September 23, 2014
The Mesalands Community College Rodeo Team began the new 2014-15 season at Diné College in Tsaile, AZ last weekend. For their first rodeo competition for the Grand Canyon Region, both the Men’s and Women’s Team finished in third place and brought home two individual championship titles.
“This rodeo made me really excited about this upcoming season. This showed me that our student athletes are mentally ready to compete,” said Tim Abbott, Interim Intercollegiate Rodeo Coach at Mesalands Community College. “I was really encouraged by the performance of our freshman. Nobody was intimidated. They were very competitive and should be expected to win every weekend.”
In the timed events, freshman Chace Valdez of Estancia, NM took third in the long-go round in tie down roping. Valdez then won the short round with a time of 9.2 seconds and the average in the tie down roping event by 2.5 seconds. Valdez cinched his first championship title in tie down roping last weekend. Freshman Clay Lee of Portales, NM was fifth in the short round and then finished fourth in the average in tie down roping.
In steer wrestling, sophomore Jacob Rounds of Brooklyn, NY won second in the long-go round and third in the average. Freshman Chance Stucker of Orville, WA took fourth place in the long-go round and fourth in the average in the steer wrestling event.
Team ropers freshmen Chance Hunter of Chinle, AZ and Tyler Sam of Chinle, AZ were third in the long-go round and finished sixth in the average. Stucker and Russell Van Soelen from New Mexico State University took fifth in long round of the team roping event and fifth in the average.
Coach Abbott said that the student athletes who competed in the rough stock events, had a hard time at last weekend’s rodeo and did not advance to the short round.
The Women’s Team performed well for their first rodeo of the season. Coach Abbott stated that the Women’s Team has more points after the Diné College rodeo than they had for about three quarters of the season last year.
Sophomore Betty Pack of Aztec, NM had an outstanding weekend in the breakaway event. Pack was third in the short round with a time of three seconds flat. She ended first in the average by almost one second ahead of the second place winner. Pack claimed the breakaway roping championship title.
Sophomore Skye Valdez of Estancia, NM was 6th in the short round and finished sixth in the average in barrel racing.
“Our men and women have started this season out strong and are fired up for the next rodeo,” said Coach Abbott. “We know what we need to work on and we are ready to practice and work harder, as we get ready to compete in Douglas.”
The next rodeo competition for the Mesalands Rodeo Team will be at Cochise College in Douglas, AZ, September 26-27. 2014.