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MONTANA STATE TAKES BIG LEAD AT RODEO FINALS

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Men's all-around favorites Jason Jackson and Robert Bowers of Montana State gave themselves and their team a significant boost during Thursday's action at the College National Rodeo Finals.

Jackson, competing in bull riding, and Bowers, participating in saddle bronc, turned in rides worth 72 and 76 points, respectively, to highlight Thursday's men's competition.Bowers currently stands above Jackson in the all-around with 200 total points to Jackson's 170.

Fortunes weren't so good for West Texas' Tona Wright, who entered Thursday's third go-round as the women's all-around leader.

Wright had a strong performance with a time of 3.80 in the breakaway, but a five-second penalty in the barrel race for knocking over a barrel dropped her out of the event's top ten.

Wright still tops the all-around standings following Thursdays' performance.

Montana State is leading the men's team competition with 425 points, followed by Fort Scott Community College with 335 points.

Western Texas leads the women's team standings with 180 points. Vernon (Texas) Community College is second with 170.

Western Montana's Ron Schnek improved his standing in steer wrestling, with a time of 4.8 seconds for the CNFR's third fastest takedown thus far. Wyoming's Todd Suhn leads the event average with a total of 18.2 seconds after three gos.

Lynn Wiebe of Central Wyoming had the fastest time in the goat tying, 7.80 seconds.