BOZEMAN — The College National Finals Rodeo wrapped up over the weekend in Casper, Wyoming, and after a 10-year drought Montana State Women's Team won their third national championship.
“You always have that goal, and it kind of seems far away, and then we started having a really good week," sophomore Paige Rasmussen explained." All of our women just started getting points, and then we all started having success. We came together as a team and said, 'OK, guys. We have a really good chance here. Let’s do it.'”
After a stellar round one performance by the Women’s Team, there was no slowing down for the Bobcats.
Heading into Saturday’s Short Go, they had more than a hundred-point lead and finished on top with 590 points. Southwestern Oklahoma State University was the runner-up with 432.5 points.
“I feel so honored to be a part of a group of girls," freshman Tayla Moeykens said. "We have a lot of depth throughout the whole team. I just feel amazing to be a part of such an amazing group of girls.”
Fab freshman and Three Forks native Tayla Moeykens made a name for herself at her first-ever CNFR.
In barrel racing, she sat in fourth heading into the Short Go but had the run of her life to crown herself a national champion with a combined time of 56.84 seconds.
"I really have to credit my horse because she’s got a lot of heart," Moeykens added, "She’s very fast, and she’s very consistent. She just goes out there and gives her best every single time, and I can’t ask for any more than that.”
“The fact that she's a freshman," Bobcats head coach Andy Bolich chuckled. "There’s a good chance she could be there three more times.”
It looked as if a national championship was also on the horizon for the goat tying phenom Paige Rasmussen, but the goat she drew was a tough one and failed to stay tied disqualifying her.
However, she still walked away a winner.
“During awards I was trying to hold back tears, trying to cheer on my teammates," Rasmussen explained. "They brought the saddle up to announce the women’s all-around, and I got ready to clap for whoever it was, and they said my name, and I broke down into tears.”
“In this sport, like all sports, you have to prove yourself as an individual, and she definitely has done that," Bolich added. "For her to carry on her family tradition is great, but she’s definitely got her own accolades.”