Montana Western Rodeo Announces 2022 Signing Class

Montana Western Head Rodeo Coach JT Robbins has announced the signing of 21 student-athletes for the 2022-2023 men's and women's rodeo season. Of the 21 incoming athletes, there are 12 incoming freshman, eight transfers, and one athlete that was a freshman on the UMW football team last season. "We're very excited about the level of talent we have this year in every event. The freshman and transfers, coupled with the returning kids give us a chance to compete at a high level and accomplish our goals." coach JT Robbins said.



Cooper Pavkov | Team Roping, Calf Roping | Gooding, Idaho / Gooding High School

Cooper Pavkov joins the Bulldogs from Gooding, Idaho. He was a district champion team and calf roper, as well as an all-around district champion. In June 2022, Pavkov placed first in a round of calf roping and second in a round of team roping at the Idaho State Finals Rodeo. Along with rodeo, Cooper was a three-sport athlete in high school playing football, basketball, and golf. He was named first team all-conference and all-state for football. He is the son of Jeff and Cathy Pavkov and plans to major in business with a minor in farm and ranch management.


Riley Dean | Barrel Racing | Woodruff, Utah / Evanston High School

Riley Dean is a barrel racer joining the Bulldogs from Woodruff, Utah. During her time at Evanston High School, Dean was awarded the Veterinarian Science Award. She is the daughter of Brian and Stephanie Dean and plans on majoring in biology and secondary education with a minor in equine studies.


Hannah Lowell | Barrel Racing | Park City, Mont. / Park City High School

Hannah Lowell joins the Bulldogs rodeo team from Park City, Montana. Lowell was an NFR junior world qualifier in 2019 and 2021 in Barrel Racing. She also played basketball in high school where she won the varsity basketball sportsmanship award twice. The daughter of Eric and Kristi Lowell will be competing in barrel racing and plans to major in business with a minor in equine science.



Everitt Mauler | Team Roping | Stevensville, Mont. / Stevensville High School

Everitt Mauler joins the Bulldogs from Stevensville, Montana and plans to compete in team roping. Mauler chose to join the Bulldogs because of his interest in the Natural Horsemanship program and to compete on the rodeo team. He is the son of of Justin and Annette Mauler and will be majoring in natural horsemanship.


Krista Marchand | Barrel Racing & Breakaway | Omak, Wash. / Omak High School / Central Washington University

Krista Marchand is a transfer who joins the Bulldogs from Central Washington University. She was named the 2016 Washington State Rookie of the Year, qualified for the NHSRA three times, and was ranked 23rd in the nation in breakaway roping before graduating from Omak High School in 2018. In 2020, Marchand was a CNFR qualifier in barrel racing for the Northwest Region. Marchand was also on the Dean's List at Central Washington. She is the daughter of George Marchand and Codi Marchand and plans to continue her degree in English and secondary education.


Brooke Richey | Breakaway & Goat Tying | Tonasket, Wash. / Tonasket High School

Brooke Richey is a 2022 graduate of Tonasket High School. She is a four-time WSHRA finals qualifier in goat tying and breakaway, along with most recently placing first in breakaway and third in goat tying for the state of Washington. In 2020, she was an NHSRA qualifier and placed in the top 10 in breakaway and the barrels. In 2021 and 2022, Richey claimed four all-around championships in WSHRA, numerous championships in goat tying, barrels, and breakaway, and placed in the top 10 at the NHSRA twice. She also lettered in basketball in high school, while also completing her AA degree through the Running Start program. Richey is the daughter of Steve and Sarah Richey and plans on majoring in psychology and kinesiology at Montana Western.



Tavy Leno | Breakaway, Team Roping, & Goat Tying | Sheridan, Wyo. / Sheridan High School

Tavy Leno joins the Bulldogs from Sheridan, Wyoming. Leno is a 2022 graduate of Western Christian Academy and competes in team roping, breakaway, and goat tying. During her freshman year of high school, Tavy earned a Wyoming state championship in goat tying. Through her sophomore and junior years, Leno was a Vegas Tuffers qualifier twice in goat tying and in breakaway. She qualified for the NHSFR in goat tying and breakaway and placed 12th in the world at nationals. During her senior year, Leno was the Wyoming High School state champion in breakaway and she took third at nationals in the first round of goat tying. She ended up overall fifth in the world. Leno also played basketball during her freshman and sophomore year of high school. She is the daughter of James and Mika Leno and plans to major in business at UMW.


