Pressure builds on the final day of performances at CNFR

University of Wyoming’s CNFR participants did what they needed to do to reach Saturday’s finals, and a pair of athletes from Wyoming community colleges are primed to compete for a national title riding the bull.
Updated: Jun. 19, 2021 at 12:42 AM CDT
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CASPER, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - The tension mounts as the week progresses at the College National Finals Rodeo, and on the final day of performances, you could feel the tension in the arena. The top 12 qualifiers will participate in the finals on Saturday evening at the Ford Wyoming Center.

When University of Wyoming’s Garrett Uptain stepped to the top of the bucking chute on Friday, you could tell he could feel the pressure as he was prepping his saddle. He was aboard Jerry’s Delight with a chance to seal his spot on Saturday.

“Really, I’m just trying to focus on what I have to do in my bronc ride,” said Uptain in an interview after his ride. “Mostly just I’m working on getting a good spur out, lifting on my reign really good, setting my feet hard. Had a little bit of trouble tonight doing that, but really I try not to focus on anything else other than my job.”

The crowd did not see Uptain having any trouble as he and Jerry’s Delight danced under the arena lights. Uptain was given a 70.0 score by the judges and secured fourth place heading into Saturday’s finals.

“It’s awesome to be able to make the short round here,” said Uptain. “I haven’t been able to do that in the past, so pretty excited about it. In the short round, just gonna let it all hang out and try to go win this thing.”

Uptain’s teammates participating on Friday also found success. Donny Proffit scored a 67.5 bareback riding and is primed to participate in Saturday’s finals.

Seth Peterson, who dazzled Thursday, was again center stage for steer wrestling. He was able to wrangle his calf in 4.8 seconds and will be in contention for the all-around title on Saturday.

Jase Staudt teamed with Gillette College’s J.C. Flake for team roping, and they were able to sneak into Saturday’s team roping finals with a 5.4 during Friday’s performance.

Other representatives from the Cowboy State included Casper College’s Quinten Taylor hopping on a bull. He was unable to score on Friday, but he is positioned sixth heading into Saturday’s bull riding finals.

In fifth place ahead of Taylor, Laramie County Community College’s Stefan Tonita scored an 81.0 on Friday to secure his place on Saturday. Tonita’s teammate Cauy Pokorny finished with a 6.8 steer wrestling under the bright lights.

Saturday’s finals will begin at 7 P.M at the Ford Wyoming Center.

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