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Published June 14, 2022
Three University of Wyoming Cowboys made their move Tuesday morning in a bid to reach the College National Finals Rodeo short go Saturday night. Three UW Cowgirls also remained in contention in goat tying.
Cam Jensen climbed to sixth in the steer wrestling average, while UW teammates Austin Hurlburt and Donny Proffit sit ninth in the bulldogging and bareback riding averages, respectively. Tuesday’s second slack session marked the end of the second round at the Ford Wyoming Center.
Both Riata Day and Kelsey Lensegrav had faster goat tying times in the second round in a tight race to be among the top 12 to qualify for the short go. Faith Hoffman, who split second place in the opening round, stumbled on her second run to slip in the average.
Jensen had his best run of the week, drawing a steer that broke straight down the middle, giving the Hyannis, Neb., competitor a clean shot of stopping the clock in 5.8 seconds. He is at 12.5 seconds on two head, nearly four seconds behind the event leader.
“I drew a much better steer today, and I knew what he was going to be like,” Jensen says. “I got a good start, just got a hold of him and put him on the ground. I’ve been trying to knock them down, and I’ve got two of them so far. Just one more to go tonight.”
Proffit made up for an average ride in his first attempt earlier in the week in a big way, as he rode Corona Time to 79.5 points. He opened with a 71.5 on his first ride, one that left him eager to get back in the arena.
“It was a real good horse, and I was glad on the one that I drew today,” the Kemmerer Cowboy said. “I knew if I did my job, things would work out for me.”
His second ride mark tied him for second in the round; he now has 151 points on two head -- 11 points out of first place.
Proffit says he thought he knew what to expect on Corona Time, but the horse changed things a bit, staying in one spot for most of the 8-second qualified ride. The UW team member did his job to force the action.
“I felt like he was trying to quit on me a lot, but I got him picked up, and he kept bucking pretty good,” Proffit says. “I let my first one on Sunday get away from me, and I sure am glad I made up for it today.”
Hurlburt’s steer broke cleanly out of the box, and the Norfolk, Neb., senior took the steer down but had difficulty turning the head to get the hooves up in the air to stop the clock. That cost Hurlburt a bit, and he had to settle for a 7.5-second time. He opened earlier with a 6.4-second run, and his two-head mark is 13.9 seconds.
Despite falling down right before she reached her goat, Day quickly recovered to get in a clean tie in 6.6 seconds, improving by two-tenths of a second from the day before. Her 13.4-second two-run time is good for 15th in the average. The leader is just one second faster, with a whopping 18 competitors in the 13-second range.
“I wanted to make sure that I hustled through my run because anything can happen, and I wanted to stay in the average,” she says. “I was definitely more aggressive this time, but I just need to keep my feet a little bit better.”
Lensegrav also improved her first-day time, going from 7 seconds to 6.8, giving her a two-run time of 13.8 seconds. She sits 26th in the average.
“My goal this week is just to improve my time every run. I just want to be consistent and better each time,” she says. “I try not to think about that stuff (the average) too much. I just keep chipping away at them, and that’s just the way rodeo is.”
Hoffman had the misfortune of recording a much slower time during the second section of goat tying. The Kiowa, Colo., senior was headed to a quick time again, but she stumbled on the tie and had to retie a second time, leaving her with an 8.7-second mark. Her two-run time of 14.6 seconds dropped her to 33rd in the average, with 40 total competitors still remaining in contention for the 12 top spots. The third round will determine who makes the finals.
Other UW results:
-- Chadron Coffield saw his short go bid end in tie down roping when his calf kicked free from the Yuma, Colo., senior’s tie. Coffield had a qualified time during Monday’s slack at 13.3 seconds.
-- The fourth UW Cowgirl competing in goat tying -- Taylour Latham, of Lapoint, Utah -- had her best time of the week in 6.1 seconds. She had a no-time in the opening round when her goat broke free from its tie.
-- Two-event competitor Brice Patterson, of Bozeman, Mont., turned in a no-time in steer wrestling after recording a 15.9 in the opening round.