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UW’s Ellerman Moves into Fourth in Team Roping Average at CNFR

June 17, 2014

For someone who originally did not receive an automatic College National Finals Rodeo (CNFR) bid, Brit Ellerman sure is taking advantage of his second opportunity.

The University of Wyoming senior from Fort Lupton, Colo., moved into serious contention for a national team roping title today (Tuesday) when he and partner Seth Andersen of Gillette College recorded a sizzling 6.2-second time -- the fourth-best time of the second round.

The pair’s two-round time of 13.2 seconds moved the team ropers -- who had never roped together before this competition -- into fourth in the overall average. On Monday, they had a 7-second time and were sitting ninth.

“It was just a nice, clean run, but the steer tried to slow down when Brit tried to rope him,” Howard says. “But Brit got him and stopped the clock, and that’s all that matters.”

Only the top three individuals in each event during the regular season are automatic CNFR qualifiers in representing the region. Ellerman just missed out, finishing as the region’s fourth-best header, but because the top two teams in the region -- Gillette College and Casper College -- did not fill their respective six-man CNFR clubs with team ropers, that enabled Ellerman to move up among the three regional roping teams.

Ellerman and Anderson were to finish their third and final round later during the first night performance Tuesday at the Casper Events Center. After that, it’s a waiting game the rest of the week to see if they gain a championship-round bid. Another successful round will more than likely guarantee a spot among the nation’s top 12 roping teams.

However, the event was not kind to UW’s two other team ropers during the second slack session early Tuesday afternoon. Both had no-times.

Clayton Van Aken, a Descanso, Calif., senior, and partner Kyon Kreutzer from Northeastern Junior College ran into a runner on their second attempt. The steer drifted to the right just when Van Aken threw his rope. The loop just rolled off the horns when the steer dipped its head.

Hard-luck Kade Merritt of Eaton, Colo., recorded his second straight no-time in the second go. He managed to catch the horns, but partner Jade Schmidt of Gillette College missed the heels.

Wyatt Clark remained in contention for a championship-round bid when he recorded a score of 73.5 on his second bareback ride earlier in the morning. His two-round accumulated score of 147 leaves him ninth in the average.

The top 12 individual times and scores advance to Saturday’s short go at 7 p.m.

Van Aken remained alive, but barely, in tie down roping when he recorded an 11.5-second time. That followed a no-time the day before.

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