KALISPELL, Mont. -

About 300 high school students from all over Montana have traveled to the Flathead to compete in rodeo state finals. Thursday kicked off the first day of the competition, and it will be going on through Sunday.

The majority of the athletes have been busy practicing, preparing themselves for a whole new level of competition at state.

"I was nervous. I don't know, I felt like puking in the box," said Trevin Baumann, a sophomore from Hardin.

"State's a big difference from the regular rodeos. Usually I can keep myself pretty calm but I came in here in this warm-up arena that we have and my mare is just like game time and she's prancing around, so I got on her, I was just as jittery," said Alexis Shipp, a sophomore from Miles City.  

Baumann and Shipp have been to state before, but they feel the pressure to do well. Both have been prepping all season long.

"This spring, I've done a lot of training on my mare. Then it's just a lot of conditioning, luckily at Miles City we have a race track so I'll take her around there, sprint her and then just getting her lined up and then she's pretty solid on the pattern, but I like to do a nice slow work to shape up everything and then work on myself too, as far as my riding," said Shipp.  

"Roping at home and bull dogging and stuff," said Baumann.

Shipp competed pole bending this afternoon, and she scored a pretty good time of 22.86. When she last looked she was 14th in the state out of 82. She talked about her goals for this year.

"For the barrel racing, I'm hoping to make it to the short goal, so I'm going to make two solid clean runs and hope I can pull some points to bring me up there," said Shipp.  

Baumann competed in tie-down roping, where he got a time score of 9.76,  which boosted him up to one of the top contenders. Last year, Baumann received fourth in the state. He came into this competition with more goals to accomplish.

"Win states, go to nationals. Hopefully do good in nationals," said Baumann.  

Friday the two will be out competing in more events and hoping to reach their goals.

Rodeo state competition is taking place all weekend at the Majestic Arena and the championship will be Sunday.