CollegeMontana State Bobcats


Pair of freshmen make instant splash for Montana State at annual Spring Rodeo

MSU Spring Rodeo
Posted at 3:20 PM, Apr 12, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-12 18:42:47-04

BOZEMAN — There's no better way to greet a home crowd for the first time in your collegiate rodeo career than by winning an event.

That's exactly what two freshmen on the Montana State men's team did in their qualifying round Thursday night at MSU's annual Spring Rodeo at Brick Breeden Fieldhouse.

Cole Gerhardt, from Belmont, N.D., finished first in bareback riding with a score of 76 and Mason Polhemous, out of Oakdale, Calif., grabbed a win in steer wrestling with a time of 4.6 seconds.

"I honestly feed a lot off the crowd," Gerhardt said. "I think it’s just so much fun when the crowd gets really involved, especially here. It just was really, really cool."

"It was really cool," Polhemous said. "Back in California, we don’t have a whole lot of indoor (rodeos), so it’s definitely a new experience for me. But I liked it a lot, and it was really fun."

MSU Spring Rodeo
Cole Gerhardt of Montana State competes in the bareback during the first day of the MSU Spring Rodeo at Brick Breeden Fieldhouse in Bozeman on April 11, 2024.

Gerhardt was able to achieve this instant success by staying locked in and using the adrenaline that builds while he’s waiting to compete.

"If you don’t have any nerves getting on a bucking horse, there’s kind of something wrong I think," he joked. "An hour to 30 minutes before, adrenaline’s kind of kicked in, but I’m still a little nervous. When the chute boss usually says, 'You’re up next' or 'start climbing on,' my adrenaline kicks in, and I just love the feeling of that."

Both started competing and practicing very young and found a passion for the sport.

"I started chute dogging, which is early steer wrestling, when I was in fifth grade," Polhemous explained. "But, I started steer wrestling (the) summer in between freshman and eighth-grade year. It’s just always been one of my favorite sports. And so over time I’ve just been able to get better."

Mason Polhemous
Mason Polhemous of Montana State gets interviewed following his win in steer wrestling (4.6 seconds) at Brick Breeden Fieldhouse on April 11, 2024.

Polhemous adds young talent to an event the Bobcats have dominated coming into this spring season, as the team has nine of the top 13 Big Sky Region bulldoggers.

"For the boys events, steer wrestling is definitely our strong suit, everyone on the team pretty much does it, and it’s a lot of fun," he said.

The Spring Rodeo for Montana State continues through Sunday at Brick Breeden Fieldhouse, and is being broadcast by Scripps Sports. Click here for broadcast information.