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Montana State women, UM Western men win team titles at MSU spring rodeo

Barrel racing saw quite the sibling rivalry in Sunday's short go with the McDonald sisters (Shai and Alexis) finishing in the top two spots.
Posted at 9:58 PM, Apr 16, 2023

(Editor's Note: Montana State Press Release)

BOZEMAN — Montana State’s women’s team continued its dominant ways on Sunday, but a bad break on Saturday proved too much to overcome for the Bobcat men. MSU’s women and the UM Western men’s team took top honors at the MSU Spring Rodeo #2 in Worthington Arena.

“The women dominated,” said Bobcat coach Kyle Whitaker. “It’s really exciting to watch them right now. They were really good last fall, and they’ve stepped it up to a higher level this spring.”

Paige Rasmussen led Montana State, scoring 220 points to take top cowgirl honors. UM Western’s Jhet Murphy scored 350 points to lead the Bulldogs to the team championship while earning all-around honors.

The men’s team competition took a turn on Saturday when MSU’s Cody Faulkner suffered an injury that took him out of Sunday’s short go after he won the long go in steer wrestling. “It’s tough losing someone on your point-scoring team,” Whitaker said. “It’s like a football team losing its quarterback and not being able to replace him. And Cody was in position to score a lot of points for us (Sunday).”

Caleb Meeks won the saddle bronc riding for the Bobcats, while Bode Spring finished second and Jace Bustad third in the tie-down roping. The Bobcats captured second, third, fourth and fifth in the steer wrestling, capped by a strong weekend from Mike Nannini (second in the average).

“I was happy with how the men competed,” Whitaker said. “Thought they did good, and a lot of freshmen stepped up. It was nice to get a win in team roping, that’s an area we needed to improve so that was good.”

The Bobcat women took top honors in each individual event. Meghan McGinley won the breakaway roping, Rasmussen the goat tying, and sisters Alexis and Shai McDonald finished one-two in the barrel racing, with Molly Salmond taking third.

In addition to her goat-tying win, Rasmussen also finished fifth in the barrel racing. “She had an awesome weekend, which is nothing new for her,” Whitaker said. “She did good in the barrels and she really needed that. She’ll be really good in the all-around, and that will really help us in the CNFR.”

After wrapping up two rodeos in Bozeman, the Big Sky region heads to Miles City for another doubleheader weekend beginning Thursday.

RODEO #2 MEN’S ALL-AROUND: Jhet Murphy, UM Western
RODEO #2 WOMEN’S ALL-AROUND: Paige Rasmussen, Montana State

1. 735 – UM Western
2. 610 – Montana State
3. 345 – MSU Northern
4. 285 – Miles CC
5. 40 – Montana
6. 20 – Dawson CC

1. 595 – Montana State
2. 185 – MSU Northern
3. 120 – UM Western
4. 80 – Montana

Here are the results from Sunday's short go:

Individual results from Sunday's short go.
Individual results from Sunday's short go.

Here are the averages from Montana State's second spring rodeo:

Averages from Montana State's second spring rodeo.
Averages from Montana State's second spring rodeo.