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Mesalands Rodeo Team has a strong start to the season

September 20, 2016

Sophomore Chace Valdez from Estancia, NM, was crowned the tie-down roping champion at the Diné College rodeo competition in Tsaile, AZ last weekend.

Sophomore Chace Valdez from Estancia, NM, was crowned the tie-down roping champion at the Diné College rodeo competition in Tsaile, AZ last weekend.

The Mesalands Community College Rodeo Team started the 2016-2017 season on a high-note last weekend at Diné College in Tsaile, AZ. The Mesalands Rodeo Team won a championship title in tie-down roping and two reserve championship titles in bareback riding and goat tying. The Men’s Team took second place, only 20 points from the top spot and the Women’s Team finished in third place.

“At the beginning of each college rodeo season, every team wants to win the region. That’s our goal for both our Women’s and Men’s Teams,” said Timothy Abbott, Mesalands Intercollegiate Rodeo Coach. “I’m very excited about our performance at Tsaile. We had a really good rodeo! With that being said, we didn’t get anywhere near maximizing our potential.”

Last weekend, sophomore Chace Valdez of Estancia, NM, dominated the tie-down roping event, bringing home his first championship title of the season. He won the first round by 1.4 seconds, with a time of 8.7 seconds. He also won the short round by 1.6 seconds, with a time of 8.1 seconds. Valdez finished first place in the average, with a time of 18.7 seconds, 4.5 seconds faster than second place.

In other timed events, sophomore Arianna Assini from Oracle, AZ, also had a strong performance in Tsaile. She led the first round of the goat tying event with a time of 6.7 seconds. Assini had a little trouble in the short round, but finished second in the average, winning the reserve championship title.

Mesalands team roper Chance Hunter (heeler) from Chinle, AZ, competed with Cheyenne Sherwood (header) from Central Arizona College, and took second in the first round and fifth in the average.

The rough stock riders also had a pretty good start to the season at Diné College. This year the Men’s Rodeo Team has expanded the number of student athletes competing in the rough stock events, with six bull riders, five saddle bronc riders, and two bareback riders.

Bareback rider freshman Scott Bevins from Amsterdam, NY had an outstanding performance for his first college rodeo. He was fourth place in the first round and second in the short round. Bevins finished the rodeo in second place with 131 points, winning the reserve championship title in this event.

In bull riding, sophomore KC Baker of Cottonwood, CA took third place in the first round and third place in the average with 45 points.

Last but not least, is sophomore Wade Cane a transfer student from Ellinsburg, WA. Cane competes in both timed and rough stock events. He actually competes in four events: saddle bronc riding, steer wrestling, tie-down roping, and team roping. In the saddle bronc riding event last weekend, Cane had a little trouble on his first horse. As a result, he didn’t have a qualified ride in the first round. He then came back and took second in the short round and third in the average.

For the 2016-2017 season, the Mesalands Rodeo Team once again has student athletes from all over the country, including: AR, AZ, CA, NC, NM, NY, OR, PA, TX, and WA. The Mesalands Rodeo Team has three rodeo competitions in the fall and seven in the spring. This weekend they will be competing at Cochise College in Douglas, AZ. The Mesalands Rodeo Team will then be hosting their final rodeo competition of the semester on Friday, October 14 and Saturday, October 15, 2016, at the Quay County Rodeo Arena. For more information, visit: www.mesalands.edu/fallrodeo.

Chace Valdez competing at the 2015 Mesalands Fall Rodeo.

Chace Valdez competing at the 2015 Mesalands Fall Rodeo.