6. Clay Tryan becomes a three-time world champion

Clay Tryan posted a win in the fifth round of the NFR on Monday night.

Associated Press

LAS VEGAS – It was a big night for Montana competitors as Clay Tryan and Lisa Lockhart posted fifth round wins at the National Finals Rodeo on Monday night.

The 10-round, $10 million rodeo continues through Sunday at the Thomas and Mack Center. The NFR determines the 2017 world champions.

Tryan, of Billings, and partner Jade Corkill earned their first check of the NFR with a first-place time of 3.9 seconds to win the team roping. The three-time world champions shared first place with Erich Rogers and Cory Petska. Tryan and Corkill were 3.8 on Sunday night but only roped one back leg for a five-second penalty.

The team ropers each earned $23,450.

Cut Bank’s Dustin Bird and Russell Cardoza had a time of 9.4 seconds in team roping.

Lockhart shared first place in barrel racing with Ivy Conrado, both posting times of 13.59 seconds. Lockhart, originally from Circle, earned her third straight check. It was her 14th go-round win at 11 NFR appearances and the 69th round she won money. Lockhart is also fourth in the average. The 13.59-second run is the fastest of her 2017 NFR.

Helena’s Ty Erickson moved another round closer to winning the steer wrestling world title. The standings leader placed fifth in the round with a time of 4.3 seconds for $6,769. He is also is second in the average. Erickson has lead of $17,000 on Tyler Pearson who is third in the average. Erickson has pushed his season earnings to $209,000.

J.R. Vezain, a former Montana Pro Rodeo Circuit champion now living in Melstone, shared fifth place in bareback riding with 87.5 points. The former Cowley, Wyoming cowboy is sixth in the average. Only one point separated the top six places, with Mason Clements winning with an 88.5-point ride.

Brody Cress placed second for the second consecutive night in saddle bronc riding. The three-time high school state wrestling champion from Hillsdale, Wyoming finished in a three-way tie for second Monday night with a ride of 86 points. Cress is second in the average at his first NFR.

Other round winners were: Tanner Milan, 3.8 seconds, steer wrestling; Sterling Crawley, 89 points, saddle bronc; Marty Yates, 7.0 seconds, tie-down roping; Sage Kimzey, 89 points, bull riding.

Kimzey is trying to become the first bull rider since Don Gay (1974-78) to win four consecutive bull riding world titles. Milan, of Canada, is also second in the Montana Pro Rodeo Circuit steer wrestling standings. Yates has the fastest tie-down roping time through five rounds.

Trevor Brazile continues to lead the all-around race. He had a time of 10.4 seconds and did not place. Tuf Cooper, second to Brazile in the all-around, finished second Monday with a time of 7.1 seconds. Brazile is second in the average, while Cooper, Brazile’s brother-in-law is third.

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