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Saturday’s performance might have given a few contestants the breath of fresh air they needed, maybe a momentum boost headed into the rest of the weekend or even the rest of the season.

At least, that’s what Jacob Edler thinks. The defending world champion steer wrestler had an August to make him sick and his 3.8-second run on Saturday was just the potion needed during Saturday afternoon at the Ellensburg Rodeo.

“Well, I’m gonna be plum honest with ya, the past three weeks I have been going through absolute hell as far as rodeo goes,” he said. “I’ve been struggling, haven’t won anything. To come here to a perf in Ellensburg, with an OK steer and to go out there and be 3.8, it was a great feeling, it was just like the weight was lifted off my shoulders and I’m ready to finish the rest of the season strong.”

Edler won’t compete in the short round, as Monday’s round brings back the top 12 and he’ll barely miss the cut. But the 3.8 is more for the momentum — maybe a second-round check, too — to put August in his rearview mirror and rodeo hard for the rest of the regular season which ends this month.

“I’m entered everywhere that I possibly can be,” the 30th-ranked bulldogger said. “I’m outside of the top 15 right now (by $16,000), but you know I’m gonna take the momentum from this run and run with it. It’s time to bear down, hunker down and do some good and go make the NFR again.”

Fellow bulldogger Cody Cabral knows he doesn’t have a chance to make the NFR in Las Vegas like he did in 2016, but he’s still got a chance to make money here. The “Flyin’ Hawaiian” had a 4.2-second steer on Saturday, which will bring him back toward the middle of the pack for Monday’s short round.

“Just saw them over at Bremerton,” he said of the pen of steers. “The first steer I had on Thursday I actually ran in Bremerton. Did good on him there, did good on him here. And the steer today, that’s the fastest they’ve been on him all summer. He wasn’t the one I wanted, but I was able to get by him.”

Tarryn Lee did more than just “get by” the three barrels on Saturday afternoon. In fact, she knew her horse would do better with the crowd on Saturday than the subdued atmosphere earlier this week at slack.

“I knew he would fire a lot harder,” she said of her horse’s 17.28-second pattern around the arena. “He loves the crowd, and I knew he would do better and get faster.

“He was just running harder,” she added, comparing to her first round run nearly a half-second slower. “In my first run I might have safetied up just to get around the barrels. I just went for it today. He turned tight. He kind of came off the third barrel a little bit wide, but he’s still fast.”

Lee was amongst a trio of ladies whose horses ran well on Saturday. Mary Shae Thomas’ 17.36-second run opened the performance, and it was nearly eclipsed by Lindsay Brash’s 17.37. The three ladies hold the top three positions in the second round.

Top saddle bronc rookie Sage Newman is first, second, third to no one thus far in the bronc riding. Newman rode Calgary’s Rekker to an 87.5. The cowboy was familiar with the bronc.

“I got on that same horse last week and she bucked me off,” he said with a smile. “It’s good to get a little redemption today.”

Newman is 17th in the world standings this week, less than $4,000 out of the top 15 behind Spencer Wright, who will join Newman in Monday’s short round as Wright had an 83 on Friday. Rusty Wright was the top bronc rider after Friday’s 86, but he’s now third in the long go after Newman’s 87 and 10th-ranked Layton Green’s 86.5.

Like Newman, Creek Young is the top rookie in his event: bull riding. Young was the last rider to ride on Saturday and he was worth the wait. Young’s 85 on Corey and Lange’s Timmy was the best of the day and puts him in second place, three points behind event leader Stetson Wright and a half-point ahead of Walla Walla’s Derek Kolbaba and a full point ahead of Connor Murnion.

“That was a good bull, Timmy of Corey and Lange. He’s got a wild move out of the chute and then he’s flat and fast, but you can still get some points on him, and it worked out pretty good,” the seventh-ranked Young said. “I did see him out at Coeur d’Alene last week, Brady Portenier got on him and won it last week. He followed the same tracks pretty well today.”

Sixth-ranked Jess Pope took over top billing in the bareback riding with his 84.5 on Korkow Rodeo’s Broken Button.

Similar to Friday’s performance, the tie-down and team roping was a group of hit-and-miss times. Chance Thiessen’s 8.8-second calf probably won’t win much, if anything, for the second round, but his 19.4-second average on two will bring him back for Monday’s short round. In team roping, Rhen Richard and Jeremy Buhler’s 4.9-second steer is fourth in the second round, while Coy Rahlmann and Douglas Rich’s 10.7 on two is second in the average.

Sunday’s round begins an hour earlier than Saturday, with an 11:45 Grand Entry.

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