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UW’s Tyler Schnaufer wins CNFR Team Roping National Title

June 18, 2012
Tyler Schnaufer
Tyler Schnaufer

University of Wyoming’s Tyler Schnaufer ended a brilliant collegiate team roping career with lifelong friend Shay Carroll when the duo won the College National Finals Rodeo (CNFR) championship Saturday night.

Schnaufer, a Pueblo, Colo., junior, and Carroll, a sophomore competing for Northeastern Junior College (Sterling, Colo.), had a championship-round time of 6.3 seconds for a four-run time of 24.9 seconds.

"This is the greatest feeling I've ever had," a jubilant Schnaufer said after the rodeo.  "I have put in a lot of hard work and so has my partner."

It was UW’s first men’s individual title since Levi Wisness won the steer wrestling championship nine years ago.

“It was the toughest team roping finals I have ever seen here at the CNFR,” veteran UW Coach George Howard said. “There were eight or nine smooth runs in the round. It was just a very good, tough team roping championship round. Tyler and Shay were deserving of the championship.”

With only two team members competing at this season’s CNFR, the UW Cowboys still managed to pile up 455 points to place fifth in the nation. Walla Walla Community College won the men’s CNFR team championship with 750 points.

Coming into the championship round at the Casper Events Center, Schnaufer and Carroll were third in the average, meaning that they were the 10th team up in the arena. As they cleanly roped their steer to move into the overall lead, they still had to wait and see how the two leaders would perform.

The first team from McNeese State University was good, but not good enough, stopping the clock in 6.9 seconds, leaving Schnaufer and Carroll in the lead.

The overall leaders from Walla Walla Community College after three rounds needed just one more clean run to win the national title. The header roped the steer’s horns in good time, but the heeler captured just one leg, leaving the pair with a five-second penalty to give Schnaufer and Carroll the national title.

“That really opened it for them -- the second and first place teams not having clean runs,” Howard said.

And it wasn’t even Schnaufer and Carroll’s best round. They were third in the championship round average and had one 5.9-second run earlier in the week to put them into contention in the overall average.

Even though he and Carroll have won the regional team roping title two straight seasons, nothing will ever compare to winning a CNFR title, Schnaufer says.

"It all came together for us tonight (Saturday)," he adds. "I wouldn't want to rodeo for any school in the nation except for UW. This is a great program. We all work hard in the classroom and in the practice arena."

This year’s CNFR marked the end of the pair’s collegiate team roping careers together.

Next season Schnaufer will return as a UW senior, while Carroll will transfer to Tarleton State University in Stephenville, Texas, thus ending their partnership -- only on the college level. They have been team roping partners since 8-year-old youngsters competing in Little Britches rodeos.

They plan to compete in professional rodeos in the off season.

Schnaufer’s new partner next season, UW teammate Clayton Van Aken, ended with a third-place finish in the tie down roping competition Saturday night. The Descanso, Calif., sophomore had a championship round time of 9.8 seconds for a cumulative time of 39.7 seconds.

For a complete list of CNFR individual and team winners, visit the website at

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