UMW News BureauMontana Western junior Wyatt Smith wins two national titles at 61st CNFR held in Casper, Wyo. By Wally Feldt
Montana Western junior Wyatt Smith capped a spectacular season by winning two national championships at the 61st College National Finals Rodeo. The two titles helped the Bulldog men to a sixth placed finish.
Smith, a junior from Rexburg, Idaho, won the steer wrestling title and tied for the all-around title with Jake Wright of West Texas College. Smith, the only Bulldog cowboy to earn a trip to the championship round on Saturday, also scored points in saddle bronc riding.
Boulder, Mont. senior Brian Dawson finished 15th in saddle bronc while Augusta, Mont. junior Ace Mills finished in a tie for 25th.
Senior Taylor Nahrgang of Buckeye, Ariz., finished 18th. He took second in the second go for his best time of the week. Out of the arena, Nahrgang was elected the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association student president for the upcoming year. It is the first time a Montana Western student athlete has been elected to the national office.
Brett Heggie, a junior from Roundup, Mont., finished in a tie for 15th in tie down roping. Heggie had the fastest time in the second go, but a no-time in the third go halted his trip to Saturday’s championship round.
Team ropers Kent Mueller and Parker Murnion finished 13th and 14th respectively. Mueller, a senior from Belgrade, Mont., roped with with Chase Tryan of Montana State while Murnion, a junior from Jordan, Mont., roped with Chris Arnold of Dawson Community College.
Senior Stetson Wilson of Pocatello, Idaho, had a rough CNFR with two no times. Although his luck in the arena was not good, Wilson did win CNFR Idol competion. The talent contest was part of college rodeo’s biggest week of the year.
The women’s team finished 29th at the CNFR. Sophomore Lexi Archibek of Sun City, Calif., finished 16th and junior Brandy Pedersen of Great Falls finished 29th of in barrel racing. Senior Shaylee French of Pincher Creek, Alberta, Canada, finished 23rd in goat tying. Rose Fields, a junior from Salmon, Idaho, finished 2oth in breakaway roping.
The University of Montana Western has launched a national search for the provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs position.