“The first day I was really excited,” said head coach Del Nose. “My boys win second but my girls win third.”
Nose also said it’s been several years since he’s had a women’s team place that high.
After the two rodeos, the men’s team currently ranks second in the Big Sky Region with 1,100 points — just 231 points behind Montana State University. At this time last year, the men’s team wasn’t even in the top five, Nose said, not reaching a top spot until the spring.
The women’s team is currently fourth in the region with 264.50 points, which Nose called “great.” They’re 365.5 points behind Montana State University, the leader.
NWC sophomore Bubba Boots placed fourth in the all-around on Friday with 176 points and took first on Saturday with 223.5 points. The combined score gave him 399.5 points; to be ranked in the national standings, a cowboy needs a total of 400 points.
Boots competed in steer wrestling, taking third on Friday and Saturday with times of 4.8 seconds and 5.7 seconds, respectively. In team roping, Boots, alongside fellow sophomore Matthew Williams, placed fifth on Friday with a time of 10.2 seconds. The pair placed second on Saturday with a time of 7.8 seconds.
Together, Boots and Williams rank first in the Big Sky Region.
Sophomore Caleb McMillan finished second in all-around on Friday with 229.5 points, and third on Saturday with 157 points for a combined total of 386.5.
On Friday, McMillan placed fifth in saddle bronc with a score of 48, tied for third in bull riding with a score of 69 and finished eighth in tie-down roping with a time of 13.9 seconds. On Saturday, McMillan placed third in tie-down roping with a time of 11.3 seconds and sixth in steer wrestling, posting a time of 6.9 seconds.
McMillan also roped alongside Levi Mydland on Friday for a sixth place finish, posting a time of 10.4 seconds. The duo currently sits in 10th place in the Big Sky Region.
Also cracking the top eight on Saturday was the roping team of Dawson Cvancara and Jake Griffel, tying for fourth with a time of 8.1 seconds.
Nose said Boots’ and McMillan’s success in all-around helped the team get the points to rank second in the Big Sky Region.
For overall regional standings, McMillan currently sits in fifth place in saddle bronc, bull riding and tie-down roping and eighth in steer wrestling. Boots is second in steer wrestling.
For the women’s team, sophomore Brooke Winward tied for first in breakaway roping on Friday, posting a time of 3.1 seconds. For the Big Sky Region, Winward sits in second place.
In goat tying, Scout Yochum placed fourth on Friday with a time of 9.5 seconds and on Saturday, Braily Newman tied for sixth place posting a time of 9.1 seconds.
Yochum is in sixth place in the Big Sky Region.
In hosting the first rodeo of the season, “everything went really, really smooth,” Nose said. “I was really delighted how everyone worked together; the Stampede Board bent over backwards for us.”
“Everything went well except Mother Nature, and that was the wind Friday night,” the coach added. “That was miserable. Kids worked hard, stock bucked; competitiveness was had by all.”
Next up for the rodeo teams is a trip to Glendive, Montana, to compete in Dawson Community College’s rodeo Friday and Saturday.
Nose said he’s looking for “an honest effort to pull this thing and shorten the gap between us and MSU.”