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Montana State men and women roll into Missoula on Thursday with healthy leads in the races for Big Sky Region college rodeo crowns.

The last two regular-season rodeos are Thursday through Sunday at the Western Montana Fairgrounds at the corner of South Avenue and Russell Street.

The University of Montana rodeo begins Thursday at 7 p.m., with the short go Friday at 2 p.m. The final rodeo has performances Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 11 a.m.

The annual Bull-O-Rama on Friday evening has an added twist: saddle bronc riding between bull sessions. Dubbed "Bulls and Broncs," the new format should draw more attention, UM rodeo coach Kent Nordahl said.

"You've got all these PBRs (Pro Bull Riding events) now and it's just bull riding," Nordahl said. "This will be a good chance. A lot of these old timers around here want to see the broncs."

Don Hutsell's Big Bend and Flying Five Rodeo Companies out of Ritzville, Wash., will again supply the stock.

Tickets are $5 general and $15 family for each rodeo performance, and $10 for the Bulls and Broncs. An all-event pass, which admits its holder to all four rodeo performances and the Bulls and Broncs, goes for $20.

The MSU men, the defending regional champions, built a big lead through the first six rodeos and lead the Big Sky with 2,617fi points. Northwest College of Powell, Wyo., is second with 1,780. University of Montana men are in sixth place.

Montana State's women are coming off a victory last weekend in Glendive to pad their lead over second-place UM. MSU has 1,555 points, Montana 945. Montana-Western's string of five straight regional women's titles is on the ropes. Western, which finished strong in Missoula last spring, sits in third place with 870.

Andy Bolich, a senior for MSU, is primed to win the regional men's all-around title for the second straight year. Montana State teammate Bobby Jean Jones has captured the women's all-around crown at the last two rodeos to open up an 863-565 lead over her closest pursuer, Sarah Scott of Northwest College.

UM's Billy Burt, who has won more than $20,000 on the pro rodeo circuit this year, leads bull riders in the Big Sky Region. Burt, from Republic, Wash., transferred from Walla Walla Community College in Washington two years ago and sits 15th this week in the PRCA standings. Teammates Dustin Headley (bareback), Ross Eickhoff (steer wrestling) and Warrens Adams (calf roping) all rank in the top six.

Montana's Heidi Wilkinson ranks second in goat tying and is tied for seventh in breakaway roping. Joey Fleharty is third in goat tying and fifth in the all-around race.

Libby roper Chance Bernall, a senior at Montana-Western in Dillon, goes into the final rodeos ranked second in calf roping behind Coley Frerck of Montana State. Bernall ran away with the regional title last year.

The region's top two competitors in each event automatically qualify for the College National Finals, set for June 8-14 in Casper, Wyo. Before that, however, they and eight others from each event go to a championship series rodeo at Montana State in Bozeman on May 28-31. Teams from two other regions compete there.

Big Sky Region

Standings through 8 of 10 rodeos

MEN

Team standings - Montana State University 2,617.50; Northwest College 1,780; Dawson Community College 1,505; University of Montana-Western 1,430; Miles Community College 1,192.50; Universtiy of Montana 1,188.33; Northern Montana College 880.

All-around - 1, Andy Bolich, MSU, 1,257.50; 2, Jarrett Monroe, MCC, 750; 3, Henry Hollenbeck, NWC, 490; 4, Jabe Anderson, DCC, 430; 5, Coley Frerck, MSU, 350.

Saddle bronc - 1, Doug Kallenberger, NMC, 540; 2, Jarrett Monroe, MCC, 420; 3, Brandon Brooks, MSU, 300; 4, Andy Bolich, MSU, 270; 5, Colter Moedl, MSU, 175; 5, Clifford Aly, NWC, 175; 7, Joseph Heguy, WMC, 8, Joey Hauser, DCC, 90; 9, Robert Kittson, 70; 10, Wade Sankey, NWC, 45; 11, Nathan Graves, NWC, 35; 12, (tie) Troy Wilcox, WMC, and Luke Wiggins, WMC, 30; 14, (tie) Chase Erickson, WMC, Matt Scott, and DuWayne Woltz, DCC, 10.

Bareback riding - 1, Andy Bolich, MSU, 7150; 2, Wade Sankey, NWC, 430; 3, Dale Stoller, NMC, 325; 4, Nathan Graves, NWC, 230; 5, Dustin Headley, UM, 165; 6, Casey Bachand, DCC, 125; 7, Chase Erickson, WMC, 120; 8, Casey Gruber, MSU, 95; 9, Randy VandenBos, MCC, 90; 10, John Gill, DCC, 65; 11, Calvin Peterson, UM, 20; 12, Clayton Kelly, WMC, 15; 13, Ryan Beckman, MSU, 5.

Bull riding - 1, Billy Burt, UM, 378.3; 2, Jarrett Monroe, MCC, 285; 3, Travis Burian, MSU, 190; 4, Steven Lambert, MSU, 155; 5, Clint Weeding, MCC, 135; 6, John Gill, DCC, 125; 7, Chase Erickson, 110; 8, Jim Dyk, DCC, 105; 9, Brent Dolezal, DCC, 95; 10, Nick Anderson, NWC, 83.3; 11, Frankie Dillman, DCC, 73.3; 12, Tyler Dellen, WMC, 70; 13, Dexter Smotherman, MCC, 60; 14, Kirby Nemitz, WMC, 55; 15, Tyler Kelly, DCC, 50.

