Hawk Rodeo - CNFR Wednesday Update: Teller's In

CASPER, Wyo. -- Cullen Teller has a national championship in his sights.

The Howard College team roper became the heeler to beat at the College National Finals Rodeo with another penalty-free run during Wednesday night’s performance at the Casper Events Center.

Teller, roping with Tarleton State header Brody Self, turned in a time of 7.4 seconds, taking the lead in the average race, which determines the national championship on Saturday.

“We’re all right,” Teller said shortly after in what might have been the understatement of the week. “My man split the horns but he got it on him good.

“That steer was kind of tough on the back end. I thought I did a good job roping him right there.”

Self and Teller sit in fifth place midway through the third go-round. More importantly, they’ve taken the lead in the race for the national title.

They’ve roped three steers in a total of 24.6 seconds, grabbing a 3.6-second lead, though seven teams with two successful runs have yet to make their attempt.

Still, Cullen has clinched a spot in Saturday night’s short go, which brings back the top 12 competitors in each event to vie for a national championship.

“It’s a sigh of relief,” Teller said.

Hawks freshman barrel racer Kaci Smith hopes she can join him under the lights Saturday night.

Sitting in second place in the average after the second round, Smith will make her third run during Thursday night’s performance.

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