College rodeo team preps for home competition

-Staff Report

The Mesalands Community College rodeo team won the tie-down roping reserve championship title on Sept. 24 at its second rodeo of the season in Douglas, Arizona.

While sophomore Justin Stegall of Morristown, Arizona, won the reserve title at the Cochise College, the Mesalands teams did not compete as well as they did at the start of the season, said coach Tim Abbott.

Abbott said the teams did well in the long round at Douglas, but struggled in the short round. He said the team is now focused on competing strong on Oct. 14-15 at the Ninth annual Mesalands Intercollegiate Fall Rodeo at the Quay County Rodeo Arena.

“We had some consistent performances from the first two rodeos and some inconsistencies,” Abbott said. “Now we are going to continue practicing and get ready for our rodeo.”

In tie-down roping, Stegall was third in the long round and had a solid performance in the short round. He finished second in the average and won the reserve championship title. Chace Valdez of Estancia won the long round again, but had a hard time in the short round. Valdez broke the barrier in the short round, which kept him from placing in the average.

Breakaway roper, sophomore Tania Nez from Ganado, Arizona, took fifth in the long round. In the short round, she roped her calf fast, but her rope was caught on her saddle horn and she could not break it off. She did not place.

Sophomore Scott Bevins from Amsterdam, New York, was second in the long round in the bareback riding event. He had a rough time in the short round, which kept him from placing in the average. Bevins still earned 50 points at the rodeo in Douglas.

Barrel racer Rebecca Darrup from Miffinburg, Pennsylvania, was sixth in the long round with a time of 18 seconds. She improved her time by four tenths of a second from the long round to the short round, with a time of 17.7 seconds. Darrup was fourth in the short round and finished fifth in the average.

Abbott said the barrel racing was probably the most competitive event at the rodeo. He said the short round was extremely fast and Darrup was not far behind. She had two consistent runs at the rodeo to build her confidence for the next rodeo.

Sophomore Zack Tober from Mount Ulla, North Carolina, and sophomore Clayton Torrez from Isleta Pueblo, made the short round in the team roping event. They barely missed placing in this event.

Abbott said he is optimistic about their performance at the next rodeo competition, as they continue to practice and compete together.

Sophomore Arianna Assini from Oracle, Arizona, had a great run in the long round of the goat-tying event. But her goat came untied about eight tenths of a second early, which kept her from qualifying for the short round.

Sophomore teammate Wade Kane from Ellensburg, Washington, also had a hard time at the Cochise College Rodeo. Kane is dealing with a shoulder injury, which impacted his performance in both the team roping and saddle bronc riding events. Coach Abbott said he will be limiting Kane’s practice time, in preparation of the Mesalands rodeo.

“We are looking forward to the home rodeo and we usually perform very well here,” Abbott said. “We want the entire Tucumcari and Quay County community to come out and support the Mesalands Stampede. As in the years past, you can expect to see an action packed, highly competitive, and very entertaining production.”

The first rodeo performance will begin at 6 p.m.,  on Oct. 14. Sack will begin at 9 a.m., Oct. 15 with the championship performance starting at 3 p.m.
Tickets are $5 for adults, $2 for seniors 55 and over, and children under 12 are free, accompanied by a paying adult.
There is no admission for slack.

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