CASPER — Even though they did not compete in their respective events during the closing of the College National Finals Rodeo’s third round in Casper Friday night, University of Wyoming men’s team members Austin Hurlburt and Brice Patterson did enough during the week to qualify for Saturday’s short go.
Hurlburt enters the championship round fifth in the steer wrestling average, while Patterson placed 11th overall in the bareback riding competition. The top 12 times/scores of each individual event in the men’s and women’s divisions earn bids to college rodeo’s main event at Ford Wyoming Center.
In bulldogging, Hurlburt turned over three steers for a total of 19 seconds, while Patterson was steady on three rides, marking consistently and accumulating 215.5 points.
“I’m really proud of Austin and the work he put into the steer wrestling the last five years. It’s great to see him with this opportunity,” UW coach Beau Clark said. “He is a great competitor and it’s not a surprise to see him make the short round.”
Clark was just as happy for Patterson making the final round.
“I hope he draws a great one and uses it (Saturday) to showcase his talent,” Clark said. “Brice will be back here at the CNFR and I hope this week helps him grow and improve for the future.”
Patterson completed his third and final steer wrestling run Friday night, stopping the clock in 7.9. Going for third-round points, he immediately got off his horse and was able to slide to the steer’s horns, but couldn’t get his feet set, costing him time as he tried to turn the steer over. Patterson missed a short go bid on his first bulldogging run earlier in the week with a no time. He was 15.5 on his second head.
It wasn’t the week two-event UW team member Garrett Uptain was looking for when he closed out his third round of bull riding competition Friday getting tossed in 2.2 seconds. He did not mark on any of his bulls, plus he scored in the low 60s on two earlier in the week in saddle bronc riding and was bucked off on another. He was this past season’s regional saddle bronc riding champion and also was among the top three bull riders.
The lone Cowgirl who had a chance to qualify for the short go during Friday night’s performance was Riata Day in goat tying; however, she stumbled on her dismount and fell face-first into the arena dirt. She quickly got up but could only manage to stop the clock in 8.4 seconds, and needed a low 6-second mark for a shot at a short go qualification. She finished the week with a three-round time of 22.3 seconds.
Another Cowgirl waited out the goat tying competition to see if she qualified for the final round, but Kelsey Lensegrav — who came into the final round 10th in the average — was bumped down to 15th to end her UW career.