Bobcats grab spring rodeo by the horns

The basketball hoops were packed out, and the dirt was packed in as the 2015 MSU Spring Rodeo came to the Brick Breeden Fieldhouse April 9-12. With events lasting from Thursday night through Sunday afternoon, the annual spring rodeo drew in a multitude of people to watch the Bobcats compete against nine other schools from around Montana and Wyoming. The rodeo kicked off on Thursday at 7 p.m. with bareback bronc riding and featured events such as steer wrestling, goat tying and the infamous bull riding.

The Bobcats took advantage of their home turf this weekend, with the women’s team lengthening their Big Sky Conference lead and the men gaining valuable experience. The rodeo was a chance for the women’s team to show off their depth, with four girls scoring high enough to take the top four spots on the Big Sky points team. “We probably have eight or 10 girls that would make that team in most places,” Head Coach Mike True said. Junior Raegan Tracey especially stood out — winning the goat tying in both rodeos and placing third in the breakaway event on Sunday.

For the men, Wyatt Bloom won both the bareback riding events, and freshman Brandt Ross won the tie down roping event as well as placing third alongside teammate Ben French in the team roping event. “Ross scored more points than anybody else in the region in the tie down roping over the two rodeos,” True said. “He’s coming on like a train at this point.”

After the home rodeo, the Bobcat men are sitting in second place in the Big Sky, just 331.50 points behind University of Montana-Western. “We’ve seen a lot of improvement in our younger guys since the fall run,” True said. “The talent is there, and it looks like we are beginning to mature a little.”

The Bobcat women hold a strong first place in the conference standing, 1,841.91 points ahead of their closest competitor in the conference, University of Montana. “I’m confident that this women’s team is going to win the Big Sky and compete at the highest levels in the CNFR in June,” True said. “This is one of the best women’s teams I’ve ever been around.”

The 2015 College National Finals Rodeo is June 14-20 and will be in Casper, Wyoming. “Our goal for the future is to get better and get more consistent everyday,” True said.