CASPER – All Ty Everson needed was 5.9 seconds to become the national steer wrestling leader during the College National Finals Rodeo’s third round Wednesday night.
He was so, so close.
Even though the University of Wyoming junior from Helena, Montana, recorded his worst time of the week at 6.0 at the Casper Events Center, he more than likely will end up in Saturday’s finals.
Two UW Cowgirls also competed Wednesday, and they too, will have to play the wait-and-see game to know if they qualified for the finals.
Everson’s third-round effort left him third in the aggregate at 16.5 seconds with two more nights of competition left. He is five-tenths of a second out of the lead held by JD Draper of Mid Plains and a one-tenth of a second from second place Gabe Soileau of McNeese State making it one of the tightest races for an individual championship for the entire rodeo.
Coming out of the box cleanly Everson managed to catch the steer’s horns, but had trouble turning the steer over to stop the clock. It cost him the national lead.
“I wasn’t worried too much about the time I needed, I was more worried about setting him up better and I didn’t do a very good job of it, but I did some things I wanted to do,” Everson said. “I had trouble turning him over. I kind of sat on my pockets a little too much and didn’t get back to pulling my legs back and getting all of the nose, which cost me a little bit.”
Everson said he feels confident he’ll be back for Saturday’s finals.
“I’m feeling pretty good, and I just have to make sure I put it all together instead of focusing on other things,” he said.
For the Cowgirls, sophomore Rachael Calvo of Bassett, Nebraska, knows she lost a golden opportunity to take the barrel racing lead, but her third-round time of 14.56 seconds left her second in the aggregate with one more round to go. Her slowest time of the week gave her an overall time of 43.30 seconds on three.
An emotional Calvo said she lost the national lead on the first turn.
“We kind of blew by that first barrel and it really cost us a lot. The second and third were really good, but the first barrel kind of lost us our time,” she said. “I think we’ll definitely make the (finals), and we’re definitely going for the win.”
Senior Teisha Coffield of Yuma, Colorado, recorded a 6.8-second time in goat tying, which was her worst time of the week. Her three-round time of 20 seconds left her fourth in the aggregate with two nights of competition left.
“I kind of feel that I let one slip away. I messed up my flank and I know that I shouldn’t have, but I guess it was good enough to leave me in the average for now. I just hope it holds,” Coffield said. “I think that God has a plan and if it’s meant to be it will happen. If not, then we’ll go at them next year when we get the chance.”
Junior Payton Donnelly of Elk Point, S.D., had her season came to an end when she missed her calf in breakaway roping.
Both UW teams remain among the team leaders.
The Cowgirls are in third place with 200 points. UW trails McNeese State University by 60 points and Tarleton State University by 30 points. The Cowboys are tied for seventh with Fresno State with 240 points. Panhandle State University leads with 420 points.