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Contestants make most of semifinals opportunities

SAN ANTONIO, Texas – With just two more performances left before champions are crowned at the $1,269,235 San Antonio Stock Show Rodeo, contestants are taking advantage of any opportunity to earn money in the AT&T Center.

Steer wrestler Jule Hazen from Ashland, Kan., was one of those contestants who had to earn a check. Entering the semifinals with $1,955, he knew to have any hopes of advancing to the finals, the Feb. 20 performance was critical. He had the fast time of the night at 3.9 and added $3,666 to his total. The top five in the earnings standings after Friday night’s rodeo qualify for the finals here. Hazen is now second in those standings with $5,621.

Luke Branquinho from Los Alamos, Calif., finished second for the night with 4.0, but had higher earnings coming in so he is at the top of the leaderboard with $6,171. The four-time world champion won the title here in 2010.

Coleman Proctor, from Pryor, Okla., and Jake Long, from Coffeyville, Kan., had the fastest run in team roping. It was a crucial run for them as well. They entered the Feb. 20 performance with $2,933. They are now second in the money standings with $6,599 behind Arizonans Erich Rogers and Cory Petska, who have $8,156. Rogers and Petska tied for second in the first round and are the high money winners in the second semifinals so far.

Jacobs Crawley has qualified for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo three times in saddle bronc riding and earned the average championship there last December. Being the best of 15 competitors through 10 rounds of competition has given him momentum that he is using here. Crawley was 82 points on Lancaster Pro Rodeo’s Angel Fire to win the round.

The $3,666 he earned moved the Stephenville, Texas resident from middle of the pack to the top of the leaderboard with $6,354. The Texas A&M graduate came through the ranks of the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association, winning the college finals in 2011.

There was a tie for the top spot in bull riding when Wesley Silcox and Trey Benton III, each had 88-point efforts. Silcox, who lives at Santaquin, Utah, received a re-ride and took advantage of the opportunity to get on Village Idiot. Benton, from Rock Island, Texas, rode Fully Wicked. Both bulls are owned by 4L & Diamond S Rodeo. They each earned $3,208.

Silcox has a commanding lead in the money standings with $8,096. Benton moved into third with $4,919 behind Beau Schroeder from China, Texas, who had an 81 on Feb. 20. Schroeder is second in the money standings with $5,010. All three of these men are looking good to qualify for Saturday night’s final competition.

Semifinals two’s second round of competition starts Friday night at 7:30 p.m. (CT), where the finals qualifiers will be determined. It will be broadcast live at www.prorodeolive.com.

Courtesy of PRCA