OGDEN -- He will never play in the Super Bowl, yet Olin Hannum still has his sights set on rodeo's super bowl -- the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.
"You hope you're the guy who gets to the finals and not the one that people forget," said Hannum, who grew up in West Haven and graduated from Fremont High School.
"Hopefully, the goal is finally coming true," he said. "Any kid who grows up rodeoing has that goal of going to the finals."
The 33-year-old Hannum, of Malad, Idaho, is ranked No. 10 ($36,542) in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association world steer wrestling standings.
He finished 20th ($49,979) in the 2010 bulldogging standings, with the top 15 qualifying for the Wrangler NFR.
"I'm winning more, that pretty's easy," Hannum said, when asked what the difference is this year. "My horse, El Rey, has stayed healthy and that's been a big difference."
El Rey, is a 12-year-old gelding the Hannum's bought as a 5-year-old.
"His feet were sore last year and we didn't find out what was wrong," Hannum said. "He got sore the first of June and I kept trying to bring him back. He never was sound, and I would have to turn him out. I've had him since the end of March."
Hannum was up in Friday's third performance of the 78th annual $134,307 Ogden Pioneer Days Rodeo, and the result was a 5.6-second run at Ogden Pioneer Stadium.
He drew the steer that two-time world champion Lee Graves, a 10-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier, had in Tuesday's slack.
"If Graves was 5.8 (seconds), he wasn't the one I wanted," Hannum said. "The steers here are real uneven. There are steers you can catch out front and throw easy, like those in high school rodeo. There are other steers that are a lot stronger. There were only 1-2 steers out tonight that were very good."
Kacey Kenny, of Los Alamos, Calif., leads the one go-round of steer wrestling with a 3.9-second run in the slack.
"I have drawn good steers, and that along with winning helps build your confidence," Hannum said. "I have had things stay more consistent this year. I haven't had to switch horses all the time and know what I have to do all the time.
"I know El Rey and what he is going to do; we know each other," he said. "El Rey makes a big move when I catch the steer and helps me set my feet. He is supposed to be in his prime right now."
Hannum won the Sheridan Wyoming Rodeo, a Wrangler Million Dollar Tour Silver Rodeo, on July 13-16 at 8.2 seconds on two runs. He is sitting fourth in the aggregate (8.2 seconds on two runs) at the Snake River Stampede in Nampa, Idaho, making it back for today's short round.
"Any time you can win a tour rodeo, you know you've beaten the best," Hannum said. "I need to win a lot more this year; I would feel comfortable with $60,000."
Hannum backed up future San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers at North Carolina State after playing at Snow College.
"I wasn't good enough to play in the NFL; not everybody gets to play," he said. "I've always loved rodeo, but I wanted to see how far football could take me. The window of opportunity is not very big.
"I'm taking this a year a time," Hannum said. "When things are going good, you want to keep going. When it's bad, you want to go home. My dad, Jack, has been the biggest influence on my career, no question."
Olin's younger brother, Jake, is leading the second round of tie-down roping (7.3 seconds) at Ogden Pioneer Days Rodeo.
Two-time and defending world saddle bronc riding champion Cody Wright, of Milford, grabbed the go-round lead Friday with 91 points aboard Stace Smith Pro Rodeos' Justin Sock Dancer, a 2010 Wrangler NFR horse.
Kaley Bass, of Davenport, Fla., still leads the women's barrel racing (17.35 seconds).
Matt Pojanowski, of Woodbury, Minn., has the bull-riding lead at 87 points on Robinson Pro Rodeo's Marmite.