If results from the first rodeo of the season are any indication, the Mid-Plains Community College Rodeo Team will be a force to be reckoned with this year.
The team finished strong over the weekend at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls Falcon Frontier Days Rodeo in River Falls, Wis.
Freshman Chandler Comfort, of Gem, Kan., won the team roping alongside his partner, Samantha Jorgenson, who competes for Black Hills State University.
Comfort's teammates, Rhett O'Connor, of Paxton, and Wyatt Killion, of Ainsworth, came in second in the team roping, followed by Ryan Cox, of North Platte, and Lane Kennedy, of Orleans, in fifth place. Kaile Jacobson, of Haiku, Hawaii, and Trenton Solida, of Phillipsburg, Kan., were sixth.
"We actually won first, second, third and fourth in the first go-round of the team roping," said Garrett Nokes, MPCC timed event coach. "The only person in there who wasn't on our team was Samantha Jorgenson. Together, she and Chandler had 180 points in both go-rounds, which is the best you can do at a rodeo."
As a comparison, it took less than 350 points to qualify for the College National Finals Rodeo in the team roping last year, and Comfort and Jorgenson still have nine rodeo left to go.
Also at River Falls, Cyler Dowling, of Newell, S.D., placed second in the steer wrestling, and Rowdy Moon, of Sargent, was second in the bareback riding.
Charmane Macomber, of Whitman, took sixth in the goat tying.
MPCC ended up fifth overall in both the men's team and women's team standings.
"I'm really happy with how our team did," said Nokes. "Those kids have been working really hard and are showing a lot of promise early on. We had six freshmen jump out there and score points at their first college rodeo, and I can't say enough about that. They are maturing in their competition and in how they think and react to various situations."
The team will have a home-court advantage at the next rodeo. Members host the 2016 Mid-Plains Community College Stampede on Friday and Saturday at the Wild West Arena in North Platte. Performances will start at 7 p.m. each night.
Admission is payable at the gate. It's $10 for adults and free for children 10 and younger.