Steer wrestling - 1, Henry Hollenbeck, NWC, 350; 2, Jabe Anderson, DCC, 290; 3, T.J. Wetherbee, NWC, 280; 4, Jessie Hegge, WMC, 195; 5, Ross Eickhoff, UM, 160; 6, Brent Dolezal, DCC, 135; 7, Calvin Peterson, UM, 130; 8, John Gill, DCC, 110; 9, Cody Kleemann, DCC, 100; 10, Shawn Downing, WMC, 85; 11, Justin Krause, UM, 80; 11, Tyler Sarrazin, MCC, 80; 13, Joshua Boka, WMC, 65; 15, Travis Preuit, WMC, 60; 14, Troy Ruhkala, UM, 60.

Calf roping - 1, Coley Frerck, MSU, 300; 2, Chance Bernall, WMC, 255; 3, Andy Bolich, MSU, 230; 4, Blaise Black, WMC, 200; 5, Colter Moedl, MSU, 155; 6, Warren Adams, UM, 140; 6, Tyler Larson, NWC, 140; 8, Henry Hollenbeck, NWC, Jabe Anderson, DCC, 120; 10, Scott Rieger, MSU, 115; 11, Justin Gaskin, NWC, 110; 12, Casey Currey, DCC, 80; 13, Robert VanderVoort, MCC, 70; 14, Tate Dempewolf, DCC, 65; 15, Ross Eickhoff, UM, 55; 15, Shawn Downing, WMC, 55.

WOMEN

Team standings - Montana State University 1,544.99; University of Montana 945, University of Montana-Western 870, Northwest College 565; Miles Community College 220; Dawson Community College 150; Northern Montana College 145.

All-around - 1, Bobby Jean Jones, MSU, 838.33; 2, Sarah Scott, NWC, 565; 3, Heidi Wilkinson, UM, 410; 4, Tracey Currey, MSU, 385; 5, Joey Fleharty, UM, 295.

Barrel racing - 1, Bobby Jean Jones, MSU, 590; 2, Tiffany Wagner, WMC, 240; 3, Rae Roesler, MSU, 225; 4, (tie) Krystal Roberts, WMC, and Lauren Watson, MSU, 170; 6, (tie) Kirby Watt, MSU, and Maquel Lufkin, WMC, 120; 8, Allison Konkel, MSU, 110; 9, Kelle Moore, MSU, 90; 10, Candice Model, MSU, 80; 11, (tie) Bobbie Taylor, MSU, and Melena Schuler, UM, 70; 13, Chelsey Welch, MCC, 60; 14, Jaime Perry, MSU, 55; 15, (tie) Megan Tabolt, MCC, and Heidi Wilkinson, UM, 50.

Breakaway roping - 1, Bryant Worthen, WMC, 310; 2, Sarah Scott, NWC, 225; 3, Milee Malone, MSU, 215; 4, Tracey Currey, MSU, 205; 5, Brittani Brusett, WMC, 150; 6, Jaley Wacker, NMC, 120; 7, Bobby Jean Jones, MSU, 105; 7, Heidi Wilkinson, UM, 105; 9, (tie) Tierani Brusett, WMC, Megan Ruhkala, UM, and Joey Flehart, UM, 100; 12, Tiffany Wagner, WMC, 95; 13, (tie) Maquel Lufkin, WMC, and Amalia Martinez, WMC, 90; 15, Shae Hutchinson, WMC, 70.

Goat tying - 1, Sarah Scott, NWC, 280; 2, Heidi Wilkinson, UM, 255; 3, (tie) Tara Krell, DCC, and Joey Fleharty, UM, 195; 5, Tracey Currey, MSU, 180; 6, Desiree Downing, WMC, 175; 7, Kirby Watt, MSU, 168.3; 8, Stacey Williams, ULATHB, 150; 9, Bobby Jean Jones, MSU, 133.3; 10, Kayla Weiss, MCC, 130; 11, Michelle Wock, WMC, 75; 11, Megan Ruhkala, UM, 75; 13, Cori Archibek, WMC, 70; 14, (tie) Amalia Martinez, WMC, and Amber Woods, WMC, 65.

TEAM ROPING

Header - 1, A.J. Franzen, DCC, 160; 2, Tyler Larson, CNWC, 130; 3, Tate Dempeweolf, DCC, 4, Joshua Boka, WMC, 115; 5, Ed Hawley, MSU, 65; 6, Robert VanderVoort, MCC, 62.5; 7, Brittani Brusett, WMC, 60; 9, Casey Cummins, NWC, 55; 10, Scott Rieger, MSU, 52.5; 11, Andy Bolich, MSU, 42.5; 11, Shawn Downing, WMC, 42.5; 13, Clint Cobb, DCC, 35; 14, Troy Ruhkala, UM, 30; 15, Dan Vanek, DCC, 27.5.

Heeler - 1, Colt Gorrell, DCC, 130; 2, Casey Currey, DCC, 110; 3, Clint Cobb, DCC, 102.5; 4, Brandon Armajo, NWC, 90; 5, Chance Bernall, WMC, 82.5; 6, Kyle Allshouse, NWC, 75; 7, Coley Frerck, MSU, 50; 8, Travis Dempsey, MSU, 45.75; 9, Ryan Hamilton, MSU, 42.5; 10, Blaise Black, WMC, 40; 10, Clint Weeding, MCC, 40; 12, (tie) Cody Three Irons, Little Big Horn College, and Joshua Clark, MSU, 37.5; 14, (tie) Ross Eickhoff, UM, and Logan Lund, WMC, 30.

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