team standings with 205 points. Sam Houston State College leads the men's standings with 500 points.
Even though UW didn't qualify a full men's team for this week's CNFR, the Cowboys currently are the highest rated team among the Central Rocky Mountain Region teams. Regular season champion Casper College is 19th overall in the year-end rodeo.
The lone Cowgirl to qualify for the CNFR -- Lydia Coe, a senior from Salinas, Calif. -- was bumped from among the top 12 breakaway ropers and will not make Saturday's championship round.
Only the cowboys and cowgirls with the top 12 times and scores in each individual event advance to the short go.
Tyler Schnaufer and Clayton Van Aken