Valley Journal
Valley Journal

This Week’s e-Edition

Current Events

Latest Headlines

What's New?

Send us your news items.

NOTE: All submissions are subject to our Submission Guidelines.

Announcement Forms

Use these forms to send us announcements.

Birth Announcement

Mission Valley high school rodeo athletes compete well at state finals

Hey savvy news reader! Thanks for choosing local. You are now reading
1 of 3 free articles.

Subscribe now to stay in the know!

Already a subscriber? Login now

KALISPELL — Mission Valley high school rodeo competitors spent June 3 to 8 at the Majestic Valley Arena in Kalispell at the Montana State High School Finals Rodeo, and each contestant was trying to place as high as possible. The top four points winners for the entire year in each event advanced to the National High School Finals in Rock Springs, Wyo. in July.

Points are accumulated at the state rodeo through two performances called the “long go,” a final performance called a “short go” on Sunday, and the average of all goes.

While a competitor may win in the state rodeo, they may not place for Nationals unless their total points accumulated throughout the year places them in the top four.

Trevar McAllister, the Mission Valley’s only rough stock contestant heading to nationals, came home with the state title in bareback. “There were really good horses at state,” McAllister said, adding that he likes the chutes and setup at the Majestic Valley arena.

Now a rising senior, McAllister started riding bareback broncs when he was a sophomore. This will be his first trip to nationals, yet he said isn’t intimidated by the huge national rodeo.

“It will be fun. Meeting new people is good; you can meet people you will be rodeoing with,” he said. 

Other summer plans include riding at the Blue Moon, north of Kalispell, and hitting a few Northern Rodeo Association rodeos.  

Nicole Lake had an incredible finals, roping three calves in 8.7 seconds in the breakaway roping. She placed second in year-end scores.

Lake said she liked the venue at the Majestic Valley arena. 

“There are a lot of variables in breakaway roping — the weather, the ground, the barrier and the cattle,” Lake said. 

Having the MHSRA finals indoors took away the weather and ground factors. 

As a rising junior, Lake said this is her second year going to nationals, and she’s “pretty happy.”

Senior Abby Knight graduated from Charlo High School on June May 31 so this will be her last high school nationals. She qualified in pole bending, which is also her horse’s favorite event. She likes the competitive aspect of barrel racing, but her horse “tied up,” or got a charley horse, during the MHSRA finals.

“She’s just one big muscle,” Knight said.

Knight ran barrels on a colt until rest, walking, stretching and anti-inflammatory meds soon had her number-one horse ready to run.

She’s been to Rock Springs for the nationals before, and it’s an eight-to-nine hour drive. That’s a long time, Knight said, but some of the high school athletes from eastern Montana had a 12-hour drive to reach state finals in Kalispell.

Due to her previous experience at Nationals, Knight is looking forward to the rough stock arena at Rock Springs where the smaller, narrower space is more conducive to pole bending events.

The rodeo is the biggest rodeo in the world, Knight said, with thousands of contestants; but she’s gotten used to it. 

“You never know who’s going to make it so you just try and beat everyone,” Knight said.

Wyatt Lytton will team rope at nationals, his second year attending the finals. He heels for Carson King, a Dillon cowboy. The two have roped together for three years.

“Nationals is definitely an exciting event,” Lytton said. “The toughest thing (about nationals) is keeping a strong mental attitude, staying positive and having the drive to work as hard as you can.”

Lytton also took a quick break from rodeo to attend his Polson High School graduation ceremony on Saturday, June 7, before returning Sunday to complete the state competition. 

As the Valley’s only bulldogger to make it to nationals, Will Powell, soon to be a senior at St. Ignatius High, will head into his third year of attending the high school national finals. He also attended two years in junior high.

Powell agreed with Lake about the Majestic Valley Arena. 

“I really like the set up,” Powell said, adding that the weather wasn’t an issue with an indoor arena. 

Powell has been to Rock Springs before and said there are two arenas. One is used just for timed events, and rough stock riders, pole benders and barrel racers compete in the other. With competitors from all 50 states, Canada and Australia, there can be 200 to 250 steer wrestlers, Powell said. 

Valley athletes will compete in the National High School Finals Rodeo July 13-19.


Year-end, total point top-four winners advancing to Nationals include:

Barrel racing:

Paige Moore, Rosebud; Morgan Link, Billings; Callie Wollenburg, Red Lodge; Samantha Moulding, Missoula

Pole bending: 

Drew Zipperian, Clancy; Celie Salmond, Choteau; Taylour Russell, Conrad; Abby Knight, Charlo

Breakaway roping: Ryanne Tracy, Missoula; Nichole Lake, Polson; Bailey Fruit, Ekalaka; Elizabeth French, Pompey’s Pillar 

Goat tying: 

Jalisa Klassen, Powell; Lyndi Anderson, Billings; Ouana Harkins, Billings; Tioni Erickson, Ismay 

Bareback riding:

Kiin Salois, East Glacier; Skyler Erickson, Powell; Trevar McAllister, Ronan; Troy Kirkpatrick, Wise River

Saddle broncs:

Alan Gobert, Browning; Connor Wines, Pray; Colton Green, Cohagen; T. J. Green, Cohagen   

Bull riding:

Jess Lockwood, Volborg; Houston Brown, Miles City; Casey Fredericks, Busby; Preston Lewis, Browning

Tie down roping:

Haven Meged Miles City: Shane Knerr, Grass Range; Bryce Bott, Powell; Wrye Williams, Broadus

Steer wrestling:

Marshal Ray, East Glacier; Will Powell, St. Ignatius; Trevin Baumann, Hardin; Carson King, Dillon

Team roping: Brandon Kruger, Shane Knerr, Grass Range; Tyler Weeding, Tate Rhoads; Carson King, Dillon, Wyatt Lytton, Polson  

Girls cutting:

Greta Gustafson, Browning; Brianna Ash, Forsyth; Sidney Kirkpatrick, Wise River; Abigail Brogger, Three Forks

Boys cutting:

Haven Meged, Miles City: Marshal Ray, East Glacier; Kris Anderson, Hamilton, Jake Malek, Highwood


Sponsored by: