Trappers Head To National Finals Rodeo In Casper In June
Four Northwest College cowboys are heading to the College National Finals Rodeo in Casper on June 12-18 following last weekend’s rodeo in Great Falls, Montana.
A GREAT TIME IN GREAT FALLS
The Trapper men ranked third in Great Falls with 385 points, trailing behind University of Montana, Western’s 580 and Montana State University’s 700-point score.
The Trapper women ranked fourth last weekend with 235 points, just behind UMW’s 260. MSU ranked first with 440 and University of Great Falls was second with 375.
“They finally did it,” said NWC head rodeo coach Del Nose. “I wish it hadn’t taken so long. They went from sixth to fourth (in the region) and they had the ability to do it all year long, but it came together and it was great, really exciting actually.”
NWC cowgirl Rachel Kerr ended the season on a high note as she ranked fourth in the All Around with 135 points, a first for this barrel racer, breakaway roper and goat tier.
“That was a first and she roped so good,” Nose said.
Casey Fredericks also ended the season with a victory, ranking first in the bull riding with 100 points.
Bubba Boots ranked third in steer wrestling with a 10.9, only one point behind Montana Tech’s Sean Sayers.
Jesse Nelson ranked fourth in the bareback riding with 128 points, not too far behind University of Great Falls’ Cache Hill who had a 137 and UMTW’s Tristan Hansen’s 138-point ride.
Competition was very tight in the barrel racing event with less than three-quarters of a second meaning the difference between a first-place finish and a seventh- place finish. NWC’s Shelby Mann tied for seventh with 27.18 and the quickest barrel racer was UGF’s Abby Knight.
NWC claimed the top two positions in the breakaway roping as Marlee Mussmann had the fastest catch at 5.7 seconds followed close behind by Kerr who landed a 5.9 for second.
“We just got it together and just roped, they got in there and made aggressive runs and it worked — but it worked throughout the whole weekend, they roped two apiece and they were consistent,” Nose said.
Tori Lewis’ 15.8-second time in the goat tying brought her into the top three and Kerr’s 17.5-second time landed her in a three-way tie for seventh.
BIG TIME IN THE BIG SKY
Only the top three riders in each event get the honor of competing at the College National Finals Rodeo and NWC is boasting a roster of four cowboys — Lane Lahaye, Shawn Bird, Fredericks and Boots.
When asked about heading to the college finals, Boots said he’s “pretty confident.”
“I ended off the college rodeos pretty strong and I’m just going to keep practicing and stay sharp,” Boots said. “I’m excited to go, I’ve heard a lot about it and about how cool of a rodeo it is.”
All four of the Trappers heading to the college finals will be practicing daily as they get ready for the finals, Nose said.
Now that the spring semester is over, Boots said he is back home in Idaho where he will practice with his dad on making consistent runs until the college finals next month.
“These kids don’t let grass grow under their feet,” Nose said. “We have a good bunch of guys going down and we should make somewhat of a dent in the points there at the CNFR.”
Had the Trapper men’s team been able to claim second place in the Big Sky Region, the entire team would be heading to Casper next month. Unfortunately, the Trappers trailed behind University of Montana, Western’s second-place score of 4,748 points for a third-place ranking with 4,345 points.
“We are looking to the Finals now and we are hitting the ground running,” Nose said.
The Trapper women’s team was fourth in the region with 896 points.
Lahaye ranked third in the All Around with 1,321 points and Boots was at his heels in fourth with 1,040.
The Trappers lost five sophomore girls with the end of this school year.
“I’ve got that many, or more, coming back on and we will be pretty strong,” Nose said.
For the second year in a row, Bird led the Big Sky Region in team roping alongside Lahaye as the header with 584 points each.
Boots also sealed the deal for a trip to the finals by placing second in the steer wrestling with a solid 650 points for second place. UMTW’s Jacob Worthen was third with 517 and Lahaye was just behind him with 501 points for third. NWC’s Justin Honken ranked seventh in steer wrestling with 380.5.
Fredericks ranked third in the bull riding with 360 points, punching his ticket to the finals and safely ahead of the fourth-place score of 238 from UMTW’s Tristan Hansen.
Nelson just barely missed his shot at finals, ranking fourth for bareback riding with 943.5, not too far begin UGF cowboy Cache Hill’s 1,157. Robby Cobler was in eighth with 158.5.
Marlee Mussmann was about 100 points shy of breaking into the top three for breakaway roping, ranking fifth with 233 points.
Boots and Lahaye both ranked in the top 10 for tie down roping, Boots in sixth with a 390 and Lahaye 10th with 236.
Tori Lewis was ninth in goat tying with 286.5.