The Mesalands Community College Rodeo men’s team ended the fall season on a high note, finishing second Saturday at the ninth annual Grand Canyon Region Intercollegiate Fall Rodeo at the Quay County Rodeo Arena.
Officials said 176 student athletes competed at Mesalands’ fall rodeo, about 20 percent more than last year, said Tim Abbott, intercollegiate rodeo coach.
The men’s team also won the bull riding championship title, the bareback riding reserve championship title, and the team roping reserve championship title.
The Mesaland women’s team finished fourth.
“What was exciting for me as a coach, was all six of our student athletes on the men’s team earned points at this rodeo. That’s a hard thing to do,” Abbott said.
“So to win second at our rodeo is an accomplishment with 540 points. This is the highest point total of the season. This shows that we are trending up and we need to continue to have these good performances.”
Abbott said one of those strong performances came from Kenneth “Blue” Wilcox of Greenbrier, Arizona, who dominated the bull riding event.
He said Wilcox was one of two qualifiers for the championship round and the only student athlete that covered two bulls.
Wilcox finished first in all three rounds, earning 161 points. He leads the region standings in bull riding.
“I loved the rodeo. We have a good team and we have good coaches,” Wilcox said.
Bareback rider Scott Bevins from Amsterdam, New York, also placed in all three rounds. He took second in the average and won the reserve championship title. Bevins is second in the regional standings with 133 points.
Abbott said in team roping, three out of the six teams who placed at the rodeo were Mesalands competitors.
Zack Toberer (header) and Clayton Torres (heeler) were sixth in the long round, fifth in the short round, and finished second in the average, winning the reserve championship title. Toberer and Torres are sixth in the region.
Tyler Pitman (header) and Garrett Arnold (heeler) took sixth in the long round, fifth in the short round, and fifth in the average. They are sitting 13th in the region.
Wade Kane (header) and Cody West (heeler) were first in the long round, sixth in the short round, and finished sixth in the average.
Tie down ropers Chace Valdez and Justin Stegall took first and second in the long round. Valdez was fourth in the average and Stegall was sixth.
Abbott said Valdez and Stegall had trouble in the short round, but are still doing well in the regional standings.
Valdez is first in the region with 310 points and Stegall is fourth with 160 points.
Abbott said the home competition proved tough for the Mesalands women’s team.
He said Arianna Assini qualified for the championship round in the goat tying event. Assini was fifth in the long round and fifth in the average, Abbott added.
Assini has 195 points and is fourth in the regional standings.
Teammate Taniah Nez made it to the championship round in the breakaway roping event for the second time this semester. Abbott said Nez’s confidence level continues to go up, as she slowly moves up in the standings.
The Mesalands rodeo teams are scheduled to kick off their spring seasons in March.