The Northwest College rodeo team started the second half of its season with the men’s team winning a pair of rodeos and two Trappers — Caleb McMillan and Bubba Boots — winning all-around.
Last week’s victories at Montana State University put the NWC men’s team in first place overall in the Big Sky Region, while the Trappers also hold the top three overall all-around placers. The women’s team, meanwhile, jumped up in standings from last place to sixth.
NWC traveled to Bozeman, Montana, for the competitions, with the first rodeo taking place April 6-8 and the second on Sunday, April 9.
The men entered last week in third place in the region.
We were like 40 points behind Montana State and 100 and change behind Dillon, so when the kids put these two rodeos together, that jumps us right up into the lead,” said head coach Del Nose.
NWC men’s team now ranks at the top of the standings with 3,288 points. University of Montana Western sits in second place with 3,196.5 points, followed by Montana State University with 2,632.5.
“We are going to try and hold the momentum for the rest the rodeos,” said Nose. “We got four left until the college finals and hopefully we can stay there.”
In the first rodeo in Bozeman, NWC won first place with 441.50 team points. University of Montana Western placed second with 419 points and Montana State University took third with 321 points.
McMillan won the all-around with 260 points, competing in the tie-down roping — placing second in 19.8 seconds — and first in steer wrestling, with a time of 10.3 seconds.
At the second rodeo, NWC’s men again emerged on top with 724 points; the University of Montana Western took second with 592 and Montana State University placed third with 176.
Boots won all-around with 292.5 points, competing in tie-down roping in 9.4 seconds for second place, third place in the steer wrestling in 5.9 seconds and was the header in team roping with a team time of 8.3 seconds and a fifth place finish. In the team roping event, Boots roped alongside Matthew Williams.
“We don’t have much of a cushion, but it should be a good rest of the season for us if this is any indication,” said Nose.
In the region standings, NWC has the top three placers in all-around.
Boots sits at No. 1 with 1,128 points. McMillan is second with 665 points and Weston Mann is third with 639.5 points.
Coach Nose has been coaching rodeo for 17 years and this is the first time he has had the top three positions in the all-around.
“We’ve got a lot of talent on this team. The kids are practicing hard, they’re dedicated and they’re staying focused — and their grades are really good, so I’m real thrilled about that,” Nose said. “We’ve got the package deal.”
As for the NWC women, “they’ve been struggling a little bit,” Nose said. “The first rodeo wasn’t real good for them, but they came back and won third.”
“I was very pleasantly surprised about that,” the coach said. “They had some good runs and are starting to gel a little bit and so hopefully things will stay together for them on the rest of these four rodeos.”
In the first of last week’s rodeos in Bozeman, the women’s team finished last place out of eight teams. In Sunday’s rodeo, however, the team finished third with 254.5 points. In first place was University of Montana Western with 387.5 and in second was Montana State University with 359.
The NWC women’s rodeo team sat at the bottom of the Big Sky Region standings before last week’s competition, but leapt to sixth place overall for the season.
“We just need to keep going and jumping up there,” said Nose.
Top individual performances on Sunday included Brooke Winward tying for third place in breakaway roping, with a time of 2.6 seconds, and Sierra Lyons finishing third in goat tying with a time of 7.8 seconds.
The rodeo teams are off for Easter weekend. Their next rodeo is in Glendive, Montana, at Dawson Community College April 20-21 and then a second one in Miles City, Montana, at Miles Community College on April 22-23.