CASPER, Wyo. – Tyler Turco entered the College National Finals Rodeo as the dominant No. 1-ranked saddle bronc rider in the country, but the rankings all go back to zero in Casper. Now, the Montana Grizzly junior needs to quickly recapture his championship form.
Turco scored 71.5 points on his first ride Sunday, finishing in ninth place in the first of three saddle bronc rounds. He scored a 69.5 on Monday, which ranks sixth with still half of the cowboys left to ride on Tuesday to wrap up Round 2.
The Franktown, Colorado native has a good chance to advance to the championship round if he can post a score in his third round on Thursday evening. The top 12 in the average advance to the final night on Saturday. But Turco will probably need two good scores to have any chance at becoming Montana’s first national champion since 2008.
Two other western Montanans are competing in Casper for Montana State University. Will Powell of St. Ignatius will have a very busy week at the CNFR. He rode into the arena three times on Monday. Powell’s time of 4.8 seconds was good for eighth place in the first round of steer wrestling; his 11.4-second time in tie-down roping put him in a tie for 11th place; and his team roping attempt with partner Jack Graham posted no time. Powell will compete in the second round in all three events again on Tuesday.
Victor’s Ryanne Tracy took her first ride in breakaway roping on Monday. The MSU Bobcat senior finished in 3.6 seconds, good for 18th place in the first round. She will also compete in the second round on Tuesday.