Top five writing samples
Top five writing samples
BUTTE - A few days a week, you can drive out on Continental Drive, take a turn onto Olympic Way, and watch ice skaters take turns on a giant frozen oval. A timing tower with the Coors beer logo inscribed on it sits at what was once a starting line.
David Stevens put $210 on Coralia Robinson and her horse team from Luthi Ranch in the final chariot race Sunday. The quarter-mile dirt track at the Lincoln County Fairgrounds in Afton was by then mud-soaked and showing wear from pummeling hooves.
Shad Free brings his snowmobile off the hill for the final time this season, looping around the parking lot at Grand Targhee Resort before loading it into the back of his truck.
DILLON - A few hours before the 50th Montana Western rodeo banquet Friday evening, Iola "Olie" Else made the rounds at the morning's UMW Colt Challenge and Sale. Enthusiasts filed into La Cense Montana Arena in Dillon to get a look at the young horses.
Moments after the final instructions were given, a couple of dozen Boy Scouts, their parents and volunteers set out across the National Elk Refuge in search of shed antlers, the last remnant of a long winter now that the snow has melted across the refuge.
A strong wind whipped as teams of 10 dogs cried out with eyes glued to the course ahead. Anny Malo, the final musher to start her run, walked from her lead dogs back to her sled, giving affirmative fist pumps to her four-legged racers before getting onto her sled for Saturday's final stage at Lower Slide Lake.
Seventeen days out from his eighth Ultimate Fighting Championship fight - 18th professional fight overall, second fight for the UFC since returning in 2015 - Ithaca native and Binghamton resident Tamdan McCrory is a busy man. On Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays, McCrory makes the commute from his home in Binghamton to the Syracuse area to train with his longtime coach, Kevin Seaman.
There were rumblings before it was official that the Wood boys had done it. Corbin and Tanner Wood, the twin brothers who represented the Mustangs track team entirely on their own at the Class C state track and field championship, were sitting in first place on 59 points with one event remaining.
DRUMMOND - Cache Hill took a break from shedding his riding gear to raise his hand to eye level. "My hand is so damn swollen up from holding on and riding," he said. "My pinky is the same size as my ring finger." The Baker bareback rider said it's hurting him to compete right now.
Casper, Wyo. - College of Southern Idaho's JorDee Nielsen finally got a score down on a bull. He missed his first two at the College National Finals Rodeo this week, and after cowboy after cowboy was flung from his respective bull, Nielsen climbed into the chute.
BOZEMAN - With Friday night's portion of the Montana State spring rodeo wrapping up, Will Powell was having trouble shaking off his missed chance in team roping earlier in the night. The Montana State cowboy had already qualified for Saturday's short go in steer wrestling and tiedown roping, but he's no one-trick pony.
Before Martin Truex Jr. revved his engine in victory lane Sunday at Watkins Glen International, thousands of campers and tailgaters rose with the sun for race day preparations and some revving up of their own.
BUTTE -- It took some time for Sam Rauch to get back to the locker room to have his wounds tended to. After winning the Sparta Combat League lightweight Muay Thai title Saturday night at the Butte Civic Center, Rauch made time for the thousands that came out to watch him fight.
BUTTE - On a recent weekday at Montana Golden Gloves Gym on the corner of Utah Avenue and First Street, Eric Hempstead peels off his fluorescent boxing shoes and takes a seat with sweat still forming around the neck of his T-shirt.
My father has always said that if you sit in one spot in the woods, from sunrise to sunset, you'll see something. It might not be a buck, but you'll get to see a deer, guaranteed. My family's property on Barclay Mountain in Bradford County, Pa.
Up a score with the fourth quarter dwindling, Riley Martello says he took a chance. Montana Western scored 20 unanswered points in the final quarter to take its first lead on Montana Tech, 26-19. But the Orediggers still had an opportunity for a late score to force overtime.