LAS VEGAS Cody Ohl and Teddy Johnson missed performing at last year's Wrangler National Finals Rodeo so much they're both making up for lost time in 2003.
Ohl (Stephenville, Texas) and Johnson (Checotah, Okla.) each won his second consecutive round Thursday in tie-down roping and steer wrestling, respectively. The victories highlighted Round 7 action from the 45th Wrangler NFR in front of 17,350 fans in the Thomas & Mack Center.
Besides winning the round, each moved into first place in his respective event in the Jack Daniel's World Standings. The $5 million Wrangler NFR ends Sunday with the crowning of each event's world champions based on annual earnings in the world standings.
Ohl, who suffered a severe knee injury during the 2001 Wrangler NFR and spent much of 2002 recovering, won Round 7 with a time of 7.0 seconds.
"I didn't know what to expect coming back," Ohl said. "I knew my chances were good coming in, and I feel like they are really good now. I knew I was $12,000 behind coming in tonight, and it was time to put some pressure on and everything worked out."
Johnson, the 2000 world champion runner-up who finished seventh in 2001 before dropping down to 21st last year, downed his steer in 3.6 seconds for the round victory.
"I've been there [first place] before, and I am just going to go one steer at a time and see what they give me each night," Johnson said. "I'm pretty pumped about winning again."
The eighth round gets under way at 7 p.m. (PST) Friday.
Reigning world saddle bronc champion Glen O'Neill (Didsbury, Alberta) strengthened his hold on the lead by sharing the Round 7 victory with four-time world champion Billy Etbauer (Edmond, Okla.) and Wrangler NFR rookie Cody Wright (Milford, Utah). O'Neill scored 85.5 points on Andrews' Copy Cat Snuff.
O'Neill extended his lead over five-time world saddle bronc riding champion Dan Mortensen (Billings, Mont.) to $24,000.
Team roping also had a three-way share of the Round 7 title. Reigning world all-around champion Trevor Brazile (Decatur, Texas) further extended his stranglehold on another all-around title, joining forces with Wayne Folmer (El Paso, Texas) to stop the clock in 4.1 seconds. Daniel Green (Oakdale, Calif.)/Kory Koontz (Sudan, Texas) and Shain Sproul (Arlee, Mont.)/Boogie Ray (Mabank, Texas) also had 4.1-second runs.
Brazile has a lead of $91,080 in the world all-around standings as he seeks to become the first cowboy since Joe Beaver in 1995-96 to win consecutive titles
Bareback rider Cody Jessee (Prineville, Ore.) claimed his first round victory of this year's Wrangler NFR by scoring 88 points on Brookman's Sports News Snuff.
Jason McClain, a bull rider from Lewis, Colo., also took his first victory lap of the rodeo after scoring 89 points on Andrews Rodeo's Locomotion.
Barrel racer Jackie Dube (Giddings, Texas) won her second round of the Wrangler NFR, completing the pattern in 13.97 seconds.