Gavin Knutson | Bull Riding, Team Roping, & Tie Down Roping | Polson, Mont. / Ignite Christian Academy

Gavin Knutson is a bull rider from Polson, Montana that joins the Bulldogs this fall. He is a 2022 graduate of Ignite Christian Academy. Gavin is a three-time state rodeo qualifier, a two-time state rodeo top four bull rider, the 2022 state champion tie down roper, and a two-time NHSRA qualifier. Along with rodeo, Gavin also lettered in wrestling in high school where he qualified for the state finals meet twice. Gavin is the son of Dustin and Zimmie Knutson and plans on majoring in business while at UMW.


Jhet Murphy | Steer Wrestling, Team Roping, and Calf Roping | Helena, Mont. / Helena High School / Laramie County Community College

Jhet Murphy joins the Bulldogs as a transfer from Laramie Community College. Murphy was a 2019 graduate of Capital High School. He was a two-time national qualifier in team roping as a header and was ranked fifth in the nation his junior year of high school. He qualified for the NHSFR in steer wrestling and was ranked 15th in the nation. He was an NRA qualifier his senior year of high school as was also a National Honors Society member. Murphy is the second member of his family to be a Bulldog as his dad was also a member of the rodeo program. He is the son of Martin and Karen Murphy and plans to continue to pursue his degree in business.



Madalyn Foster| Breakaway & Team Roping | Blackfoot, Idaho / Blackfoot High School

Madalyn Foster joins the Bulldogs as a 2022 graduate of Blackfoot High School. She was named the 2022 District Reserve All-Around Cowgirl during her senior year and was a state qualifier in breakaway, poles, and goat tying. Her junior year, she was a state qualifier in breakaway, poles, goat tying, team roping and reined cow horse. Along with rodeo, she was a member of her high school girls' basketball state championship in 2021 and received high academic honors for her junior and senior year. Foster is the daughter of Ron and Erin Foster and plans to major in natural horsemanship.


Teegan Leno | Tie down & Team Roping | Sheridan, Wyo. / Sheridan High School / Montana State University

Teegan Leno is a transfer tie down and team roper from Montana State University and a 2020 graduate of Sheridan High School. Last season at Montana State, Teegan was the top heeler in tie down roping in the Big Sky division of the NIRA and placed 15th in tie down roping. He was a CNFR qualifier and placed 18th overall in team roping. At Sheridan High School, Leno qualified for the high school national rodeo while also playing basketball where he was on the state runner up team. Teegan recently qualified for a Montana PRCA circuit finals qualifier. Leno is the son of James and Mika Leno and plans to continue to pursue his degree in business with a minor in equine management.


Molly Johnson | Breakaway & Team Roping | Cottonwood, Idaho / Prairie High School

Molly Johnson joins the Bulldogs as a 2022 graduate from Prairie High School in Cottonwood, Idaho. She is a breakaway and team roper that qualified all four years of high school for the Idaho state rodeo finals in team roping and was a three-time qualifier in breakaway. Johnson also competed in high school basketball where she was a state runner up for three years running. Johnson is the daughter of Doug and Misty Johnson and plans on majoring in natural horsemanship with a minor in farm and ranch operations.


Tori Murnion | Breakaway & Barrel Racing | Jordan, Mont. / Garfield County District High School

A 2022 graduate of Garfield County District High School, Tori Murnion joins the Bulldogs as a breakaway roper and barrel racer from Jordan, Mont. She is the daughter of Maury and Carla Murnion and plans to major in business at UMW.



Ember Casperson | Barrel Racing & Goat Tying | Blackfoot, Idaho / Bear Lake High School / Gillette College

Ember Casperson joins the Bulldogs as a transfer from Gillette College and a 2018 graduate of Bear Lake High School. At Bear Lake, Ember was a three-time national qualifier, named reserve all-around cowgirl in 2018, qualified for the NHSRA twice, and earned district eight champion goat tier and barrel racer twice. Ember also lettered in basketball at Bear Lake. Casperson is the daughter of Katrina Williams and plans on continuing to pursue her degree in psychology at UMW.


