Lady Bulldogs win Big Sky Region rodeo at Great Falls


Montana Western’s cowboys and cowgirls rode north for the Great Falls Rodeo last weekend, and then rode home with plenty of honors to show for the round trip.

The Western women grabbed the overall team victory, outscoring second place finishers Montana State and Miles Community College 415 points to 240 points.

The Lady Dawgs accumulated all those points, thanks in large part to a first-place finishes by women’s all-around champ Samantha Jo Bird, who also took the breakaway roping buckle and sixth in barrel racing.

Western got another first-place finish from Justinn Marshall in goat tying, an event in which her teammate Jade Marie Gorrell placed fifth. 

Kelsie Shari McInerney, of Twin Bridges, piled on more points for Western with a third-place finish in team roping, while teammates Jade Gardner took fourth in the event.

“Our women’s team is looking really good for a spot in the College National Finals Rodeo,” said Montana Western Rodeo Head Coach Olie Else.

“The men’s team has done well, but it’s been a very competitive region this year. Our guys best chance for the Nationals looks like it’s gonna be to qualify in individual events.”

The Western men boasted plenty of individual standout performances in Great Falls, where Kane Lee Cartwright won in steer wrestling, the event in which his teammate Newt Novich placed fourth.

Shay Waylon Wacker finished second in men’s all-around, with Novich a spot behind in third by just 5 points and Phil Shields taking fourth.

The Bulldog men were all over the saddle bronc riding event, with Doug Hall, Tanner Denton, Kade Ensign and Shields finishing second, third, fourth and fifth, respectively.

Western was almost as dominant in tie down roping, with Wacker, Payson Munns, Dalton Tamcke and Colt Nagy placing second, fourth, fifth and sixth respectively.

Novich finished third in team roping with McInerney, an event in which teammates Colby Oliver and Jade Gardner took fourth, Colin Michael Moore finished sixth along with Jesse Cole Medearis, and Nick Xeros and Wacker earned seventh.

Quinn Greenough and Shields got onto the leader board in bull riding, earning fifth and sixth place respectively.

Next up for Montana Western’s rodeo teams, a back-and-forth weekend, with 13 hours of competition in Missoula on Friday, followed by more events the next day, sandwiching a trip back to Dillon for many of the Western students for graduation ceremonies Saturday morning. 

“There will be a whole lot of people coming back to Dillon on Saturday morning for graduation, then coming back to Missoula on Saturday night to compete,” said Else. 

“I’m not gonna tell you it’s not gonna be a marathon for those people, because I’d be lying to you.”


Big Sky Region - University of Great Falls May 1 to May 3

Men’s team scores – Northwest College 690, Montana State University 685, University of Montana, Western 525, University of Montana 375, Montana State University, Northern 95, Dawson Community College 90.

Women’s team scores – University of Montana, Western 415, Miles Community College 240, Montana State University 240, University of Great Falls 95, Northwest College 55, Montana State University, Northern 20.

Event champions and UMW place winners:

Men’s All-around – 1, Stephens, Duston Charles, UMT 290. 2, Wacker, Shay W, UMTW, 155. 3, Novich, Newt Michael, UMTW, 150.4, Shields, Philip Timothy, UMTW, 110

Women’s All-around – 1. Bird, Samantha Jo, UMTW, 180.

Saddle Bronc Riding –1. Warren, Richard Logan, NWC, 143. 2, Hall, Douglas Joseph, UMTW, 135. 3, Denton, Tanner Ted, UMTW, 125. 4, Ensign, Johnathan Kade, UMTW, 117. 5, Shields, Philip Timothy, UMTW, 71. Bareback Riding –1, Bloom, Wyatt Douglas,MTSU, 136. Bull Riding –1, Mitchell, Devon Jacob, NWC, 118. 4, Newman, Nevada Ray, MTSU, 68. 5, Greenough, Quinn William, UMTW, 66. 6, Shields, Philip Timothy, UMTW, 65. Tie Down Roping –1, Stephens, Duston Charles, UMT, 21.5. 2, Wacker, Shay W, UMTW, 26.2. 4, Munns, Payson Tim, UMTW, 9.7. 5, Tamcke, Dalton Thomas, UMTW, 27.4. 6, Nagy, Colt James, UMTW, 28.0. Steer Wrestling –1, Cartwright, Kane Lee, UMTW, 10.0. 4T, Novich, Newt Michael, UMTW, 4.3. Team Roping Header –1, Bird, Shawn Micheal, NWC, 10.9. 3, McInerney, Kelsie Shari, UMTW, 15.8. 4, Gardner, Jade C, UMTW, 20.5. 6, Medearis, Jesse Cole, UMTW, 20.6. 7, Xeros, Nicholas Constantino, UMTW, 6.6. Team Roping Heeler –1, Schweigert, Zachary Thomas, NWC, 10.9. 3, Novich, Newt Michael, UMTW, 15.8. 4, Oliver, Colby Robert, UMTW, 20.5. 6, Moore, Colin Michael, UMTW, 20.6. 7, Wacker, Shay W, UMTW, 6.6. Barrel Racing – 1, Riley, Jamie Sue, MILES, 25.74. 6T, Bird, Samantha Jo, UMTW, 26.19. Breakaway Roping –1, Bird, Samantha Jo, UMTW, 6.3. Goat Tying – 1, Marshall, Justinn Eleanore, UMTW, 4.9. 5, Gorrell, Jade Marie, UMTW, 17.8.