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Northwest Trapper rodeo begins year

Women look for return to CNFR

College rodeo season got off to a wild start over the weekend in Cody with Northwest College hosting the first two events of the 10-rodeo calendar in the Big Sky Region. Once the dust settled, Northwest was sitting in third place in the region’s men’s standings and in second place in the women’s standings.

The top two schools at season’s end earn team invites to the College National Finals Rodeo.

“I’m just thrilled,” said Northwest College rodeo coach Del Nose. “The weather was good, the crowds were good and our teams did well. I thought we had an excellent weekend.”

Ethan Hecht had a stellar weekend for the Trappers, emerging as the co-leader in bull riding and finishing second in the region’s standings in bareback riding following the two-rodeo Trapper Stampede. Colton Redmond emerged from the weekend in second place in the region in tie-down roping.

“Ethan had an outstanding weekend,” said Nose. “He won the bullriding one of the nights. He’s up there in the bareback standings. He just had a solid performance.”

On the women’s side, the Trappers have an early-season leader in barrel racing in the form of Kaela Murphy. Murphy is also fourth in breakaway roping after the season’s first weekend.

“Kaela had a great first week for us,” said Nose.

The Trappers’ Kylee McDonnell is also part of what currently is a four-way tie for fourth place in the breakaway.

“Our freshmen are looking very impressive right now,” said Nose. “I thought it was great. The girls are right up there and our guys are off to a better start in overall points than where we were last year. Our goal is to get both teams to Casper this season.”

The Trappers face a long drive north to Havre, Mont., this weekend for the third rodeo of the season.

“We’ll see how things start to solidify as we go toward break at the end of the month,” said Nose. “Right now, I don’t know what more you could ask for to begin the year.”

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