Speedy sub-seven score new Peek for roper

WES GILBERTSON

, Last Updated: 7:37 AM ET

Calgary Stampede fans were already in a frenzy, and Josh Peek didn't want to risk sending his trusty steed Cody racing around the arena.

So while his heart screamed 'Hustle!' the talented tie-down roper tip-toed back to his horse, then climbed in the saddle and -- finally -- breathed a sigh of relief.

"I looked back at the clock and when I saw 6.6, I thought 'Get back on your horse before you get too excited,' " said Peek, a two-event cowboy who hails from Pueblo, Colo.

"As soon as you can back to your horse, it's a legal run, so it's just a matter of getting back and getting on. And it worked. I'm just happy that calf stayed down."

Peek, the last roper to leave the chutes yesterday, knew he didn't have any time to spare.

His lasso toss was a perfect strike, and he was error-free in the dirt, displaying the kind of handiwork that has vaulted him to the top of the world standings.

His clocking of 6.6 seconds was the first sub-seven run of the week.

Even before the announcer revealed it was also just one-tenth of a second shy of Marty Jones' arena record that has stood since 1993, Peek Frisbeed his white cowboy hat through the air in celebration.

It won't go into the Stampede record books, but it's a mark Peek won't soon forget.

"I've never been six before," he said.

"I've caught a lot of calves in seven flat, but I've never been six. I couldn't believe it.

"It was just as picture-perfect a run as I could ask for."

Clint Robinson of Spanish Fork, Utah, will also be part of the picture on Showdown Sunday.

Robinson wrapped his steer in seven seconds flat.

"When it's tough roping, it's easier for me," said Robinson, who was the 10th cowboy on the day-sheet.

"There's no backing off. You just let it all hang out and go."

It's a good thing he did.

Tyson Durfey and Jerome Schneeberger both finished their business in a speedy 7.1 seconds.

That would've been good enough for the top prize in six of the eight preliminary go-rounds, but it wasn't fast enough to secure a wildcard berth.

Durfey, who hails from Colbert, Wash., could hardly believe his luck.

"I've never been to a Calgary Stampede where 7.1 never made it back," he said.

"After I made my run, I thought, 'Man, that's in for sure,' but some guys really stepped up to the plate and had the right calves and made good runs.

"That's the toughest day I've ever seen in calf roping right there."

It was certainly the toughest of this year's Stampede.

Cade Swor (7.2), Justin Maass (7.4), Hunter Herrin (7.5), Madden's Cliff Williamson (7.6) and Edmonton's Marty Becker (7.9) also cracked the eight-second mark but didn't earn the right to rope for one more day.

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TIE-DOWN ROPING FINALE

Today's lineup

Fred Whitfield $15,000

Stran Smith $12,500

Jeff Chapman $11,000

Dean Edge $11,000

-Josh Peek $11,000

Monty Lewis $9,000

Cody Ohl $8,500

Matt Shiozawa $8,000

-Clint Robinson $7,000

Blair Burk $6,000

- Wildcard entry


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