Rodeo team qualifies seven to nationals

By Kimberly Hanna: Mesalands Community College

The Mesalands Community College rodeo teams completed their seasons at the New Mexico State University Rodeo in Las Cruces last weekend, qualifying seven to the College National Finals Rodeo (CNFR).

“We have a good group going to nationals this year. They have all worked hard and have the capability of doing very well,” said MCC Coach CJ Aragon.

Mesalands’ men’s team earned the reserve championship for the year, finishing second behind New Mexico State University. J2 Bridges earned the Grand Canyon Region all-around cowboy championship, with teammate Fran Marchand finishing second.

Bridges finished first in the year-end standings in the bareback riding to earn a CNFR spot. He also earned a qualification to the CNFR steer wrestling.

Marchand finished third in the bareback riding and in the bull riding for CNFR qualifications in both events.

Mesalands’ Sydni Blanchard qualified for the women’s CNFR, earning the Grand Canyon Region’s women’s all-around title.

Blanchard earned qualifications to the CNFR in barrel racing and goat tying.

Other CNFR qualifiers from Mesalands include:

• Steer wrestler Clay Elkins, bull rider Frank Alguire, steer wrestler Cody Lanier and saddle bronc rider Ty Nuffer.

The College National Finals Rodeo will be held in Casper, Wyo., June 12-19.