Matthew Hayes (University of Montana)
Award of Excellence | Sports Portfolio
Lauren Wright, center, and Colleen Miller, right, honor the American flag before swimming in the 100-yard freestyle final at the Montana State High School Swimming Championships in Great Falls, Mont.
A November sky hovers over University of Montana Grizzly Football fans as they celebrate an interception during a game against Eastern Washington at Washington Grizzly Stadium in Missoula, Mont.
Bullriders at the annual Mackay Rodeo prepare for the first round of competition at the rodeo grounds in Mackay, ID. Mostly known throughout Idaho as ' Idaho's wildest rodeo', the event attracts nearly 2000 people every June for three days of rodeo, parade, camping and partying.
Bareback rider Jeff Bayes burst out of the chutes during his winning ride at the Mackay Rodeo in Mackay, ID. Jeff injured his ankle during his previous ride but still managed to pull out a victory.
A father and son practice soccer in front of their barn on their property near Lolo, Mont. in the Bitterroot Valley.
Members of the Missoula Maggott rugby team walk off the field after losing to the University of Oregon at the annual Maggottfest rugby tournament in Missoula, Mont. Every May, Rugby fans and teams from around the country arrive in Missoula to participate in a weekend of hard-hitting rugby and wild drinking.
Montana Grizzly fans erupt in emotion at the Press Box sports bar in Missoula, Mont. after a last-second Grizzly field goal sent the game into overtime against Idaho State. The Grizzlies lost the game 43-40 in double-overtime.
Under the Surface
Members of the Hellgate High School varisty swim team in Missoula, Mont. glide through the water during morning practice. The team spends over five hours a day together as they practice twice a day from 5:30 to 8:00 a.m. and again from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m.