Western rodeo teams take home titles

GREAT FALLS —The University of Montana Western rodeo teams swept the team titles at the spring rodeo hosted by the University of Great Falls.

The women’s team posted 495 points during the weekend, providing a 200 point cushion over second place Northwest College. The advantage increased the margin between Montana Western and the third place team in the Big Sky Region, the University of Montana. Montana Western now sits in good position to earn a team bid to June’s College National Finals Rodeo (CNFR).

Sophomore Tess Turk captured the women’s all-around title after a second place finish in breakaway roping and a win in the goat tying. Senior Justinn Marshall also scored points in both events, finishing in third place in the breakaway event. Junior Jamie Riley earned points for the team in the barrel racing.

The Bulldog men earned the team title with a 110-point lead over Northwest College, further extending its lead in the regional standings.

Freshman bareback rider Tristan Hansen finished fourth and senior J2 Bridges earned points in the event. Three Bulldogs finished in the top four of the saddle bronc event, juniors Tyler Friend, Phil Shields and Dakota Munns. Shields and Friend hold the top two spots in the Big Sky Region standings, with their eyes on CNFR invitations. Shields also retained a slight lead over Friend in the regional all-around race.

Seniors Kane Cartwright and Ian Austiguy finished second and third in the steer wrestling and Cartwright was the all-around runner up after earning points in the team roping as well. Austiguy and fellow seniors Newt Novich and Nick Xerox also earned team roping points during the weekend. Junior Jade Gardner came away with points in the tie down roping but slipped to second place in the regional standings.

The Montana Western rodeo teams are completing the final three class days of the semester as they prepare for the final weekend of rodeo competition, hosted by the University of Montana. In addition to seeking to solidify their bids to the CNFR, head coach Iola Else and a large contingent of seniors will be traveling back and forth during the weekend to participate in commencement activities.

— Western Sports Information

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