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Mortensen finishes sixth in go-round

December 10, 1997

LAS VEGAS (AP) _ Dan Mortensen wasn’t performing like a cowboy with the No. 1 on his back in the first four rounds of the $3.4 million National Finals Rodeo.

The top-ranked saddle bronc rider tied for second on opening night and then tied for fifth in the second round. But he was bucked off in the third round, and finished out of the money in the fourth.

On Tuesday, Mortensen got back on the right track with a 79 to finish sixth in the go-round and earn $1,865. So far in the NFR, Mortensen has made $11,377, only a fraction of the $155,405 he has earned this season.

``I need to get it done in the go-rounds,″ said Mortensen, of Manhattan, Mont. ``I just have to take it one round at a time.″

Steve Dollarhide of Wikieup, Ariz., won the go-round with an 85. Scott Johnston of DeLeon, Texas, was second with an 82, and Bret Franks of Goodwell, Okla., was third at 81.

Mortensen’s troubles began Sunday on a horse named Copenhagen Desperado, a horse he hadn’t ridden before and didn’t know anything about. He didn’t last eight seconds.

``Next time I’ll know how to handle him,″ Mortensen said. ``I’ll just need to hang on a little harder.″

Mortensen’s sixth-place finish Tuesday was even more important because six riders ahead of him in the NFR average were bucked off. Mortensen moved from 11th to an eight-place tie. The average only pays eight places.

Although he might have solidified his position in saddle bronc riding, he still lost ground in the race for the all-around title. Calf roper Cody Ohl, second in the all-around, tied for second in his event along with Joe Beaver, currently third. Beaver also placed sixth in team roping.

Mortensen leads the all-around race with $157,328. Ohl is second with $135,794 and Beaver is third at $124,900.

``I’m trying not to think at all about the all-around,″ Mortensen said. ``Just thinking about it put more pressure on you than you really need.″

Marty Becker of Manyberries, Alberta, won the calf roping go-round with a 7.5-second run. Ohl of Orchard, Texas, and Beaver of Huntsville, Texas, tied for second at 7.6 seconds.

In bull riding, Jerome Davis of Archdale, N.C., won for the second straight night with an 86 on Copenhagen Gunsmoke. Scott Breding of Edgar, Mont., was second with an 85, and Travis Sullivan of Moriarity, N.M., and Keith Adams of Fredricksburg, Texas, tied for third with 84s.

Deb Greenough of Red Lodge, Mont., won for the second straight night in bareback riding, scoring an 86. Jeff Collins of Wister, Okla., and Cleve Schmidt of Miles City, Mont., tied for second with 85s. Greenough moved from sixth to second in the world standings with $90,216, only $6,048 behind first-place Denny McClanahan of Canadian, Texas.

Brad Gleason of Ennis, Mont., and Ivon Nelson of Ocala, Fla., tied for first in steer wrestling, both recording 3.4-second runs. Ivan Teigen of Camp Crook, S.D., and Butch Myers of Athens, Texas, tied for third at 3.6 seconds. Gleason moved from fourth to second with the first, $3,733 behind Rope Myers of Van, Texas.

In team roping, Randy Polich of Aztec, N.M., and Nick Sarchett of Scottsdale, Ariz., won the go-round with a 4.8 second run. Steve Purcella of Hereford, Texas, and Steve Northcott of Odessa, Texas, were second at 4.9 seconds and Matt Tyler of Corsicana, Texas, and Mike Beers of Powell Butte, Ore., were third at 5.1 seconds.

Peyton Raney of Boyd, Texas, won the barrel racing go-round with a 14.15 second run. Kristie Peterson of Elbert, Colo., was second at 14.20, and Sherry Cervi of Midland, Texas, was third at 14.39.

Cervi leads the season standings with $123,153, but Peterson is close behind at $122,328.

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