In its third rodeo of the spring season, the Northwest College men’s rodeo team finished first at the Miles Community College Spring Rodeo. At the weekend competition, NWC amassed 870 points, out-distancing runner-up Montana State University at 725.
The Trappers remain in first in the Big Sky Region with 5,140 points; Montana State is second with 4,281. The Lady Trappers currently sit in fourth, behind Montana State, University of Montana Western and University of Montana.
NWC freshman Caleb McMillan won the men’s all-around in Miles City, Montana, with 260 points. McMillan is currently ranked No. 1 in the nation in the all-around, while the Trappers as a team are ranked sixth.
The Trappers finished 1-2 in bull riding, with McMillan scoring 110 points and Justin Ketzenberg scoring 95. McMillan and Hagen Wallace finished second in team roping with a score of 15.8.
The Trappers also had the top two finishers in saddle bronc riding, with Calvin Shaffer taking the top spot with 127 points and Clancy Glenn second with 107 points.
After winning the first five rodeos of the 2018-19 season in the fall, the NWC men’s rodeo team began spring with mixed results at the Montana State University Spring Rodeo in Bozeman, finishing fourth in the first rodeo and runner-up in the second. The Lady Trappers fared better, finishing second in both — much to the delight of their coach.
“The first rodeo in Bozeman was just kind of there. We could not get it together,” said NWC Rodeo Coach Del Nose. “Luck of the draw and not being focused; especially the men’s team. The girls came on and won second in both rodeos, so I was really pleased with them.”
McMillan was third in the all-around in the first rodeo but came back to finish first in the second. Shaffer finished tied for first in saddle bronc riding in the first rodeo and McMillan won first in the second. Austin Herrera won the bull riding in the second rodeo, but wasn’t on the points team, so his win didn’t contribute to the overall team score.
“We had some buck-offs in the bronc riding and the bull riding and didn’t draw the best in the timed events,” Nose said. “We just didn’t execute, and it’s kind of frustrating. You think you got it, but it proves you different. Rodeo is a humbling sport. We won this thing the last two years, so I don’t know what to attribute it to.”
The Lady Trappers struggled with numbers last season, but are coming in strong this spring with the two second-place finishes. Freshmen Scout Yochum and Braily Newman are leading the way for the women’s team in roping and barrel racing.
“Scout and Braily have really blossomed; the girls are putting some numbers together and jumped from fifth place to fourth in the Big Sky Region,” Nose said. “If they keep rolling along, they may have an outside chance to get the whole team to the finals. That’s what we’re looking at right now.”
The NWC rodeo teams travel to Missoula this weekend for the University of Montana Spring Rodeo on Friday and Saturday.