Trappers Seek To Best Dillon At Final Rodeo Of Season
Competition is tight as the college rodeo season enters the final stretch. A mere 35-point difference pushed the Northwest College Trapper men out of the top three and into fifth at the University of Montana rodeo in Missoula last weekend.
The Trapper men ranked fifth with 335 points, just behind two-year college rival Dawson Community College’s 340 and four year university Montana State University, Northern, which had 370.
University of Montana, Western, was second with 515 points and Montana State University was first with 580.
“We had a decent rodeo, but it wasn’t good enough,” said head coach Del Nose. “We are still on a roll. We need to gather that 200 points and more to beat Dillon so that is what our focus is, we had a team huddle and so we’ll see what happens.”
The NWC women’s team was in a similar boat, ranking fifth with 90 points, just behind University of Montana, Western’s 110 point total. Montana State University was first in the women’s side with 620 points for the weekend.
Trapper cowboy Jesse Nelson ranked third in bareback with 141 points, just one point behind Cache Hill of University of Great Falls and nine points behind the top rider of the weekend, Wyatt Bloom of Montana State University who had 150.
Fellow Trapper Justin Honken was fifth in steer wrestling with 15.
The barrel racing competition was tighter than the riders’ turns in Missoula as the top four rides were within a quarter of a second of each other. NWC’s Taylor Werbelow came in fourth with 36.47, behind third place’s 36.37 and a tie for first with 36.26.
Fortunately for the Trappers, the men's team is so far ahead in the region that last weekend’s rodeo did not have too much of a negative impact on their regional standings.
The NWC men are currently ranked third in the Big Sky Region with a solid 3,960.5 points, safely ahead of fourth place team Dawson Community College’s 1,515.
Montana State University ranks first in the region with 5,416.5 points and University of Montana, Western, is second with 4168.5.
“We got a tough region, we do,” Nose said. “We had schools pick up points that hadn’t picked up points all spring so they are stepping up their game and we need to step ours up.”
On the women’s side, the Trappers are ranked sixth with 661 points, not too far behind University of Montana’s fifth-place score of 716 and Miles City Community College’s fifth-place score of 724. Montana State University’s women lead the region with 4,208.5.
Trapper cowboy Lane Lahaye continues to hold on to the lead in the men's All Around in the region with 1,321 points and teammate Bubba Boots is currently fourth with 925, close behind third-place Montana State cowboy Brandt Ross, who has 985.
Nelson is fourth in bareback riding with 843.5 points and teammate Robby Cobler is eighth with 158.5.
Casey Fredericks is fourth in bull riding with 200 points, not too far behind the third-place score of 227 held by University of Montana’s Jacob Curtis. Fellow Trapper bull riders trail behind in seventh, eighth and ninth with 135 points for Tyler Sterner, 110 for Garrett Remington and 85 for Taylor Roberts.
Boots is hanging tight in the tie down roping, just a half-point shy of stepping up from his current sixth-place standing with 390 points. Breaking into the top three for tie down roping would require making up a 71-point difference in the season’s final rodeo.
Lane Lahaye is ninth in tie down roping with 236 points.
Fortunately for Boots, he’s got a solid lead in the steer wrestling with a first-place score of 525 points followed by University of Montana, Western’s, Jacob Worthen who has 517.
Lahaye isn’t far behind in fourth with 501 and Justin Honken is sixth with 380.5.
Although NWC’s team roping duo of Lahaye (header) and Shawn Bird (heeler) didn’t rank in Missoula last weekend, they continue to have their competition tied up in the team roping with a 584-point first-place standing. The second place team from Montana State currently has 510.
Lahaye made the catch in Missoula, but it came off the saddle horn and the steer got away, a rare occurrence for the region’s top ropers, Nose said.
“It is just bad luck,” he said.
Trapper cowgirl Taylor Werbelow is currently 10th in the region for barrel racing with 229 points.
NWC’s Tori Lewis is 10th in goat tying with 196.5 points.
“We will still have four of five guys going to finals, but I want to take the whole team,” Nose said.
In order for the Trapper men to compete in all the events, the team needs to rank second in the region as a team or each individual needs to place in the top three of their event.
“It is very doable, they are close enough to third if they get the points they can move them guys out,” Nose said. “They are wanting to win.”
The Trappers are heading to University of Great Falls in Great Falls, Montana, for the final rodeo of the season this weekend. That rodeo will be the deciding factor on who will compete at the College National Finals Rodeo in Casper on June 12-18.
“We are practicing hard and just got to get focused and we have to step up our game plan a bit,” Nose said. “There are other teams taking points from us to keep us from beating Dillon and we really have to stay focused and concentrated.”