The Mid-Plains Community College Rodeo Team placed five in the Top Five over the weekend at the last fall rodeo of the season.
The team competed at the North Dakota State University Bison Stampede in Fargo, N.D. on Friday and Saturday.
Members took home two first place finishes. Nate Bausch, of Waterbury, claimed one of those in the bull riding.
"It was nice to see Nate getting things done," said Dustin Elliott, MPCC Rodeo Team roughstock coach. "He was plagued with injury last year, and it looks like things are finally coming together for him."
Samantha Vontleeder, of Ainsworth, also scored a win in the barrel racing – propelling MPCC to third place in the women's team standings.
"We really ended on a high note as far as the women on our team are concerned," said Garrett Nokes MPCC Rodeo Team timed event coach. "I'm real proud of them. Sam's run in North Dakota moved her up to third in the region."
Reed Murray, of Belvue, Kan., and Lane Kennedy, of Orleans, Neb. placed second in the team roping at the Bison Stampede, while Trenton Solida, of Phillipsburg, Kan. ended up fifth in the tie-down roping.
Lane Kennedy Reed Murray
"Lane hadn't roped since he suffered an injury at the MPCC Stampede in September, but he asked if he could in North Dakota," said Nokes. "You have to be pretty tough mentally to do something like that."
Murray had been left to scramble when Kennedy was injured at the MPCC Stampede. The coaches had five minutes to find him a new partner – and it couldn't be someone already entered in the team roping.
"We ended up pulling someone out of the bull pen who hadn't roped in over a year," said Nokes. "Reed and his partner had tough luck the next couple of rodeos in Iowa, so for Reed and Lane to end the fall fifth in the region – that's pretty awesome. I look forward to some good things from them come spring."
MPCC is currently ranked as following in the regional standings:
- Bull riding - Garrett Wickett – Norfolk, first; Bausch, seventh
- Steer wrestling - Sawyer Strand – Harrisburg, S.D., second; Tyler Murray – McCook, third
- Barrel racing – Vontleeder, third
- Team roping heeler - Wyatt Killion – Ainsworth, third; Kennedy, fifth
- Team roping header – Murray, fifth
- Tie-down roping - Riley Weehler – Maloy, Iowa, fifth; JT Bradley – Brewster, sixth; Clay Bauer – Arcadia, ninth
"We went into the Bison Stampede first and second with UNL," said Nokes. "I would love for the two Nebraska teams to be the top two teams in the region going into nationals. That has never happened. The last time Lincoln sent a team was in the early to mid '80s, so for them to come that far and for us to improve as much as we have – I think that would just be cool."