Sonny Holland Classic, MSU Football (copy)

Montana State running back Isaiah Ifanse escapes a tackle on April 24 at Bobcat Stadium.

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Montana State enters the 2021 season ranked eighth in the FCS by Athlon Sports, the organization announced Tuesday.

The Bobcats’ preseason ranking marks the team’s highest since the 2011-13 teams entered the season ranked no lower than sixth each year. The Bobcats began the 2019 season ranked 14th, but prior to that, the team had not been ranked since 2015.

Weber State (No. 6), Montana (No. 11), UC Davis (No. 17) and Eastern Washington (No. 19) are among Big Sky schools in the top 25.

The 2021 season is Brent Vigen’s first as Montana State’s head coach. The Bobcats enter the season with eight returning starters on offense and five on defense.

MSU opens the season Sept. 4 at Wyoming before hosting Drake on Sept. 11 for this year’s Gold Rush game.

Bozeman 11-year-old finds quick success in karate

A Bozeman 11-year-old has experienced a quick ascent in the world of youth karate.

Alexandra Rolquin, just about six months after picking up the sport, has earned medals at two different karate events.

First, from May 15-16, Rolquin earned a bronze medal in the kumite (fighting) division and another bronze medal in the kata (form) division in her age group at the Miami Open International Karate Tournament. There were 85 competitors in her age group from around the world.

The rising sixth grader followed that performance with two gold medals and a silver at a regional competition on June 13 in Kalispell. There were 12 competitors in her age group at that tournament, and Rolquin earned her golds in the fighting and weapons events. Her silver came in the form division.

MSU’s Whitman, Leno win third round of team roping at CNFR

Montana State’s Jaret Whitman and Teegan Leno won the third round of the team roping on Tuesday evening at the College National Finals Rodeo with a time of 6.4 seconds.

Competing in Casper, Wyoming, the duo sits fourth in the overall standings of the event with an average time of 17.8 seconds.

Teammates Cody and Jake Faulkner are seventh overall in the same event, still with an average score of 7.4 seconds after taking two no scores in the first and third rounds.

Paige Rasmussen added a 6.3-second run in the goat tying to keep her in first place. Her average time is 18.9 seconds.

Her time led the third round of the event, and teammate Lindsey Pulsipher was second in the round at 6.4 seconds. Pulsipher is tied for sixth overall with an average time of 21.6 seconds.

MSU’s leaders in other events — Tayla Moeykens in barrel racing and Caleb Berquist and Levi Delamarter in tie down roping — had not yet taken their third-round runs as of Wednesday.

Bucks bounce back at Missoula

The Bozeman Bucks snapped a four-game losing skid with a road victory Tuesday evening.

The Bucks defeated the Missoula Mavericks 9-4 to start a doubleheader, which ended with a 17-4 loss at Missoula.

In the first contest, Logan Pailthorpe hit a home run to left field during the very first at-bat. The Bucks scored three runs in the opening inning and capped the game off with a four-run seventh.

Preston Fliehman was 2 for 4 with three RBIs and two runs scored. Luke Rizzo and Jake Vigen both hit doubles. Vigen, Corbin Holzer, Dillon Coleman and Rhett Hays each drove in a run.

Coleman, Bozeman’s starting pitcher, allowed three runs on five hits and five walks with two strikeouts in five innings. Michael Armstrong finished the game out from there, allowing one run, two hits and no walks with one strikeout.

The Mavericks, though, responded in the following game. They scored nine runs in the first frame and never relinquished the lead.

Vigen drove in two runs and tallied a double. Rizzo and Coleman both added an RBI and a hit each, with Coleman hitting a double. Max Matteucci and Pailthorpe both hit triples, while Fliehman also had a hit.

The Bucks (16-17) continue their road stretch with a doubleheader against the Billings Royals at 2 p.m. Sunday.

Colton Pool can be reached at cpool@dailychronicle.com or 406-582-2690. Follow him on Twitter @CPoolReporter.

This article originally ran on bozemandailychronicle.com.

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