There was a different energy in the Brick-Breeden Fieldhouse this weekend from that of typical sporting events. But the MSU Rodeo isn’t like any other sporting event. Maybe it’s the manure, maybe it’s the plethora of finely maintained cowboy hats. The aura around this event is raw, it’s rugged and it’s packed to the rafters with a country flair. The MSU team was there to compete. And compete they did.
Junior Ryanne Tracy set the tone for the Bobcats, winning the breakaway roping with fellow Bobcat Alex Cole. Tracy also placed in the goat tying event, which going into the event, she was ranked second in the Big Sky Region standings.
Tracy was, by all accounts, a gem in the star-studded women’s team. Tracy is the third woman in her immediate family to win all-around honors at the MSU Rodeo, and would be the third in the Big Sky region to win all-around honors at the end of the season. “It’s a big deal!,” she said. “The buckles they give out for the achievement are really beautiful, and it would be cool to have one with my mom and sister.” Tracy helped lead the women’s team to a runaway overall victory.
Even before their most recent triumph, the women’s team sported a 600-point lead in the division over runner-up University of Montana-Western. The last time the women’s squad was this far ahead in the standings, they went on the win the collegiate national championship. That was in 2011, MSU’s second title. A third banner might join the pair if the team can maintain this electrifying pace.
On the men’s side, the team couldn’t quite cap University of Montana-Western, a team that sat 20 points ahead of the Cats going into the rodeo. But the men still looked impressive, with an especially inspiring Friday night, in which Chase Dougherty won a highly competitive bull riding field.
Going into Saturday night, Dougherty had a commanding lead over his rival at Western, Ruger Jarvis-Piva, a lead he only solidified in this meeting. Other notable Bobcat outputings included that of Jake Nelson, who narrowly won the tie-down roping event over Bubba Aaron Boots from Northwestern. Nelson, who wasn’t in the top 10 going into the MSU Rodeo, turned heads with his outstanding performance this weekend.
The Bobcats have a week of rest before they head out for back-to-back events in Glendive and Miles City. If the team can ride the impressive energy that permeated the Fieldhouse, they may just be able to buck the competition.