The Mesalands Community College Rodeo program had seven members qualify for the College National Finals Rodeo and captured another bull riding title at their final rodeo of the season at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces.
The Mesalands Rodeo Team also won the Grand Canyon Region championship titles in bareback riding and in breakaway roping.
“As a whole, I thought it was an outstanding year for the Mesalands Rodeo Team,” said Tim Abbott, interimrodeo coach. “We have predominately a freshman team this year, far more freshman than any other college in the region, so to qualify seven out of our 21 contestants for the college national finals, is outstanding.”
Bareback rider, Edmiles Harvey of Tsalini Springs, Arizona, was the first for Mesalands to qualify for the CNFR that will be held on June 14-20 in Casper, Wyomin.
At Las Cruces, Harvey was second in the first round, first in the second round, and finished second in the average with 148 points. This was one of his best performances of the season. Harvey ended the season in first place, winning the bareback riding regional championship title.
In bull riding, sophomore Adriano Long of Dilkon, Arizona, was first in the first round, second in the second round and first in the average with 133 points. Long was crowned the bull riding champion and was the only bull rider in Las Cruces to cover two bulls. Long held his second position in the regional standings and won the reserve regional championship title. His outstanding performance this season, earned him his first ticket to the 2015 CNFR.
Bull riders, sophomore Jake Carr of Saratoga Springs, New York, concluded the season in fourth place and freshman Kasy Baker of Cottonwood, California, is in fifth place in the year-end standings. Three out of the top five bull riders in the region were from Mesalands.
Steer wrestling was a tough event for the Mesalands Rodeo Team at the NMSU rodeo. Sophomore Jacob Rounds of Brooklyn, New York, took third in the second go-round, and first in the short round. Rounds maintained his third place position in the regional standings, qualifying for the first to compete at the college national finals. Rounds will also be competing on the Mesalands Rodeo Team next year.
Tie-down roper freshman Chace Valdez of Estancia, won the second round at the NMSU rodeo with a time of 9.4 seconds, the fastest time of the weekend. Unfortunately, Valdez missed his first calf and did not earn any average points, which cost him a chance at the regional title. Valdez did win the reserve regional championship title and his first CNFR qualification. Also in the tie down roping event, freshman Chance Stucker of Orville, Washington, took fifth in the second go-round and qualified for the short round. Stucker did have a little trouble in the short round in Las Cruces. Both Valdez and Stucker will be competing on the Mesalands Rodeo Team next year.
Sophomore Betty Pack of Aztec, had another very solid weekend in breakaway roping at the NMSU rodeo. Pack had a time of 2.5 on her first calf and placed third in the first-go round and was first in the second go-round with a time of 2.5. She finished the rodeo fourth in the average. Pack ended the season first in the year-end standings and was crowned the breakaway roping regional champion. Pack also earned her third consecutive qualification to compete at the college national finals.
Also at the NMSU rodeo, Abbott was named the 2015 Grand Canyon Region Coach-of-the-Year, after only two years at Mesalands.
This honor demonstrates the caliber of coaches and student athletes that are part of the Mesalands rodeo team, said Dr. Thomas W. Newsom, Mesalands president.
“We are proud of our student athletes and coaches who continue to demonstrate that Mesalands Community College has one of the top collegiate rodeo programs in the nation,” Newsom said. “It is an honor that the State of New Mexico through Mesalands Community College will be represented by our seven student athletes at the College National Finals in Casper. Coach Abbott has done an outstanding job in his only second year to lead our program. This honor from our region is much deserved and the College is proud of the recognition that Coach Abbott has brought to our community.”