Western rodeo teams second in Missoula

MISSOULA — The members of the Big Sky Region of the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association competed in the final rodeo of the season this past weekend at the University of Montana. The Montana Western men’s and women’s rodeo teams each earned second place team trophies, and Bulldogs claimed buckles in three events.

Senior Jesse Medearis posted the top tie down roping time in both the long and short rounds to earn the title and still found time to return to campus between runs to receive recognition as the graduating male student with the highest grade point average during the Montana Western commencement ceremony.

Juniors Dakota Munns and Phil Shields each placed in the saddle bronc event while senior J2 Bridges and freshman Tristan Hansen earned points in on bareback horses. The weekend’s final event, bull riding, was claimed by the stock as not a single qualified ride was recorded.

Senior Kane Cartwright and junior Mike Vines finished second and fourth in the steer wrestling and senior Newt Novich earned go-around points. Freshman Jake Worthern and sophomore Shay Wacker earned the team roping title while junior Tyler Friend and Hansen finished in third place. Junior Jade Gardner also earned team roping points.

In the women’s competition freshman Abby Wilkerson placed in both the breakaway roping and goat tying to place second in the all-around competition. Sophomore Tess Turk earned a second place finish in the breakaway roping while sophomore Connlee Gray and junior Jamie Riley gathered points in the barrel racing.

The men’s team closed out the regular season with a Big Sky Region championship while the women claimed the reserve champion hardware. Both programs earned a trip to the College National Finals Rodeo and will announce the participating team members later this week.

— Montana Western Sports Information

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