* University of Wyoming press release/ Milton Ontiveroz

CASPER -- Donny Proffit took care of business. Now he has to wait three days to know if his three- round effort is good enough to secure a bareback riding short go bid at the College National Finals Rodeo (CNFR) in Casper.

The University of Wyoming senior from Kemmerer had his best mark of the week Tuesday in riding the hard-bucking Cracked Pepper to 79 points, giving him 230.5 on three head. He is third in the average after the opening night of the third and final round.

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Now, he must wait to see how the rest of the week goes. Just the top 12 individual marks/times throughout the competition advance to the championship round.

“I think my chances are pretty good to make the short go -- I’m sitting pretty solid on three,” Proffit says. “I wish I was coming in a higher spot for a chance to win it. I don’t know where this one will end up putting me. I have to watch a bunch of talented guys the rest of the way and, no matter what, if I make it back Saturday, I will gas it and try hard. If not, I’ll go on to the next (rodeo) in Reno.”

If he reaches the short go, it will be his second straight trip to the championship round. A year ago, a serious foot injury cost him placing higher in the overall average.

Proffit was the only UW competitor up Tuesday evening in the first of five straight nightly performances in the Ford Wyoming Center.

Up Wednesday will be Brice Patterson, of Bozeman, Mont., in bareback riding; Bodie Mattson, of Sturgis, S.D., and Cam Jensen, of Hyannis, Neb., both in team roping with their partners; and Mattson will do double duty in tie down roping, where he currently is second in the nation after two full rounds of competition.

After two rounds of competition, the UW women are splitting ninth in the national team standings with McNeese State University (Lake Charles, La.) and New Mexico State University (Las Cruces, N.M.) -- all at 70 points.

The University of West Alabama (Livingstone, Ala.) tops the women’s field with 383.33 points, Cal Poly State University-San Luis Obispo has 175, and Gillette College is third at 165 points. The UW Cowboys are sitting 23rd in the men’s standings with 70 points, tied with Cisco College (Cisco, Texas); Hill College (Hillsboro, Texas); and Tarleton State University (Stephenville, Texas). McNeese State heads the men’s standings with 363.33 points; Clarendon College (Clarendon, Texas) is second at 370; and Texas A&M University-Commerce is third with 285 points.

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