Hillsdale saddle bronc rider Brody Cress finally got his first qualified ride of the 2018 National Finals Rodeo in Monday’s fifth round.

Cress, who won the average title at last year’s NFR, had failed to make it to the 8-second buzzer on his previous four attempts at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas. Monday, however, Cress, who missed the last four months with a broken ankle, scored 83.5 points on Bar T Rodeo’s Son of Sadie.

He finished out of the money, though, with Wade Sundell winning the round with a 92.

Former Sheridan College cowboy Zeke Thurston, the 2016 world champion saddle bronc rider, finished fourth in the round with a 90-point ride. Thurston currently sits fourth in the average and seventh in the world standings.

Also Monday, former Casper College team roper Trey Yates and roping partner Aaron Tsinigine placed sixth with a time of 5.2 seconds and remained second in the average with a time of 28.9 seconds on five head. Kaleb Driggers and Junior Noguiera lead the team roping average with a 27.8.

Bareback bronc rider Ty Breuer, who competed at Central Wyoming College, tied for seventh in the round with a score of 86.5, his highest score of the rodeo.

In addition to Sundell, other event winners Monday were: bareback bronc rider Clayton Biglow (93 points), bull rider Eli Vastbinder (91), steer wrestler Will Lummus (3.3 seconds), team ropers Clay Smith and Paul Eaves (3.8) and barrel racer Jessie Telford (13.49). There was a three-way tie for the top spot in tie-down roping with Trevor Brazile, Reese Riemer and Ryan Jarrett each recording 7.5-second runs.

The 10-round NFR continues through Saturday.

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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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