The former Sheridan College cowboy tied for fifth with an 85-point ride to move into fifth place in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association world standings and third in the average. Thurston, the 2016 world champ, trails 2017 champ Ryder Wright by less than $57,000 after two rounds of the NFR.
Also Friday, former Casper College team roper Trey Yates, the 2018 College National Finals Rodeo champion, teamed with Aaron Tsiginine to finish fifth with a time of 4.8 seconds. Yates and Tsiginine are now fifth in the average and sixth in the world standings.
Hillsdale saddle bronc rider Brody Cress, who won the average title at last year’s NFR, posted his second consecutive no-score and fell to eighth in the world standings.
And bareback bronc rider Ty Breuer, who rodeoed at Central Wyoming College, was 13th with a 71 and is now 13th in the world standings.
Friday’s go-round winners were: Cort Scheer (92 in saddle bronc), Tilden Hooper (87.5 in bareback), Joe Frost (90 in bull riding), Marty Yates (7.6 seconds in tie-down roping), defending world champ Tyler Pearson (3.8 in steer wrestling), Clay Smith and Paul Eaves (4.0 in team roping) and Lisa Lockhart (13.65 in barrel racing).
The NFR continues through Dec. 15 at the Thomas & Mack Center.