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April 15, 2010 3:29 am

Trapper rodeo teams begin spring season

Written by Tribune Staff

Women's team third in Sunday event

The Northwest College women's rodeo team scored a third-place finish during the Sunday round of the Montana State University rodeo last weekend. The event in Bozeman was the first of five spring-semester rodeos for the Trapper teams.

Pamela Vanek placed second in goat tying to go along with a seventh-place finish in Sunday's barrel racing standings to help fuel Northwest College's place in the final standings. Teammate Steffani Hofrichter placed fifth in the goat tying event and also held a fourth-place finish in the final breakaway roping standings.

Vanek finished fourth and Hofrichter was sixth in Sunday's women's all-around competition.

The Trappers' Haily Hamlin finished in a tie for second place in breakaway roping as Northwest College amassed 431.5 team points, placing behind Montana State University (632.5) and the University of Montana, Western (516), but more than 300 points ahead of the remaining four schools in the rodeo field.

The results stood in marked contrast to the team results of the April 8-10 first round of the Montana State University rodeo. The Trappers' time in Bozeman did not get off to a fast start as the team struggled to score just 60 points and finished at the bottom of the team standings.

Cody Proctor and Leslie Robertson finished fifth and sixth, respectively, in breakaway roping to account for the only top-10 finishes by NWC women.

The Trapper men's team finished sixth during both rounds of competition. A total of 10 schools competed over the weekend in Bozeman.

Northwest's Troy Vernon finished fifth in the men's all-around standings for the April 8-10 event. Vernon placed fourth in bull riding and was tied for fourth place in the final tie-down roping standings.

Other Trappers placing in the top 10 during the early rodeo included Tylor Bird, third in bull riding, Casey Good, third in tie-down roping, and Jordan Gill, fifth in bareback roping. The tandem of Travis Winters (header) and Eric Fleming (heeler) tied for fourth place in the team roping competition.

During Sunday's rodeo, Cayd Kluesner captured the bull riding title with an 89-point ride to easily place at the front of the pack among four riders remaining upright at eight seconds.

Casey Good continued his push to return to the College National Finals Rodeo later this year with a runner-up finish in tie-down roping. Jordan Gill placed fifth in the bareback competition while Ike Shaw (header) and Colton Hodson (heeler) placed fifth in team roping for the Trappers.

Looking at the standings within the Big Sky Region, the Trapper women are in third place, needing to close an 899-point gap on the University of Montana, Western to gain admission to the CNFR field as a team. The Trapper men remain in sixth place in the team standings.

Individually, three Trappers are in position to earn CNFR invitations if the season were to end today. Good's weekend performance was enough to vault him from 12th to second in the tie-down standings. Proctor and Hamlin currently hold the top two spots on the season's breakaway roping rankings.

All three will have to defend their position over the course of three more rodeos before those spots in the CNFR field become official.

Other Trappers in contention for individual CNFR invites, which are given to the top three competitors in each event in the season's final standings, include Gill (currently fifth in the bareback), Kluesner (sixth in bull riding), Tyler Owens (10th in bull riding), Samuel Shelton (sixth in steer wrestling), Jason Carlson (10th as a header in team roping), Hofrichter (fourth in goat tying) and Vanek (eighth in goat tying).

The Northwest College spring rodeo season continues this weekend. The Trappers return to Montana for the Big Sky Regional rodeo in Helena this Friday and Saturday. The Trappers will also make trips to Dawson Community College (April 23-25) and to the University of Montana (May 7-8) to round out their regular season.