MPCC Rodeo Team finishes strong at nationals
Zane Patrick, of Bartlett, wrestles a steer at the College National Finals Rodeo in Casper, Wyo. June 14. Patrick tied for first in the first go-round with a time of 4.5 seconds. (Photo courtesy of Jackie Jensen Photography)
Four Mid-Plains Community College cowboys are ranked in the top 10 in the nation following the conclusion of the College National Finals Rodeo in Casper, Wyo. Saturday.
"I was extremely proud of these kids this week," said Aukai Kaai, MPCC Rodeo Team roughstock coach. "It seemed like we just had to battle tough draws all week long, and they were able to make the best of them. They gave it their all, and I couldn't be more proud of them."
Sterling Lee, of Rhame, N.D., finished eighth in the steer wrestling for Mid-Plains. Lee just missed the top 10 in the first go-round earlier in the week with a run of 7.8 seconds. He then threw his steers in 10.2 seconds and eight seconds in rounds two and three and ended up with a time of 14.9 seconds in the short go.
His teammate, Zane Patrick, of Bartlett, started out strong by initially tying for first in the steer wrestling with a time of 4.5 seconds. He followed that up with a 7.2-second run in Go Round Two but had a no score in the third round, which knocked him out of the running for finals.
Austin Madison, of Whiting, Iowa, and Wynn Schaack, of Wall, S.D., didn't make it to the short go in steer wrestling either. They both had no scores in two of the three preliminary rounds. Madison was in 12th place following the third go-round, during which, he scored a 6.8. Schaack had a 12.6-second run in round two.
Madison did bounce back in the tie-down roping, ending up ninth on the national leaderboard. His times in the first and second go-rounds were identical with 13.4 seconds each. He leapt 11 spots to fourth place in round three with a run of 9.1 seconds then sustained a no time in the short go.
Schaack and Patrick also had some tough luck in the short round but finished 10th in the nation anyway in the team roping. Their times were 16.7, 12.4 and 16.5 seconds, respectively, in each of the go-rounds leading up to the finals.
Danielle Wray, of Ord, also represented MPCC in the team roping. She and her roping partner Scott Halverson, of South Dakota State University, had a no time in the first round then stretched their steers to times of 31.1 and 15.3 seconds in each of the subsequent rounds. It wasn't enough to take them to the short go.
Koby Jacobson, of Hershey, placed 15th in the national standings in bull riding after bucking off in the first two go-rounds then riding to a score of 68.5 in the third.
Overall, MPCC's men's team ended up 24th.
Among the other accolades the team received at the CNFR – former coach Garrett Nokes was posthumously recognized as the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association Coach of the Year. He had been named Coach of the Year for the Great Plains Region in May.
Mid-Plains was also recognized again at nationals for having the region's Rodeo of the Year - the MPCC Stampede.