LAS VEGAS — Two Montana competitors moved into first place in the world standings after the first round of competition at the National Finals Rodeo on Thursday at the Thomas & Mack Center.
Barrel racer Lisa Lockhart, originally from Circle, placed second in the opening round. Lockhart scored a time of 13.70 seconds for $20,731 and moved into first place in the world standings with $1777,082 won. Lockhart entered the 10-round NFR in third place.
Haven Meged is also now in first place. The Miles City cowboy turned in a time of 8.3 seconds for third place and $15,654 in tie-down roping to move into the lead in the world standings with $145,533 won. Meged was in second entering the NFR.
Another cowboy with Montana ties, Richmond Champion, placed first in the bareback with a 91.5-point score aboard Night Crawler. Champion earned $26,231 and is now in fourth place in the world standings with $167,060. Champion recently moved to Stevensville from Texas and entered the NFR in fifth place in the standings.
Three riders broke the previous first-round record in bareback as Champion recorded his 91.5, Clayton Biglow had a 90.5 and Caleb Bennett scored 90. The previous round one record was 89 points, shared by Kaycee Feild (2011) and West Stevenson (2006), according to a PRCA press release.
On the whole, Montana competitors did well at the first day of the 10-round competition.
Butte's Bridger Chambers tied for second in steer wrestling with a time of 3.8 seconds and earned $18,192 and is now eighth in the world standings with $107,221. He entered the competition in 13th place.
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Bennett, of Corvallis, turned in a 90-point score for third place and $15,654. He is in sixth in the world standings with $136,627 and entered the finals in seventh place.
Chase Tryan of Helena and partner Brenten Hall placed fourth in team roping with a time of 4.5 seconds for $11,000. Tryan is 11th in the world standings for heelers with $107,345. He entered the finals in 11th place in the standings.
Saddle bronc rider Chase Brooks of Deer Lodge tied for fourth in the round with a score of 86 and pocketed $7,333 and is now fourth in the standings with $133,617 won. Brooks moved up two spots in the standings.
Steer wrestler Ty Erickson of Helena is still comfortably in the lead for the world title with $156,081. He placed 12th in the round with a time of 13.4 seconds.
Three-time world champ Clay Tryan of Billings teamed with Jake Long and did not record a time. Tryan remains in fourth place in the world standings for headers with $113,165.
The competition concludes on Dec. 14. Nightly performances are slated for 7:45 p.m.