Members of the MPCC
Rodeo Team bow their heads in prayer prior to the start of the 2016
Mid-Plains Community College Stampede on Friday night in North Platte. They won
the team championship for the first time ever.
The Mid-Plains Community College Rodeo Team made history Saturday by winning its first rodeo as a team.
The accomplishment was sweetened by the fact that it happened on home turf – at the Wild West Arena in North Platte during the 2016 Mid-Plains Community College Stampede.
"I'm excited about it," said Dustin Elliott, MPCC Rodeo Team rough stock coach. "We've come in second as a team before, but never first."
Kris Rasmussen, of Riverdale, contributed to MPCC's overall success by winning the steer wrestling. So did Reece Weber, of Valentine, who won the team roping alongside Hershey native Tucker White, representing Hastings College.
"Kris won both rounds and the average, and so did Reece and Tucker," said Elliott. "In fact, they maxed out on points."
Shania Macomber, of Whitman,
competes in the barrel racing at the 2016
Mid-Plains Community College Stampede on Saturday. The MPCC Rodeo Team placed
first in the overall team standings.
Before the rodeo, each school selected six team members whose points were considered for the team championship. The names of the students weren't revealed, but those chosen by MPCC garnered a combined total of 635 points. As a whole, the Mid-Plains team earned 1,255 points.
"I kept telling the kids that the goal was to compete in the short go – not be a cheerleader for it," said Elliott. "Out of all the schools at the Stampede, we had the most contestants in the short go with 19. South Dakota State University had the next highest amount with 18."
He believes the feat says a lot about the competitive edge of the MPCC rodeo athletes. In addition to competing, the team members were expected to help produce the rodeo.
The extra responsibilities, combined with the distractions of performing in front of a large crowd of family and friends, added up to a lot of pressure.
"Our kids proved that they've figured out how to block those distractions," said Elliott. "That makes me feel good about how they would do under similar conditions at nationals."
The team will have a short break from competing this weekend. The next rodeo will be in Fort Dodge, Iowa Sept. 29-30.