ELLENSBURG, Wash. - Heading into this weekend, the Blue Mountain Community College men's rodeo team is gunning for the Northwest Region's top spot, hoping to gain ground in the National Intercollegiate Rodeo standings.

The Timberwolves have accumulated 1,555.5 points and are behind first-place Walla Walla (1,867.5).

BMCC has an opportunity to gain or overtake first place at the Northwest Region No. 3 rodeo today. The squad will also compete in the Central Washington University rodeo on Saturday and Sunday. Both events will be held at Kittitas County Fairgrounds.

The BMCC women will also be in action this weekend. The women stand in sixth place with 378.5 points, and the University of Idaho (1,081) leads the pack.

Three BMCC cowboys rank in the top four of the men's Northwest Region all-round standings. WWCC's Charlie Ray-Alan is atop the all-round standings and is followed by BMCC's Ty Sturza, Jason Minor and Joe Meling.

Meling is third in saddle bronc riding and second in bull riding.

Minor leads tie-down roping, Sturza is fourth and BMCC has eight cowboys in the top 12 in tie-down roping.

Sturza stands second in steer wrestling.

Kass Kayser and Sturza led the team roping competition while Minor is second overall on the header side of the event.

Kasey Bruce is second in barrel racing for BMCC.

HIGH SCHOOL RODEO

High school rodeo is now under way, and the Intermountain High School Rodeo Club will be in its home territory on Saturday and Sunday.

The club will compete against cowboys from across Oregon starting at 8 a.m. Saturday at the Hermiston Fairgrounds. An afternoon session will start at 1 p.m. on Saturday, and there will be another at noon Sunday. There will also be a cutting show at Hopper's Arena on Sunday at 8 a.m.

The rodeo club is looking for big things this year. The boys are second in the state, and the girls are third.

"We've got a good team this year," the club's coach Jim Bosworth said. "Both the boys and girls."

Jordan Crossley and Drew Guthmiller of Hermiston, along with Paden Bosworth and Chase Taylor of Pendleton, were named Wrangler High School All-Stars two weeks ago.

Crossley's top events are the breakaway and barrel racing, Guthmiller participates in saddle bronc riding and bull riding, Paden Bosworth is a standout in bull riding and team roping, and Taylor's best event is calf roping.

The team has already competed in the Umpqua Valley High School Rodeo in Roseburg, and will compete in at least eight events after this weekend.

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