Mesalands Rodeo Team qualifies seven to the college national finals

May 6, 2014

logo no wordsThe Mesalands Community College Rodeo Team recently had two rodeo competitions at New Mexico State University (NSMU) in Las Cruces, NM, and brought home three championship titles. After a strong performance at NMSU, the Mesalands Rodeo Team will have seven team members competing in the biggest college rodeo competition of the year, the College National Finals Rodeo. The Mesalands Rodeo Team will have enough student athletes to send their entire Men’s Team to the college finals.

“The NMSU Rodeo was fantastic! This was a stressful time to be a Coach, but also a fun day to be a Coach,” said Tim Abbott, Interim Intercollegiate Rodeo Coach at Mesalands Community College. “It was really exciting to see the student athletes execute what we have been working on all season. They kept their mental and physical composure throughout the rodeos. Some of our student athletes had to perform very well in the last rodeos to secure their CNFR spot.”

Sophomore Betty Pack of Aztec, NM earned her ticket to the CNFR at the NMSU rodeo. Pack had an exceptional weekend in the breakaway roping event. She had to place at each rodeo to qualify for the college finals and she did. Pack roped all three of her calves and was crowned the breakaway roping champion for the weekend, winning a buckle.

“I knew it was possible, I just had to convince myself that I could do it,” Pack said. “I’m excited and nervous at the same time to be competing at nationals, knowing that I will have to go out there and compete against other schools. Also, for a first-year Coach to send seven students to nationals, is pretty amazing!”

Pack went from ninth place and advanced to third place in the Grand Canyon Region by only nine points.

In tie down roping, sophomore Kit Pettigrew of Ft. Sumner, NM won the tie-down roping championship title and earned himself a buckle. Pettigrew also finished first in the regional year-end standings and brought home a saddle as well. Coach Abbott stated that Pettigrew outperformed the other student athletes at the rodeo. Pettigrew will also be competing at the college finals.

In team roping, sophomore Chaz Kananen (header) of Roy, MT with Steven Gaona (heeler) from Central Arizona College, took first in the short round and in the average earning 120 points. Coach Abbott said that he felt Kananen had the best run in team roping for the year. Kananen brought home the team roping championship title for the weekend and won a buckle. Kananen was also named the team roping regional champion for the year-end standings and also won a saddle at the rodeo. Gaona did not qualify for the college finals and therefore, Kananen will be competing with fellow teammate sophomore Morgan McVay (heeler) of Sparks, NV.

McVay started the NMSU rodeo fifth in the region, which meant he too had to perform well to qualify for the college finals. He placed first in the long round and placed in the average and in the short round. McVay took third place in the region by only two points, earning his ticket to the CNFR

Three other members of the Mesalands Rodeo Team maintained their positions at the NMSU rodeo and will also be competing at the 2014 CNFR.

Sophomore Daniel Baeza of Chihuahua, Mexico also earned his ticket to the 2014 CNFR. He finished the year-end standings in second place in team roping.

Sophomore Edmiles Harvey of Tsalini Spring, AZ was the first Mesalands qualifier for the college finals in bareback riding. He took third place in the year-end standings.

Sophomore Devren Meyers of Santa Fe, Nm finished the year-end standings in second place and will be competing in bull riding at the college finals.

“It’s definitely a step above what we do at our college rodeos,” Meyers said “The pressure is on when you make the college finals. You have to keep a clear mind and go at it like it’s just another rodeo, but it’s easier said than done.”

The 2014 CNFR will take place in Casper, Wyoming, June 15-21, 2014.