CNFR - Saturday Championships

Tarleton State saddle bronc rider Brody Cress, from Hillsdale, reacts after his 84-point ride in the short go of the College National Finals Rodeo on June 17 at the Casper Events Center.

Alan Rogers, Star-Tribune

Brody Cress’s impressive rodeo season isn’t over yet.

The saddle bronc rider from Hillsdale finished sixth in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association regular-season standings released Sunday to qualify for the National Finals Rodeo.

Cress, a three-time state champion wrestler at Cheyenne East (2012-14), won championship buckles at 10 rodeos this year, including Cheyenne Frontier Days. He also finished third at the College National Finals Rodeo while competing for Tarleton State University.

The 21-year-old Cress will be making his NFR debut when the 10-day event kicks off on Dec. 7 at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.

Other cowboys with in-state ties who qualified for the NFR by finishing in the PRCA’s top 15 in their respective events are Cowley bareback bronc rider JR Vezain, former Sheridan College saddle bronc rider and defending world champion Zeke Thurston, former Central Wyoming College bareback bronc rider Ty Breuer and former Gillette College steer wrestler Chason Floyd.

Vezain will be making his fifth trip to Vegas. The onetime Casper College cowboy is currently fourth in the PRCA standings with $113,312. Last year Vezain finished eighth in the world and tied for second in the NFR average. He was fourth in his NFR debut in 2012.

Thurston, 23, is currently second in the world standings with more than $170,000. He trails Jacobs Crawley by just $14,000. Thurston was fourth entering the 10th and final round of the NFR last year, but tied for third in the round to win the average title and top Crawley by less than $3,000 to claim his first gold buckle.

Breuer, 27, will be making his third appearance at the NFR, having finished 14th in both his previous showings in 2013 and last year. He enters the NFR 14th in the world standings.

Like Cress, the 28-year-old Floyd will be making his NFR debut. He finished 15th in the regular-season standings with $71,192, which was just $87 more than Josh Peek in 16th.


Sports Editor

Jack Nowlin returned to the Star-Tribune in 2007 after eight years covering Michigan State University athletics. A Wyoming native, and a graduate of Jeffrey City High School and the University of Wyoming, Jack serves as the Star-Tribune’s sports editor.

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