Central Washington University’s Taylor Turner set the pace in barrels, standings leader Trey Recanzone was successful in tie-down and two CWU team roping teams placed in the top six during Friday’s first of three days of college rodeo action at the Ellensburg Rodeo arena.

Running barrels during Friday’s slack Turner blistered the cloverleaf, running a 17.81-second pattern to win Friday’s performance. The Northwest region’s 13th-ranked barrel racer will win first-place money, but also generate some points to move up the standings. She narrowly defeated region leader Shayla Currin (17.88) who finished second.

Friday’s performance is a stand-alone rodeo, whereas top placers of today’s round move to Sunday’s short go finale for a chance at the two-round average.

If CWU’s Recanzone ropes today like he did on Friday, he’ll be competing Sunday as well. Recanzone, the nation’s fourth-ranked (and No. 1 in the region) tie-down roper, stopped his calf in 12.75 seconds, to eventually place third in the round. The calves were new to the arena and hadn’t been roped much coming into the week.

“We ran them through here to show them the end and that’s it. So that was kind of the thing I was worried about some of them ran harder than others and I didn’t really know what mine would do,” he said. “They haven’t been roped much. I just played it safe and made didn’t break out. He ran harder than I expected, but my horse is quick and he was able to catch up. I wouldn’t have changed anything.”

Later, Blue Mountain Community College’s Preston Pederson – second behind Recanzone in the regional standings – stopped his calf in 10.7 seconds. The last roper of the event, Duncan Mackenzie, won the round with a 9.5-second calf. Blue Mountain’s Mackenzie came into the weekend fifth in the region and his win will strengthen his chances of getting into the top three.

Pederson was busy on Friday as he also put together an 8.8-second run in steer wrestling. The 8.8 didn’t win it – that went to teammate Bryce Harrison and his 5.7-second time – but Pederson was perilously close to eating a face full of dirt when his steer made a move just before Pederson grabbed his horns to wrestle him down.

“He got in front of my hazer’s horse I just stayed in the hole and my hazer did a good job of kicking up and pushing the steer back to me and letting me get a hold of him and giving me a good chance,” he said, acknowledging there were certainly some “oh no” thoughts racing through his mind.

“Definitely. You don’t know what’s going to happen.”

Pederson finished third in the event, pushing his lead in the region’s All-Around.

The Wildcats were well-represented in team roping as the region’s Nos. 1 and 3 teams both placed. Top-ranked Wade Bruemmer – along with heeler Dillon Bahem of Lewis and Clark College – roped a seven-second steer for second on the night. They placed behind second-ranked Lexis Andrade/Calgary Smith of Walla Walla, who stopped the clock in 6.8 seconds. CWU’s third-ranked team, Riley Eres and Chance Gleave, had a bit of trouble and roped a leg for a five-second penalty and a 14.1-second finish for sixth on the night.

In goat tying, the region’s No. 2 cowgirl Tommi Swannack tied her goat in a round-leading 9.6 seconds. It was a logjam behind her as six ropers finished between 10.7 and 11.7 seconds.

In breakaway Wylene Nichols of Walla Walla Community College roped a 3.9-second calf just ahead of All-Around extraordinaire Janey Reeves (4.3 seconds) of University of Idaho.

Treasure Valley Community College’s Jack Bentz (72) got the win in saddle bronc over Walla Walla’s Hayden Hall (69). Blue’s Clay Hall stuck on his bull for 66 points. He was the lone rider to cover for eight seconds.

Today’s slack begins at 11 a.m. with the Todd Anderson Memorial Rodeo scheduled for 7 tonight. Admission is free.

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