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Brody Cress

Tarleton State's Brody Cress exits the arena after the saddle bronc competition during performances at the College National Finals Rodeo on June 14, 2018.

With just a few short days away from the championship short go-round on Sunday, the action has only begun to heat up at the Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo.

Action picked up for the Wyoming natives on Wednesday with successful performances by Brody Cress and Aaron Vosler.

Cress, the defending saddle bronc champion of Frontier Days, rode Stace Smith Pro Rodeo’s Utopia to 88 points in his first go to put him in front on Wednesday. The Hillsdale native had his second go on Thursday and only furthered his legend at the Daddy Of ‘Em All with a 78.5. That put him atop the average with 166.5, just ahead of Isaac Diaz and his 165.

Rusty Wright electrified the crowd with a 86, the best score among second go rides. That put Wright in fourth, less than a month after winning the saddle bronc at the Cody Stampede.

Vosler, a native of Cheyenne, led the steer wrestling after throwing a 5.7 on Wednesday, giving his hometown crowd a reason to celebrate. That celebration, however, did not last long as Vosler did not record a time in his second go on Thursday.

Curtis Cassidy clings to a 16.7 lead in the average with Nick Guy looming at 16.8 going into Friday’s bulldogging performances.

The bareback average fixes to be one of the tightest races in recent memory. Seth Lee Hardwick still holds the lead after an 85.5 on Monday and an 81 on Tuesday. His 166.5 average is trailed closely by Kaycee Feild (166), Lane McGehee (166), Will Lowe (165.5) and Caleb Bennett (165.5).

Tuf Cooper scored a 12.2 for his second go in steer roping to give him a comfortable lead with 29.7. Riley Pruitt now holds a full-second lead in the tie-down roping with a 21.8. Following a consistent 8.6 in the first go and a 8.9 in the second, the team of Chris Francis and Cade Passig lead the team roping.

Koby Radley leads in the bull riding average with 173.5 on two head. Radley, Jeff Askey and J.W. Harris are the only riders to cover both bulls by the end of Thursday’s performances. Askey and Harris tied with 168 in the average.

Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi, who won the barrel racing buckle at the 2007 Frontier Days Rodeo, netted a 17.83 in her first go. She returned atop Mona to finish in 17.61 on Wednesday night, which put her in the lead on aggregate, 35.44, even after Thursday’s performances.

Lane Schuelke holds onto a commanding lead in the rookie saddle bronc with a 148 on two. Schuelke won the first go with a 77 and sits tied for second in the second go with a 71 going into Friday’s performance.

Follow sports reporter Brady Oltmans on Twitter @BradyOltmans

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High School Sports Reporter

Brady Oltmans reports on high school and local sports. He joined the Star-Tribune in July 2016 after covering prep sports and college soccer in Nebraska. He also contributes to University of Wyoming sports coverage. He and his dog live in Casper.

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