Mesalands Community College’s Rodeo team began the season winning a men’s tie-down roping championship title at Diné College in Tsaile, Ariz.
Competing in this season’s first Grand Canyon Region rodeo, Mesalands’ sophomore Kit Pettigrew won the long round of the tie-down roping event and second place in the short round.
Pettigrew, of Fort Sumner, finished first in the average, clinching the championship title.
Seven of the student athletes on the Mesalands men’s team made the short round in their events — three of those were on the point earning team, Pettigrew, Adriano Long, and David Gonzalez.
The men’s team finished in fourth place with 370 points.
“It went pretty well, of course. As coaches, Staci (Stanbrough) and I wanted a little bit more, but I was very impressed and we had a good rodeo, especially for our first one,” said Tim Abbott, interim rodeo coach. “The women’s team didn’t have a good first rodeo. I was disappointed on how the women’s team fared; however, it was not from a lack of effort. They tried their hearts out and did what they could do; it just didn’t go our way. But it didn’t lessen my expectations for the women’s team.”
Long, a sophomore from Dilkon, Ariz., won first place in the long round in bull riding and teammate, sophomore Gonzalez of Chihuahua, Mexico, won second in the long round. Long finished second in the average in bull riding and Gonzalez took third in the average.
Mesalands had two team ropers make the short round, sophomores Omar Ramirez of Chihuahua, Mexico, won second in team roping and Trey Blackmore of Hillside, Ariz., not far behind, taking third place in the average in team roping.
In steer wrestling, sophomore Haydon Moore of Clovis, won second place in the long round and had a no-time in the short round. Moore finished seventh in the average.
“The first thing that exceeded my expectations was our men and women’s professionalism at the rodeo, and their conduct at the rodeo, vastly exceeded my expectations. Mesalands did an outstanding job with that,” Abbott said. “I have been encouraging our student athletes to just be themselves, try to do the same thing at the rodeo that they do in the practice arena. Don’t try to go above and beyond your abilities, or don’t try to be super-spectacular. Just do the best job that you can do and I think we will do quite well. After our first rodeo, my expectations are just as high, or even higher than they were before.”
The next rodeo competition for Mesalands is Friday and Saturday at Cochise College in Douglas, Ariz.