The Bobcats continue to cruise.
The Montana State men’s and women’s rodeo teams kept rolling through the Big Sky Region with team victories at the Dawson College Rodeo in Glendive.
The Montana State women piled up 555 points, outpacing second-place Northwest College’s 285 points. The MSU men scored 790 points, 85 more than runner-up Montana Western.
The MSU men now have 5,759.66 points in the regional standings, 620 more than Western. The women - the defending national champions - have 3,497.5 points, nearly twice as many as second-place Northwest College.
“They are good a lot of times and they were this weekend,” said MSU head coach Mike True. “They’ve about doubled second place in the region here with one rodeo left, so they’ve been doing their job.”
MSU senior Lexy Rianda took home the goat tying title over the weekend, while classmate Robbi Nace took first place in the barrel racing. Sarah Wright and Dani Downton finished 2-3 in the breakaway roping.
Levi Guenzler led the MSU men by winning the steer wrestling and taking the men’s all-around. Guenzler scored 250 points in the all-around to move into the top-five in the regional standings. He’s also in second place behind MSU’s Ty Erickson in the steer wrestling regional standings.
“Levi had been blowing a little hot and cold, but the rodeos he’s been hot, he’s been really hot,” True said. “He pretty much punched his ticket to the CNFR this weekend. He moved up close to Ty in second in that steer wrestling. He is rounding into pretty good forms now.”
With the team victory, the Montana State women all but sewed up the regional title headed into next weekend’s regular season finale in Missoula. The men have a formidable lead as well, but True said a men’s regional title is not a foregone conclusion.
“It’s a big lead, but it’s not insurmountable,” True said. “If we were bad and they were good next weekend, they could catch us.”
Both MSU squads are sure to qualify for the College National Finals Rodeo in June. Five cowboys and cowgirls each for MSU have sewed up berths and True said a few more on each side could punch their CNFR tickets next weekend.
“Things are shaping up pretty good; we know we are going to qualify both teams for the CNFR, we know we are going to win the regions on both sides as long as the wheels don’t fall off on the men’s side next week,” True said. “Now we just have to concentrate on qualifying as many people as we can.”