Knut Heirem | Team Roping | White Sulphur Springs, Mont. / White Sulphur Springs High School / Montana State University

Knut Heirem is a transfer from Montana State University where he redshirted his freshman year. A 2021 graduate from White Sulphur Springs High School, Heirem was a Montana High School Rodeo Association State Finals rodeo qualifier all four years in team roping and in tie down roping. He tallied six championships in team roping throughout his high school career and made the rodeo Cinch Team in 2018. Heirem also was a High School National Honor Society student and was a four-year academic all-state player for his high school basketball team. Heirem is the son of Thad and Nancy Heirem and plans to major in business administration with a minor in farm and ranch.


Ty Christiansen | Team Roping | Plain City, Utah / Fremont High School / Weber State University / Casper College

Ty Christiansen is a team roper from Plain City, Utah that graduated from Fremont High School in 2019. Prior to becoming a Bulldog, Ty attended Weber State University and Casper College where he was ranked top ten in the region. At Fremont High School, Christiansen was the 2015 state champion, second in state in 2017 and 2018, and fifth in the state of Utah in 2019 in team roping. In 2016, Christiansen placed fifth in the nation. Ty is the son of Cody and Shawnee Christiansen and plans to complete his degree in business administration and minor in farm and ranch operations.



MacCrae Messerli | Bull Riding & Saddle Bronc | Rigby, Idaho / Rigby High School

MacCrae Messerli joins the Bulldogs as a 2022 graduate from Rigby High School in Rigby, Idaho. He is a bull and saddle bronc rider that qualified for the Idaho state finals rodeo for three years. He was a district champion in team roping and bull riding his sophomore year. His senior year, he was a district champion in saddle bronc riding. Messerli also competed in wrestling and football where he won two state championships in football and was a state qualifier in wrestling. He is the son of Charles and Chelsie Messerli and plans to major in business while at UMW.



Rhett Varian | Team Roping & Tie Down Roping | Parkfield, Calif. / Paso Robles High School / Cuesta College

Rhett Varian joins the Bulldogs as a transfer team roper and tie down roper from Cuesta College in California. Rhett is a 2018 graduate from Paso Robles High School where he won district in tie down roping and placed second in team roping his senior year. He was a CHSRA qualifier all four years of high school. Along with excelling in the arena, Rhett maintained a 4.0 GPA in high school and made the honor roll for four straight years. Rhett is the son of Greg and Patricia Varian and plans to continue pursuing his degree in business with a minor in farm and ranch management.


Jackie Sceirine | Team Roping & Calf Roping | Wellington, Nev. / Smith Valley High School

Jackie Sceirine joins the Bulldogs this season as a team roper and calf roper from Wellington, Nevada. He is a 2021 graduate of Smith Valley High School that was named his high school's athlete of the year twice. Along with rodeo, he was involved in football, wrestling, and baseball where he earned all-state honors four times, team MVP twice, and was two-time player of the year. He was also a member of the national high school honors society for three years. Last season, Sceirine was a redshirt on the UMW football team. Sceirine is the son of Todd and Ally Sceirine and plans to continue on majoring in business with a minor in farm and ranch management.



Ada Poulter | Breakaway & Barrel Racing | Tremonton, Utah / Marsh Valley High School

Ada Poulter joins the Bulldogs this fall as a breakaway roper and barrel racer from Tremonton, Utah. She is a 2021 graduate of Marsh Valley High School where she competed in rodeo, basketball, and cheerleading. During her time there, she was a three-time international high school rodeo qualifier, a 2021 girl's cutting short go champion, and two-time Miss SSIR Idaho. She is the daughter of Shannon Poulter and Kristina Fronk and plans on majoring in biology with a minor in health and human performance.


Shelby Poorman | Barrel Racing | Bellville, Texas / Faith Academy of Bellville / Tarleton State University

Shelby Poorman is a transfer from Tarleton State University and a 2018 graduate of Faith Academy of Bellville. During her time at Faith Academy, she was a three-time THSRA state qualifier in Barrel Racing. Along with rodeo, she competed in softball during her high school career. She is the daughter of Steven and Dee Ann Poorman and plans to continue to pursue her degree in natural horsemanship.


The Bulldogs will begin the 2022-2023 rodeo season September 9-10th at the Trapper Stampede in Cody, Wyo.



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