UW Team Ropers Score Fast Time, But Don't Reach Finals
There will be no repeat national team roping title for the University of Wyoming’s Tyler Schnaufer.
Despite the fact that he and heeler partner Clayton Van Aken tied their steer in a blazing 5.2 seconds -- second fastest of the round -- during Thursday’s College National Finals Rodeo (CNFR) in the Casper Events Center, the pair will not advance to Saturday’s short go.
A second-round no-time did the pair in, leaving them sitting 17th in the average. Only three teams this week have successfully tied all three steers. Despite covering two head as well, too many teams above the UW pair in the overall standings have better times.
They currently sit 13th overall.
Schnaufer and Van Aken’s third-round effort boosted the Cowboys up the team standings, to 12th place. The third round ends Friday evening. The Cowgirls are sitting 19th in the standings.
Last year, Schnaufer, a Pueblo, Colo., senior, won the CNFR title with a different partner. Van Aken, a Descanso, Calif., junior, roped with his new partner for the first time this season. Schnaufer took the no-short go result in stride.
“I’m not disappointed. I’m just enjoying my time here this week,” he said. “We made a good run on that steer tonight, and we did our best this week.”
Van Aken said he appreciated roping this season with a national champion. Knowing that they were out of the running before Wednesday’s performance, the junior said the pair’s goal was to win the round.
“We went out with a bang. We wanted to be as fast as we could. That’s what I wanted to do for Tyler,” Van Aken said. “We had some tough luck in the second round but, heck, we’ll be all right.”
Only one other UW team member competed Thursday night.
Barrel racer Chandler Markel finished her third round of competition in 14.31 seconds. The Scottsbluff, Neb., freshman had a three-round accumulated time of 43.95 seconds, which will keep her out of the short go. She is sitting 23rd in the overall standings.
Three UW team members are still in contention for short go berths Saturday. The top 12 individuals throughout the week in the timed and roughstock events advance to the championship round.
Kaycee Nelson moved one place down in breakaway roping to third when Eastern New Mexico University’s Tiada Gray clocked Wednesday night’s best time at 2.4 seconds. Gray is now second with a three-round time of 8.4 seconds, while Nelson and Chelsea Carroll from McNeese State University are third at 8.6 seconds. They all trail Idaho State University freshman Kimberlyn Fehringer, who is 7.2 on three head.
Just eight breakaway ropers have covered three head, with the final 14 competitors up at the end of the third round tonight.
Both Schnaufer in tie down roping and bull rider Hunter Hoover will compete in third-round action Friday. Both remain in contention for short go berths.
Schnaufer is 20.6 on two head and is among a group of 12 ropers competing in the third round. The roper in the 12 hole has a three-round time of 34.8.
Just six riders have ridden two bulls this week. Hoover scored 67 points on his first bull earlier in the week, but was tossed on the second ride.